One fine day you are riding your bike to the nearest store to buy some groceries. You are riding along the road, minding your own business. And suddenly bang, something hits you bad. You open your eyes and find yourself lying on the tarmac. You are in a state of complete shock and disoriented.
Your body has dumped adrenaline into the bloodstream while it masks the pain of injuries. In such conditions, most of us tend to admit liability and ensure everyone that we are okay when in reality, we are not. So take a moment, sit down to override the flight and fight response of the body. Once you feel back to your senses, then you can do the aftermath of the accident.
While riding the bike, safety should be paramount. However, no matter how precautious you are, the odds can be against you. There are several reasons for a bike accident. Perhaps over-speeding or bring under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, while sometimes, you may take all the possible precautions yet face an accident.
So god forbid, if you are stuck in such a situation, always consult a bicycle accident attorney and seek advice. For further guidance on what to do after a bicycle accident, here we are with a checklist:
1. Look for your own and others safety:
Bicycle accidents rarely cause any casualties. But soon after the accident, protect yourself from any further harm and get off the road. Lightheadedness and dizziness are normal feelings, so don’t worry about that. Just ask for assistance and sit somewhere safe until you feel better. Ensure that the other party is also secure; if not, then call an ambulance immediately. Once you have done that, the next step is to make the accident site safe for others. If your bike is lying in the middle of the road, then park it on the pavement.
2. Call the police:
After the accident, it’s the legal obligation of you and the other party to stay on the accident site until the police arrive. The presence of police is essential to file a report for any injury or property damage. You may think that you are not injured, but some injuries become obvious later or cause permanent damage for a lifetime. It isn’t easy later to find the at-fault driver in such a condition if you don’t report it. Also, don’t try to negotiate on your own. Some drivers accept their mistake to deny later. Hence, always wait for the arrival of the police.
3. Ensure documentation of the incident:
Sometimes, the police officers are more interested in the statement of the motorist than of the cyclist. So do everything you can and make sure that the police adds your side of the story. Give a detailed report of whatever happened, and don’t forget to report your injuries as well. However, those injuries may seem minor but remember that they can turn into something serious. Hence, if you cannot document your report, you can always give your statement later.
4. Preserve the evidence and get witnesses:
While everyone is waiting for the police to come, you can take pictures of the accident site until then. Don’t touch your bike or any other stuff, and take as many pictures as possible. Try different angles so that you can cover a larger area. Another tip is not to touch the bike or attempt to fix it. Don’t change your clothes with cleaner ones. Don’t give your helmet or any other stuff to anyone other than your attorney. All of this is precious evidence that needs preservation. You should take the names and contact details of the eye witness of the accident. It will help you later if, unfortunately, the case goes to court.
5. Seek advice from your attorney:
Some accidents between cars and bikes get severe and become a complex legal issue. In that case, you may want the advice of a legal attorney who has experience in dealing with bike accidents cases. The insurance companies can use anything to turn the case against you. So your attorney can guide you on what you should do. They can quickly negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and represent you in the lawsuit.
A take-home message:
Always remember that you have the same rights as a motorist has. Hence motorists should always respect the rights of a bicyclist. They should give them equal space on the road so that they can drive safely. In addition to that, always take appropriate steps and ensure the rights are well protected.