Bicycle accidents can result in injuries ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to debilitating or even deadly damages. They can occur in any number of ways – a rear-end collision, an ill-advised left-hand turn, dooring, etc.
It is natural for bicycle accident victims to feel scared and unsure what to do after such a traumatic incident. However, you must take the proper steps to ensure the protection of your rights, including your right to full and fair compensation. Follow these steps after a bicycle accident:
1. Keep calm
It is understandable to feel infuriated with the driver who hit you. However, you must not let your emotions take control of you and make you do something you might regret. Take deep breaths, wait for the adrenaline to settle, and act rationally, not angrily. This way, you won’t get yourself into further trouble and make an already bad day even worse.
2. Wait for the cops
If the resulting damages are significant, do not leave the scene. Do not accept a below-the-table payment from the driver who hit you. Do not take any matter in your hands. Instead, call the cops and wait for an officer to arrive. Give them your account of the accident (without incriminating yourself in any way) and make sure they write a report. This will make your claim stronger.
3. Collect witness information
If there are any witnesses, politely ask them for their contact information and whether they’re willing to provide a statement. Favorable witness testimonies will provide your bicycle injury lawyer with substantial supporting evidence. If a witness declines to be involved, do not be pushy or aggressive. Rather, thank them for their consideration, give them your information, and ask them to contact you or your lawyer should they change their mind.
4. Do not fall for the insurance company’s tricks
An insurance adjuster may contact you and ask for your medical history. Beware – this is most likely a trap and you should avoid complying at all costs. The reasons being that your medical history, which might contain information on any prior injury, could be used to weaken your claim. The general rule of thumb is to not sign any agreement or release any information without consulting your lawyer first.
5. Get a thorough medical examination and document the injuries
It is essential to get a thorough medical examination if you are a victim of a bicycle accident. Even if your injuries appear to be minor or negligible at first, you should see your physician because you may actually be injured in ways that you can’t see, at least immediately. Also you want the full extent of your injuries documented so you can get maximum compensation down the line. Your lawyer will also appreciate the documentation.
It is important to rationally handle the aftermath and, even better, to call your bicycle injury lawyer right away for professional legal representation.