The United States saw more than 1,000 people lose their lives and another 467,000 injured from bicycle-related incidents in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Along those lines, the CDC said that fatal and non-fatal injuries impacted health costs and worker productivity in 2010 for an estimated $10 million in losses.
These crashes can have long-term effects on the rider, and your injuries may not be readily apparent. But there are ways to mitigate the potential costs of a bicycle accident, provided you take action as soon as the crash happens.
In the following article, we’ll discuss three necessary steps to take after your accident. Keep reading to learn more.
Table of Contents
What to do in a bicycle accident may not always be clear immediately after the crash due to disorientation, excitement, or injury.
Before you do anything, make sure you are not seriously injured and in a safe location. Moving before checking for injuries could make matters worse. And stumbling into more traffic could worsen the incident or hurt others.
Take a second to catch your breath and check your physical situation before doing anything else.
Document the Bicycle Accident
Next, start gathering information. Exchange information with the driver like names and addresses, driver’s license info, and insurance information.
Your recollection of what happened is essential. You should write down some notes immediately, take some pictures of what happened, and collect any physical evidence (busted equipment, backpack items, etc.) that you can.
If you are unable to take notes, ask a bystander to do so. While you’re at it, you should try to get the names and numbers of any witnesses to the bicycle accident. Take all this information and email it to yourself, so you have a copy for your records.
Call the Police
It does not matter if the at-fault driver apologizes or not. It is not uncommon for a person to change their story (even deny the crash happened!) after everyone shakes hands and limps away. You should accept the driver’s apology but insist on calling the police.
The authorities will determine if all the rules of the road were followed. And if the driver is charged or cited, it could help your case in the future.
There’s also a good chance you may not realize that you are injured. Sometimes injuries don’t make themselves know for hours or days after the crash. You’ll want to have that accident report to use when you seek medical information later.
After you’ve taken the critical steps above, consider hiring an attorney with experience in bicycle accidents. A lawyer can help with the at-fault party’s insurance company and handle the complex legal issues. Sometimes a letter from a good attorney can get the injured party results.
For more information about bike safety and preventing bicycle accidents, you can always check the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s website.
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