Even if you equip yourself with safety gear and practice all the necessary precautions, accidents can and do still happen. During such a traumatic moment, you might find yourself completely disoriented and at a loss for what to do.
If you do find yourself involved in a biking accident, here are the things you need to do first:
- Get Off The Road.
In the aftermath of a bike crash, your first instinct might be to confront the other party and give them a piece of your mind, or maybe give an impromptu lecture on California bike laws. However, first check to see if you are in a position where you might be hit again, or if you are obstructing the road. If you’re riding alone when the crash happened, pull yourself to the edge of the road where it’s safe.
- Preserve Evidence.
You need to stay calm so you can collect evidence. Use your phone to take photos of your injuries, your bike, and the place where the accident took place. This way you can show the pictures to your bike injury lawyer later. Put everything in writing because your memory can prove to be unreliable when there’s an accident involved, especially if it is your head that has made an impact in the accident. Take note of every detail concerning the accident: when, where, and how it unfolded. Draw a diagram of the positions of everyone involved in the crash. Keep the clothing and gear you were wearing when you had the accident and don’t wash them, even if they are bloodied. The same goes for your bike too. If you need to bring your bike to the shop to have it repaired, take photos of it first and document the damages on the bike.
- Call an Ambulance if You’re Hurt.
Your safety should take precedence over everything else, including the police and the other party. Dial 911 and have yourself checked for injuries if you’re hurt. Give all complaints to the doctor.
- Call the Police and File an Official Accident Report.
Report any injury from the bike accident, no matter how minor it may seem. Some injuries will manifest days (or weeks) after the accident. If no police report has been filed, you might face skepticism when filing for an insurance claim later on. Get the business card of the officer. Don’t move your bike from the scene. It’s best if the police see the accident scene undisturbed.
- Exchange Information.
Get the drivers name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, car make and model, and insurance information. Never negotiate with the driver of the vehicle, NO MATTER WHO MAY BE AT FAULT.
- Look for Witnesses.
Check the scene for potential witnesses. Ask for their contact number and ask if they would be willing to wait and be interviewed by the police. Your goal is to have a third party who will be able to give a neutral account of the incident.
- Have a Checkup to Document Injuries.
Symptoms from a personal injury might not show up immediately. Going to the doctor strengthens your personal injury claim. Without this medical documentation, you and your California bicycle attorney will have a harder time proving that your injury was indeed caused by a biking accident.
- Seek Legal Advice From a Cycling Lawyer.
In order to protect yourself, and to determine your best legal options, consult with an bicycle accident attorney, even if you only suffered minor injuries.
A bike accident can be a traumatic experience, but it should not stop you from getting back in the saddle. Hire a law firm that specializes in cycling accidents and be represented by a firm that is knowledgeable about these kinds of situations. If you have questions about a bike accident case, call Sariol Legal at 1-866-800-9399 or visit: www.sariolcycling.com