If you’ve ever been in a bicycle accident, you know how difficult it can be to maintain your composure. From the physical injuries to the emotional toll it takes on you, there are many factors at play that make for an extremely emotionally charged situation. Even if there are no physical injuries resulting from this incident, chances are it is still going to leave you feeling shaken up for at least for a little while.
The best thing you can do is to put together an action plan early on, before the initial shock starts to subside. By getting your thoughts in order and having a plan of action, you will help yourself come out of this situation as cleanly as possible. This article will provide six tips on what you should do in the event of a bicycle accident.
1) Check Yourself for Injuries
In the event that you have been involved in a bicycle accident, one of the first things to do is to immediately check yourself for injuries. One of the most important points is to make sure that if you are bleeding, you take care not to wipe away blood unless it’s from an open wound because wiping away blood can reduce your chances of being able to find out how bad it is later.
After you have checked yourself for injuries, if there are any visible injuries such as cuts or scrapes, take photos of them using your phone or camera because this can be very important when reporting the accident not only to the police and an insurance company but to your own medical insurance provider as well.
2) Seek Legal Help
To ensure that the person who caused the accident is held accountable for their actions, you will need to get in contact with a personal injury attorney. If this happens to you in Los Angeles, you can use this URL to find a personal injury lawyer who can quickly take up your case. The help of this legal professional will be necessary to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve.
Choose a lawyer who has experience in dealing with bicycle accident cases and knows how to face this kind of situation. A well-qualified attorney can make a difference in whether your case is successful or not, so make sure you choose the right one. If this is your first bicycle accident, this is definitely something to consider.
3) Obtain Contact and Personal Information of the Other Party
The first step is to ask the other party if they are willing to give you this information. If this person does not want to cooperate, this may make it difficult to find an attorney or insurance company that will work with you on this case. However, this is still important information. You can often find this information in the police report if there is one. If there is a police report, you can also have the police provide their notes from when they arrived on the scene and talk with the other party to get all of this information at once. This is important as the other person’s account of what happened may change under their own accord. If this is not an option, here is a list of what you should ask for:
- Name and address
- Telephone number (work and cellular)
- Insurance information (company and policy number)
- License plate number and state of issuance
- Make and model of vehicle
- Driver’s license number and state of issuance
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
4) Check for Possible Witnesses or Surveillance Cameras
If you had an accident, there’s a good chance someone nearby saw what happened. A simple “Did you see that?” might be enough to get the information you need and some witnesses may even volunteer it without prompting. Blending in with your surroundings and acting natural will help keep up this ruse.
Many common cycling accidents also result in injuries, so it’s imperative that you find out if anyone has video of the incident. Ask nearby businesses if they have security cameras and if they’re operational. Even if the answer is no, ask them to check their DVR or records to see if there are any suspicious gaps in footage from around that time.
Surveillance footage can be invaluable when it comes time to build your case. It can show your interaction with the driver, what happened before and after the accident itself, and any obstacles that may have contributed to the crash.
5) Wait for the Authorities to Arrive
Unfortunately, in most bicycle accidents, no one will be around to help. And the only way to ensure that you are not causing further harm is by waiting for the authorities to arrive on the scene before starting any self-help measures.
The reason that it is important that you wait for the authorities is that if you were to move your bike before the authorities arrive, you might injure yourself even further.
This goes for anything else that may be on the ground as well. For example, if there are any glass shards or sharp pieces of metal on the ground, you might move them without realizing it and cause yourself harm. And since no one will be around to help you, it’s important that you wait for the authorities to arrive before you do anything.
Worst case scenario, if there is some sort of dangerous part of the road that needs immediate attention, call 911 and explain what it is so they can send someone to come take a look at it or deal with it themselves. But whatever you do, do not move the bike and wait for the authorities to arrive.
6) Keep All Receipts and Records
Keeping all receipts and records may seem like a lot of work, but it’s necessary when filing claims for an accident. Keep them in one place so that you always know where they are. You’ll need to have proof that you had the repairs done if needed. This is especially important when filing with your own company’s insurance because they might not cover any out-of-pocket expenses.
You are a person, not just another number that they can push around to get what they want. If you call your company with the news that you’ve been in an accident, ask to speak to someone else who will help represent your interests. Don’t let them push you around and then try to send you a bill for medical services that weren’t needed or claim that damage was pre-existing. Keep records of all your expenses related to the accident.
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, you’re probably not thinking about your receipt for repairs or how it will help build up your case. But when the inevitable happens, following these steps from start to finish can make all the difference in getting what you deserve.