Accidents happen all the time and they are exactly what they’re called… accidents. No one ever intends to get into accidents on purpose because it’s too much of a hassle but when accidents do happen, it’s always good to know what to do.
Car on car accidents are definitely damaging and life-threatening but one of the worst kinds of accidents to get in is car accidents involving bicycles. The Federal Highway Safety Administration states that there are almost 60,000 car accidents that involve bicyclists getting injured and out of that 60,000 people, 900 resulted in death. If drivers would take the simple steps to be safe on the road and stop driving while on the phone, there wouldn’t be as many bicycle accidents as there are.
Both drivers and bicyclists need to be aware of their surroundings and share the road. Now, when cars and bicycles share the road, the chances of accidents are very high. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself. By protecting yourself, you need to do that in all aspects:
- Always wear your helmet
- Make sure your bike is in good working condition
- Wear bright colors so drivers can see you
- Pay attention to items and hazards on the road
What to Do
Getting into an accident with a car can be quite terrifying but even in the midst of such trauma, it’s important to stay level headed to follow the necessary steps to ensure your safety. The reason this is so important is that what you do after an accident can greatly impact how you recover and what you can recover from your injuries and damages to your bike.
Step 1: Get Off the Road
If you’re able to move, the very first thing you want to do is immediately get off the road. This will prevent you from getting further injured and it clears the road to prevent any other accidents from happening.
Step 2: Get the Driver’s Information
Once you’re safely off of the road, you’re going to need to get the driver’s information. You’ll need to obtain their:
- Name and phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Car insurance information
- License plate number
All of this information will be very helpful to you when the police arrive and it will also be important to have this information when your insurance company needs. If you’re able to, take pictures of their information. Take pictures of their car, license, license plate, and the damages to your bicycle as well as their car.
You also want to make sure you “stick to your guns” with the driver. The driver may be apologetic at the scene of the accident but they might have a change of heart later on and not want to deal with the accident so they may deny having anything to do with the accident… It’s unethical but people do that to injured victims so that’s why it’s so important to get the driver’s information as soon as it happens.
Step 3: Call 911
When you speak to the 911 operator, explain to them what happened and they’ll send out the proper authorities to assist you. The police are typically the first to show up on the scene and once they arrive, you’ll need to file a police report, whether you’re injured or not.
Step 4: Record the Details of the Accident
This is information that the police will need for their police report as well as your insurance. You’ll need to have the date and time of the accident, where the accident happened, and how it happened.
Step 5: Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you’ve gotten off the road safely, spoken to the police, and obtained the driver’s information with any necessary pictures, it’s time for you to contact a personal injury lawyer. As a victim of a bicycle injury, you deserve to be represented by a team of lawyers who are well-versed in this area to protect your legal rights.
It’s important to know that you do have legal rights after a bicycle accident and the person who hit you is responsible for any damages you incurred because of it… and that includes damages to yourself, your bike, hospital and medical bills, and even prescription coverage. Although the accident may not have been intentional, the damage has already been done and sometimes those damages are irreversible. So make sure you protect yourself in all aspects when it comes to involvement in bicycle injuries.
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