Individuals who ride bicycles for leisure or transportation need to be aware and prepared for being in an accident. Cyclists are no match for vehicles. This is why some accidents involving bicycles result in serious injuries or death. Even if a person is coherent after an accident, they might have injuries that they cannot yet feel due to being "shaken up" by the scary situation. It is also possible that these incidents can cause mental trauma. When these accidents occur due to driver negligence, victims may be entitled to compensation. The following points will help guide you on what to do if you or a loved one gets injured while riding a bicycle.
Contact the Police
Sometimes the drivers involved in these accidents do not want to get the police involved if victims are coherent and do not appear injured. They may make offers such as replacing the bike and paying the victims themselves. These offers should not be accepted. Police are needed to properly document the accident. This is important if a future lawsuit takes place. It also ensures that victims have the information they need to seek compensation for medical bills.
Do Not Discuss the Accident
Bystanders or the driver may want to engage in conversation. It is best to wait on the police and only discuss the accident with them. The words that you convey might be used against you in future court proceedings. Never admit any type of fault. Never make statements that indicate you feel ok.
If you are incapacitated or seriously injured, you will not be able to do this. However, if you can stand and move around reasonably safe, photos can capture relevant things such as the extent of property damage, accident location, and how the area looked on that day.
If the officer does not voluntarily provide their contact information, ask for it. It should be on the police report, but do not take a chance. If witnesses are willing to speak to you when the police are present, ask for their contact information.
Seek Medical Attention
It is important to get medical attention. This is the best way to document injuries. Some individuals with concussions may initially appear uninjured. There are other hidden injuries such as broken ribs that might be present too.
A personal injury lawyer is a resource to use to determine if a settlement offer is fair. They can also negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If an agreement with the insurance company cannot be reached, a lawyer can petition the court for a civil proceeding.