What to do after a bicycle accident
Last week, we discussed the importance of taking photos at the scene of a car accident, but it can be just as important in other types of accidents as well. When documenting a bicycle accident, for example, you may need to consider some additional factors.
If a car hits you while on your bicycle, remember the following:
Move to safety
This step should take priority in all accidents, but it’s especially important for cyclists and pedestrians to move to safety to avoid additional harm.
Ask for help from bystanders
In a bicycle accident, you likely will have injuries that need immediate attention. Because you need to focus on those injuries, you might not have the ability to take notes or photos. If you have a friend with you, ask him or her to take photos of the scene and your injuries. Also ask that person to gather insurance and contact information from the other parties involved.
If you don’t have a friend with you, enlist the help of a bystander. Make sure you have that person’s complete contact information so you can retrieve the details he or she gathers later.
Call the police
We recommend calling police to the scene of any accident, but it’s especially important in a car/bicycle or car/pedestrian accident. A police officer can help record the facts of the event.
We know too many cyclists who feel pride or embarrassment in the midst of an accident. You don’t have to be a tough guy or gal: Call for help. Even if you feel fine, it’s best to have someone assist you at the scene and offer first aid.
Keep any related evidence
After an accident, you might be tempted to throw away damaged clothing or your bicycle to try to forget the incident and move on. Resist that urge. Those items could become important evidence if insurance disputes your coverage or if the case goes to court.
Note any obvious injuries at the scene, such as breaks or scrapes. In addition, take note of less obvious symptoms that can occur in the days and weeks after the accident, including back and neck pain, headaches, dizziness, confusion and more. These symptoms could mean you have a head injury, and immediate treatment can make a big difference in how well you heal. Learn more about head injury symptoms.
If you plan to head out on the trails this summer, prepare for any emergencies that might occur while on your bicycle:
- Equip your bike with a basic first aid kit
- Take your bike to a shop for a tune-up to prevent mechanical failures while on the road
- If you plan to ride at dawn, dusk or night, add lights and reflectors to your bike and wear reflective and/or bright clothing
- Keep your phone with you on rides so you can easily call for help
- Tell a friend or family member where you plan to ride and when to expect you home
- Learn and follow all bicycle safety rules, including hand turn signals
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact us for a free case evaluation. A driver’s car insurance should cover you, and you deserve immediate and quality medical care for your bicycle-related injuries.