Taking measures as a cyclist is of utmost importance. Despite all your precautions, the risk of being in a bike accident at some point in your life is significant if you are an avid cyclist. Indeed, the risk of bike accidents is remarkably higher than motorcycle accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are involved in an accident, taking the proper steps can significantly affect everything from the insurance claim to whether you are guilty or not if the injuries are substantial. The following are seven critical steps to take if you are involved in a bike accident.
Finding an experienced bicycle accident lawyer to get you through the situation with what you deserve is critical because you are introducing a professional to the case who will know precisely how to navigate it. However, hiring a lawyer is only step number seven. Before that, there are six critical steps that you must take to ensure that you tackle the situation in the best possible manner.
1. Do not leave the scene of the accident
Primarily, you must not leave the scene of the accident no matter what, as you may be found guilty of a hit and run despite being on a bike. The authorities take a hit-and-run situation very seriously, and even the best lawyer can find it challenging to pull you out of such an accusation. So when there is a collision, remain on the scene until you and the others involved carry out the following steps.
2. Check for injuries
Once there is a collision, it is good to check whether you have suffered an injury. Sometimes injuries are apparent, especially if you are in excruciating pain or there is blood. If that is the case, you or the other party can call an ambulance for immediate action. However, there are occasions when you do not feel pain or do not notice it because of the adrenaline. To ensure that you have not suffered an injury, check your body for bruises, lacerations, or broken bones. If you know you have hit your head, it is best to visit a doctor as soon as you can move away from the scene to check for a concussion or other injuries.
3. Call the police
When the damage to the vehicles is significant, calling the police is a must. This is also true if you or the other party have substantial injuries or someone has died from the impact. In such cases, the police must be on the scene to ask questions and obtain an official report. It can be challenging to answer their questions correctly, especially if you are suffering from shock. Whatever they ask, avoid admitting fault. Instead, try to be as objective as you can about what happened. It is perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that you are not sure what happened, especially if you are in shock and unable to process the events that led to the accident. Also read about best non computerized washing machines.
4. Exchange contact details
Whether you call the police or not, you must exchange information with the parties involved. It does not matter if there is no significant damage to your bike or if you have not suffered an injury. You may notice damage or injuries later and would need to contact the other party. Although car insurance does not cover bicycle accidents, renter’s and homeowners’ insurance can pay for damages resulting from activities such as bicycling. This means you have an opportunity to claim for any damages or injuries suffered despite not being in a car.
Moreover, if witnesses are on the scene, get their information just in case. You may need them in court to help you with your case. Once you are home and the adrenaline has worn off, write down what happened in as much detail as possible because it is easy to distort what happened as time passes.
5. Take pictures
Taking pictures after exchanging information is also essential. Giving insurance companies concrete evidence of the situation is the best mode of proof. A lawyer can also use such evidence if you end up in court. Take clear pictures of any injuries you have suffered and damages to your bike. If you have a Go-Pro camera, save the footage for evidence.
6. Contact your insurance provider
You may not be able to claim your car insurance if you are on a bike, but that does not mean you should not contact your insurance company after the accident. If you have personal injury protection insurance, homeowners’ or renters’ insurance, you can still claim for damages.
7. Contact a specialist lawyer
Only once you deal with the six former steps can you contact a lawyer if you have suffered significant injuries. A lawyer specializing in bicycle accidents will be more proficient in this situation. Generally, attorneys offer a free consultation in personal injury cases where you can meet and discuss your options. If you like your prospects, you can hire a lawyer and file a suit.
Being involved in a bicycle accident can be traumatic, especially if you are in pain or scared by the whole situation. Although it is normal to feel anxious and forget about the former steps, you must tackle them to ensure you come out of this situation with minimal damage. If you are in an accident and are anxious or find that your mind has gone blank, call someone you trust who can guide you through the steps. The person on the line can remind you of what you need to do so as not to cause more damage to yourself or the situation.