According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 700 cyclists die every year as a result of a bicycle accident involving motor vehicles, while over 32,000 people suffer injuries as a result of such collisions. Even though accidents involving bicycles and motor vehicles are fairly uncommon, they can lead to lifelong injuries for the cyclist, not to mention the terrifying experience of such an event.
Whenever you are riding your bike and are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle, there are specific steps you need to take in order to protect yourself and your ability to recover damages in a potential lawsuit. Here are some practical steps you can take.
Step 1: Get Medical Attention After a Bike Accident
If you have been injured as a result of the collision, or believe that someone else has been injured, you need to seek medical attention immediately. If you don’t have a cell phone or any way to call for an ambulance, you need to ask someone else to call for help. In this situation it’s best to select a specific bystander or observer and ask that person to call an ambulance. If you ask a large group of people to call, you greatly reduce the chances that someone will do as you ask.
Step 2: Make Sure You Are Safe
If the collision took place in a high-traffic area, you need to make sure that you and anyone else involved are no longer in danger. If you are capable of moving, find an area nearby where you can go so you are no longer exposed to traffic.
Step 3: File a Police Report for Your Bike Accident
Whether you are injured or not, you should make sure that you file a police report, preferably while still at the scene of the accident. If you don’t need medical attention, wait for the police to arrive to investigate the accident. Even if you don’t believe your bike has been damaged or you don’t think you have been injured, it’s important to get a police report on record. It’s possible, for example, for you to not notice that you sustained an injury until several days or even weeks after the accident. If you don’t file a police report and then find out later that you suffered injuries, you will make proving your case more difficult.
Step 5: Get Information
You should find out as much Information as you can about the driver and the vehicle. Ask for the driver’s license and registration. If you have a camera or cell phone available, take photographs of the area, the car, the license plate, your bicycle, and any injuries. If there are any bystanders or witnesses, ask them for their contact information as well.
Step 6: Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Even if you don’t think you are entitled to recover money for the damages or injuries you suffered, you should speak to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been involved in an accident. Sitting down and talking to an attorney will give you an idea of what you might be able to recover and what your options are. It’s best to contact a lawyer who has experience handling bicycle accident or personal injury cases.
The Indiana Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Glaser & Ebbs are skilled at representing clients and their family members injured in hit-and-run accidents. It often takes legal action to receive fair compensation in these cases. If the responsible party is not found, we will help you look for other coverage. Contact Glaser & Ebbs to learn more about your legal rights and options.