Biking, especially on a highway, is a fun and an adrenaline-filled way to keep fit and explore what California has to offer. At the same time, it’s also a dangerous activity as the chances of being rear-ended by a motorist in California are pretty high.
Unfortunately, when a bicycle accident happens, most cyclists often have no idea what to do next. That is why outlined five things every cyclist should do after a bicycle accident to ensure they receive the necessary compensation for the injuries and damages.
- Slow Down
After a bicycle accident, most cyclists, probably due to the shock, tend to try and jump back on their bikes and get away from the scene as fast as they can only to fall again. While it’s okay to want to get to safety, you are only human, and there’s only so much you can do. So, after an accident, slow down, assess yourself to see if you can stand again before you move, so you don’t do more damage. If you can walk comfortably, move away from harm’s way.
- Call for Help
Once safe, call 911. Even if you feel okay, make the call. Most people tend to downplay their injuries only to realize a few hours later or the next day that they were seriously injured. Call for professional help and let paramedics confirm that you are indeed okay. Besides, after an accident happens, 911 responders often record basic information that can come in handy when you make your claim.
- Obtain the Relevant Information
Make sure you get the driver’s information. Write down their license plate number and insurance information. If anyone witnessed the accident, also make sure you obtain their contact info, and if the police are around, encourage them to give their version of the incident to the police.
Take photos of your bike, your injuries, and the accident scene. If possible, write down what you remember up to the time of the accident. These details will come in handy when you decide to seek compensation and will enable you to ensure your statement remains consistent throughout.
- Give Your Version of the Accident and Request for an Accident Report
When a bicycle accident happens, most responding officers tend to only take the driver’s statement. You have the right to share your version of the story so make sure you exercise it. Ensure you mention all your injuries and stay consistent with what you wrote down above. Also note, police officers, do not always have to write a report.
They are only required to write one if there’s death, serious injuries, or when there’s more than $1500 in damage. So if you are not seriously injured, the officer might downplay the accident report. They may not even realize that your bike was worth more than $1500. Fortunately, it’s your right to request an accident report. So make sure you ask the officer to write one, as this will be incredibly important to your claim.
- Don’t Communicate with Insurers
After a bicycle accident, chances are the at-fault driver’s insurance company will probably try to contact you. This might seem like a good thing, but it’s not. Their insurer might attempt to settle before anything else because it’s cheaper for them. If you accept their offer, they may make you sign a waiver preventing you from making any more claims in the future.
If their offer doesn’t work on you, they may use anything you say against you, or you may innocently admit liability. To sum it up, avoid speaking to the insurance company at all costs. Consult an attorney before you do, so they may guide you on the right steps.
Let a Professional Attorney Help
Although bicycle accidents are pretty common, they tend to be downplayed. For instance, most people know what to do after a car accident, but very few have an idea of what to do after a bicycle accident.