In 2019 alone, there were more than 308,000 preventable and nonfatal injuries suffered by bicyclists. The unfortunate reality is that every time you get on your bike, you’re at risk of getting into a bicycle accident and sustaining serious injuries. Oftentimes, a cycling accident is the result of a hit and run, which makes it even worse.
So, what should you do if you’re in a bike accident? We’re here to help.
In this guide, we’ll cover the steps you should take in the immediate aftermath of a bicycle accident. Read on to learn these crucial tips!
1. Move Out of the Road
If you’re conscious, the first thing you need to do is move out of the road to make sure you’re not in danger of being hit again. If you’re able to, pick up your bike and move over to a sidewalk or other safe space.
If you’re too injured to move the bicycle yourself, look for a witness nearby that can help you move it out of the way of oncoming traffic.
2. Assess Your Injuries
Once you’re out of immediate danger, do a scan of your body. It’s common to have a jolt of adrenaline in the aftermath of an accident, which can make you feel ok initially, even if you have serious injuries.
Give yourself a once over. Can you see any physical injuries? Does it feel like any bones are broken? If you feel ok, try lifting your arms above your head to check your mobility. You should also try to stand and walk around to see if you notice any issues.
Finally, take off your helmet and give it a thorough inspection. If you notice any cracks in the helmet, there’s a good chance that you have a concussion. In that case, you need to be very careful so as not to make it even worse.
3. Call the Police
Next, you should call the police to officially report the accident. They’ll dispatch an officer to the scene to get statements from you and the driver of the vehicle that hit you. They’ll also talk to witnesses to get a better idea of what happened, each person’s involvement, and help determine who is at fault.
Even if you’re in a hit-and-run accident and the driver flees the scene, you still need to call the police and file a report. They may be able to investigate the accident and help track down the driver.
4. Exchange Information With the Other Party
You also need to use this time to talk to the other party involved in the accident and exchange information. Be sure to make note of the following information:
- Driver’s license number
- Phone number
- Email address
- License plate number
- Insurance information
- Make, model, and color of the vehicle
Remember that it’s always better to have more information than you need. Get as much information from the driver as you can, so that if you or your insurance company needs to contact them in the future, it won’t be a problem. If the driver flees the scene, try to get the make, model, and license plate number of the car if possible.
5. Take Photos to Document the Scene
In the hours and days following the accident, it’s only natural that you’ll start to forget some of the details of what happened. To help make sure you have the evidence you need, use your phone to take as many photos as possible.
Take pictures of the street, street signs, and traffic lights, as well as damage to your bicycle. It can also help to take pictures of the sky, especially if the weather was a factor in the accident. You can also take photos of the surrounding traffic to show a clearer view of the scene of the accident. If you don’t have your phone with you, write down as many details as possible.
6. Talk to Witnesses
While you’re waiting for the police officer to arrive on the scene, take the time to talk to any witnesses. They’ll be able to help fill in the details of what happened, especially at the moment of impact.
If possible, try to record their statements, so you have a record of them should you decide to pursue a court case. You should also ask the witnesses for their contact information like name and phone number, so you can reach out to them again if needed.
7. Seek Medical Attention
Once you’re ready to leave the scene, you should immediately go to the doctor. Even if you don’t think you have any injuries, it’s best to err on the side of caution and get checked out just in case.
You may still be in shock and not realize you’re injured, or you could have internal injuries that could become serious if not detected immediately. Be sure to get a written evaluation from your doctor so you have it on record. If you do have injuries, it’s best to document them as well.
8. Talk to a Lawyer
Finally, the last thing you need to do is find a lawyer who specializes in bicycle accidents. Depending on the nature of the accident, you could seek compensation from the driver for lost wages, medical bills, and more.
Talking to an attorney can help you better understand your rights. They’ll look at the details of the case and develop a plan moving forward to help you get the best possible outcome. Learn more about how an attorney can help by clicking the link.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
After reading these tips, you should have a better idea of what to do if you’re ever in a bike accident. By taking the right steps in the immediate aftermath of the accident, you’ll protect yourself and get the help you need.
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