If you have been in a bike crash, below is a list of things you should get familiar with. The first thing to know is, while people often use the terms “bicycle accident” and “bicycle crash” interchangeably, they are separate incidents.
An accident is something unfortunate that cannot be avoided. A crash, however, is a result of choices made and risks disregarded. In the majority of situations, the driver made the wrong choice and they are to blame.
You should know how to crash and always ride with a mobile, personal ID, emergency contact, and something to write with, precisely because of such incidents.
Get away from traffic and call the police
The first thing to do after a bicycle crash is to get clear of the road. Although this sounds simple enough, people often panic and don’t realize that getting away from other traffic is a prime move. The second and third are to check yourself for injuries and dial 911 – call ambulance or police immediately. If you cannot do this yourself, ask someone to help.
Even if there aren’t any injuries, waiting for the police to arrive and file an official report is important. This is because a police report, which provides documentation detailing the incident, is filed based on information gathered at the scene, so the story can’t be changed later if you want to submit an insurance claim.
Always get the police involved. There were so many incidents where everything seemed clear at the scene, yet the story changed once everybody got home.
It never hurts to talk to an attorney
You are entitled to be covered for more than just personal injuries in the event of a crash – you can also be compensated for damage to your property. The first step towards this is to have an initial consultation with an attorney. These consultations are free, confidential and come with no obligation.
However, many people are on the fence about talking to or hiring a lawyer. People worry that it will be costly or maybe they don’t really need an attorney’s help.
The truth is that an ethical lawyer won’t take your case unless you have a valid claim that they can help with and that they don’t get paid unless they win. For example, the law firm Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, PA makes you pay legal fees only if they win a settlement.
A lawyer will take a look at your case, help you navigate tricky situations that happen post-crash and advise you on how best to proceed to protect yourself and avoid making mistakes that could cost you in the long run.
Ask for details
Just like waiting for the police, it is also important that you collect the vehicle driver’s insurance information, phone number, address, and license plate number. If there are witnesses on the scene, acquire their phone numbers and names as well.
Just like with vehicle-on-vehicle crashes, don’t admit fault, and don’t minimize your bike damage or personal injuries. There is no reason to. The purpose of exchanging information is to protect yourself.
Moreover, if you’re claiming for damage to you or your bicycle, then you will need the details of who ran into you. Even if you don’t think there is damage, take details anyway in case you uncover something later on.
In the end, remember to never negotiate with the driver of the vehicle, regardless of who may be at fault.
In the end, keep in mind that you shouldn’t repair any damaged property. If you do so, you can’t be compensated for damage to your property since that damage wasn’t documented. Your claim is lost as soon as the evidence disappears. The best way to keep evidence is to do nothing until you have its value accurately recorded and documented. This is also something an attorney can help you with.