What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Experienced Representation Nationwide
It’s a scary thing whenever a bicycle gets in an accident with a car. If you’re the one that was in an accident and was riding the bicycle it’s essential that you keep your wits are kept about you after the crash has occurred. The actions that you take in the immediate aftermath of your accident can have a significant impact on the amount of damages you recover for both the damages to your bicycle and, more importantly, the amount you recover for your injuries. Additionally, your actions in the immediate aftermath of the accident can affect the outcome of any lawsuits that result from your accident.
The following is what to do:
- Wait for the Police to Arrive
- Get Your Version of Events into the Accident Report
- Obtain Driver and Witness Contact Information
- Document What Happened
- Document Your Injuries
- Preserve Evidence
- Seek Advice from a Professional
Contacting a bicycle personal injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm will allow you a free no obligation and personalized initial consultation with a lawyer that’s specialized in bicycle law. Our firm works on a contingency only basis which means that there’s no fee unless we win, if we don’t win your case you never owe us a dime. Once we win your case you simply pay a small percentage out of the verdict or settlement we’ve obtained for you.
The below information is additional details on the above mentioned post-accident actions you need to take.
Wait for the Police to Arrive
It’s essential that you call and wait for the police to arrive to the accident scene so that they’re able to take and then file the police report. You want to file a police report even if don’t believe you’re injured seriously or injured at all. Often, some bicyclists won’t realize they’ve been injured until many hours after the accident happened. Furthermore, even injuries that seem relatively minor at first can develop into serious and sometimes permanent problems later on. Once you’ve left the scene of the accident, it’s possible that you’ll never be able to identify the driver at fault.
Don’t make any attempts at negotiations with the driver. You’ll find that many drivers will accept blame and apologize initially only to make denials later on, potentially denying their negligence or that they were even at the scene of the accident at all. Rather than negotiating with the other driver, wait for the police to arrive instead so that everything can be documented within the police report instead. An additional advantage of having the police come is the fact that they may issue a ticket to the driver which can be helpful in proving liability and helping with negotiating and settling with the other party and/or the insurance company.
Get Your Version of Events into the Accident Report
At times the police officer(s) will take a statement from the motorist without bothering to talk to the bicyclist at all. You need to do everything you can to ensure that your side of the story is put into the police report. And, of course, ensure that you make a report of every single injury you’ve sustained regardless of how minor you think they may be at the time. Remember, as mentioned, those injuries that seem minor now are/can become more serious later on.
You can always have the report amended later if, in spite of your best efforts, the police refuse to include your statement in the accident report.
Obtain Driver and Witness Contact Information
Make sure that you get all of the information that you can about the driver of the automobile and all of the information of any applicable witnesses of the accident, including their names and phone numbers.
For the driver of the automobile you’ll want to get there:
- Driver’s License Number
- Phone Number
- License Plate Number
- Insurance Information
Don’t make the assumption that the police report is going to include all of the information listed above as it might not include this information. If you’re injured and aren’t able to get this information on your own, ask a bystander to get the information on your behalf.
Document What Happened
If you’re able to, make some mental notes about the accident itself. This is going to include different types of things, including:
- When It Occurred
- What Happened
- Where It Occurred
- How It Happened
- Weather Conditions
- Road Conditions
- Traffic Conditions
As soon as you’re possibly able to do so, ensure that you write all of the information you’ve gathered down.
Document Your Injuries
Even if your injuries are minor ones you should see medical attention for them immediately. The fact that you went and sought medical attention serves as the proof of your injuries, along with the fact that the medical records themselves will help to document the extent of your injuries. Additionally, take multiple photos of your injuries from all angles as soon as you possibly can after the accident. You’ll want to begin a journal to document your physical symptoms and make journal entries at least every 2-3 days.
After the accident, ensure that you leave any damaged property, including your bicycle, in the same exact state as when the accident occurred. Don’t make any attempts at inspections, and certainly don’t have anything fixed. Don’t wash any of the clothes you were wearing that night and don’t send any of your equipment including your helmet, bicycle or anything else to anyone other than your lawyer. Take photos of all your damaged equipment and your bicycle from multiple angles. There is no such thing as too many photos.
Seek Advice from a Professional
When an accident occurs between a car and a bicycle it will often involve extremely complex legal issues. You’ll want to consult with a bicycle personal injury lawyer at The Doan Law Firm. We understand both bicycling and have handled every type of bicycle personal injury case.
We’ll be able to advise you on multiple matters, including:
- Advise You On How to Best Proceed With Your Case
- Help You with Insurance Company Negotiations
- Represent You in a Potential Lawsuit
Don’t have any communication with any insurance companies prior to consulting with a lawyer. Anything that you say to an insurance company is able to be held against you later. Sometimes a simple letter from a lawyer to the insurance company can resolve any outstanding issues while avoiding any legal pitfalls. Often, the majority of these types of cases will be settled prior to ever going to trial.
Your lawyer, if the case should warrant it, can also hire a bicycle accident expert to investigate the accident. This expert may obtain photographs of the scene, diagram and measure the accident scene, obtain skid mark measurements and speak with additional witnesses.
Contact The Doan Law Firm today to speak with a specialized bicycle personal injury lawyer today. Our specialized lawyers are on call to speak with you 24/7/365, regardless of time of day or night or holiday. Accidents don’t wait to happen and you shouldn’t have to wait to speak with a lawyer, call now for a free consultation and representation at: (800) 349-0000. We look forward to speaking with you.
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