Safety is of the utmost importance when you are riding a bicycle. No matter how safety conscious you may be, there will always be more cars than bikes on the road and that means that there is a greater chance of having an accident with a motorist.
At some point in the future, you, or a fellow cyclist could be in a bike accident. Knowing what to do after a bike accident could make a huge difference in how well you can protect your rights or the rights of a companion who may be injured.
While some bicycle accidents cannot be avoided, knowing what to do following the accident is essential.
In this article, we’ll look at the seven steps to take after a bike accident.
1. Get Off the Road
The very first thing that you should do when you have a bicycle accident is to get off the road. Although you are legally obligated to remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrive, you should wait in a safe place by the side of the road.
Getting off the road is essential as it will reduce the risk of any further damage to your bike or further injury to you.
2. Inform the Police About the Accident
Once you have got to a safe place by the side of the road, you should immediately call the police. If anyone has any serious injuries you should also contact an ambulance.
If there has been any injury or property damage through the accident, you and the motorist involved in the accident are legally obligated to remain at the scene until the police arrive.
Even if the accident may seem relatively minor, you may not realize that you have been injured until much later, by which time, if you and the motorist have left the scene, they will be impossible to track down.
When the police arrive, they will make their own investigations to ascertain exactly what has happened.
On occasion, the police will be more focused on recording the motorist’s version of events rather than speaking with the cyclist. Make sure that the police get a statement about the event from you.
Make sure that you report any injury, no matter whether it seems minor as it may develop into something much worse later on.
You should also take the accident report number and write it down.
3. Exchange Details With the Driver
Once you are in a safe place following the accident, you should speak with the driver of the vehicle that crashed into you.
Find out their name, address, phone number, vehicle registration number, driver’s license number along with the make and model of the car and their car insurance policy number.
All of this information will be useful if you need to make a claim against their insurance or you need to take the matter further.
4. Gather Witness Information
If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask them if they can provide their name, address, and phone number. The police may want to speak with witnesses to get a better understanding of exactly what has happened.
The more witnesses there are, the better chance you’ll have of piecing together what has happened.
5. Take Photos and Gather Evidence
Before you leave the scene of the accident you must gather as much evidence as possible. This may be useful later on if you need to claim against the motorist.
Take photos of the vehicle and any damage to your bike. Take photos of the place where the accident happened.
Write everything down after the accident. You may need to recount the events several times to various people, and the clearer your recollection is, the better.
Draw maps and diagrams that show the position of everyone that is involved in the accident. Include any street signs and traffic lights on your diagrams.
6. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
While you may not feel as though you have been injured, injuries may take some time to manifest. A doctor or paramedic will be able to examine you and treat you for any injuries that you may have before they get a chance to worsen.
Following an accident, you may have soft tissue damage which can take some time to show up. Sometimes this can even take several days. By getting yourself checked out, you will minimize the chances of leaving an injury untreated.
7. Don’t Negotiate With Insurance Companies
After you have had a bike accident, the motorist’s insurance company may get in touch with you and attempt to settle with you before you have all of the information to support your clean.
You mustn’t negotiate directly with any insurance company. Many offers will be considerably lower than they should be. You must take the right advice before accepting any offers from an insurance company.
8. Hire a Bike Accident Attorney
Before you accept any offers from the driver’s insurance company, you should first speak to an experienced bike accident lawyer. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and if required will represent you in a lawsuit.
Staying Safe On the Roads
Remember that as a cyclist, you have rights and responsibilities just like a motorist does. If you are in a bike accident, try your best to remain calm. Contact the police and gather as much information as possible from the motorist and witnesses.
Do get yourself checked out by a medical professional and speak with a bike accident lawyer at the earliest possible convenience.
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