Having a run in with a motor vehicle while on your bicycle can be a scary experience for anyone. It’s often emotionally damaging as well as physically harmful. There were approximately 48,000 bicycle injuries in 2013. Of those involved, 743 were killed. It is important to know the risk involved when riding a bicycle before hitting the road, but in the event that you are in a bicycle/motor vehicle accident, this is what you should do.
- Stay calm – The first reaction for a lot of people just after an accident occurs is relief that you weren’t killed. Don’t let this “happy to be alive” thing cloud your mind.
- Call the police – No matter how small the accident itself may seem, call the police. A police report can be very beneficial later on.
- Gather information – After calling the police, make sure to take down the information of the person driving the car. Get their license plate, insurance, address, phone number, etc. just like you would in a car to car collision. If possible, take photos of the vehicle, license plate and insurance information.
- Do not admit fault – People often feel the need to apologize when something bad happens regardless of whether or not it was their fault. Fight this urge with everything you’ve got. As soon as you admit to being at fault, whether it’s true or not, you’ve given up some future ground.
- Do not understate your injuries – There is no reason to try and look tough. Do not feel like you have to downplay your injuries to make another person feel better. Like admitting fault, playing down your injuries will give insurance companies and lawyers wiggle room to work with.
- Go to the doctor – Again, don’t downplay your injuries, not even to yourself. Even if you think you feel fine, go to a doctor to make sure there are no underlying problems you are missing. It really is better to be safe than sorry. Some injuries may not produce noticeable symptoms.
- Take your bike to a shop – After everything else is said and done, take your bike to a bike shop to have the damage fully assessed. Like you, the bike may have some underlying issues that could possibly cause another incident in the future. If there are hairline cracks in the frame for example, continued use may cause the bike to fall apart from under you next time you’re coasting downhill.
Bicycle and car accidents are extremely dangerous, even beyond the initial incident. Even if you seem to be fine after the initial collision there is a good chance that issues caused in the first crash could become much more serious if other injuries occur.
Dudek Law Firm– San Diego Injury Attorney