Thinking of going out for a bike ride? Do not forget your helmet.
In a single year, there were 45,000 reported bicycle accidents in the United States. During that time, the number of fatal accidents increased by more than 12%.
If you are involved in a bike accident, you cannot ignore your injuries. Instead, taking the right steps after your accident can help you make a case. Preparing yourself ahead of time can help affect the outcome of a lawsuit that results from the bicycle crash.
Remain informed and prepared! In this guide, we will review what you can do if you endure bike accident injuries. With these tips, you can take action to receive the compensation you deserve.
Keep reading to learn what to do if you are injured in a bike accident.
1. Ask for First Aid
In some cases, you might get away with only a few small cuts and bruises. If that is the case, you do not have to call an ambulance. However, you still should not rush to move.
Instead, assess your injuries.
If necessary, ask for first aid. If you are bleeding, make sure to clean and sanitize the wound. You can use hygienic wet wipes or an antiseptic solution to prevent a potential infection.
Then, dress the wound and staunch the bleeding.
If you do not have any first aid items, you can use the fabric from your shirt to dress the wound.
If you have any doubts about your condition, make sure to visit a doctor or hospital. They can assess your wounds and determine if you have a concussion.
Make sure to assess your own injuries before rushing to provide aid to someone else.
2. Move Yourself and Your Bike
If you did not develop any serious injuries as a result of your bike accident, try to move on your own. Attempt to stand and get yourself, as well as your bike, out of the way of moving traffic.
This rule is essential for road accidents. Otherwise, ongoing traffic might cause additional bike accident injuries. Someone else might get hurt as well.
3. Do Not Rush It
In 2018, 857 bicyclists were killed in traffic crashes. If you are bleeding, moving right away might cause additional blood loss. Instead of rushing, check for cuts, bruises, strained muscles, or broken bones.
Make sure you can move your arms and legs without too much pain before trying to get up.
Again, if you are unsure about your condition, call an ambulance.
Next, check your bike. Do not try to ride it before checking that the:
- Frame and fork are free of bends or cracks
- Wheels are straight and spin normally
- Spokes are not missing from the wheels
- Brakes and gears are working properly
Otherwise, trying to ride your bike right away could result in additional injuries.
4. Keep Your Cool
If you are in a bike accident that involves another person, remind yourself that it was not on purpose. Chances are, the other person is in as much shock as you are.
Try to keep your cool following the bicycle accident.
Remaining calm can help you avoid potential verbal fights or other altercations.
5. Call the Police
If you were injured as a result of a bike accident, make sure to call the police. For both legal and insurance reasons, it is important that both parties give an official statement.
While you wait for the police to arrive, try to gather as much information as possible. If you have your phone on you, make sure to take photos of:
- The bike and helmet
- Your clothes
- The car involved in the bicycle crash
Write down the time the accident occurred.
If the police do not arrive on the scene, make sure to visit the nearest police station to make a statement. It is important to do this as soon as possible. That way, you can make your statement while the details are still fresh in your mind.
Do not give or receive cash to settle the situation on your own. This can make the process more complicated if you decide to file a legal or insurance claim for any damages or hospital costs.
Request a copy of the official police report before you leave.
6. Obtain Driver & Witness Information
As you wait for the police to arrive, you should also gather information regarding the other party involved in the bicycle accident. This includes the party’s:
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle license number
- Insurance information
Did anyone witness the accident? If so, get their names and contact information as well. Do not assume that the police who arrive will gather this information for you.
If you are too injured to gather this information on your own, ask a bystander for help.
7. Repair Your Bike
Afterward, take your bike to a professional bike shop. Have your bike evaluated for repair costs. This can help you receive compensation for either yours or the other party’s insurance policy.
Was your helmet cracked as a result of the accident? Make sure to get a new one as well and be sure to document the cost as this should also be recoverable.
8. Document & Preserve Evidence
Take notes about what happened, including:
- What happened
- How it happened
- Where it happened
- When it happened
- Road, traffic, and weather conditions
Document your injuries as well. Keep any police records, medical records, and photos safe.
Preserve physical evidence, including your bike and clothes.
Do not wash your clothing or have your equipment fixed. Instead, preserve these items for your attorney.
9. Seek Professional Advice
If you are injured in a bike accident, consult a personal injury attorney. Look for a professional with experience regarding bike accident cases.
They will advise you on how to proceed. They can also negotiate with insurance companies or represent you in a lawsuit. Their professional advice can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Cycle Forward: What to Do If You Were Injured in a Bike Accident
Not so fast. Before getting back on the bike, make sure to contact a personal injury lawyer after your bike accident. They can make sure you receive the compensation and avoid legal pitfalls.
Were you in a recent bicycle accident? Speak with our attorneys today.