For motorists and cyclists, collisions are both frightening and confusing. Many people are unsure of what steps to take next.
While there are many “right” answers, there is an easy, step-by-step method of reporting your bicycle crash.
What Should I do After a Bicycle Collision?
1. Remain at the scene of the accident
This is arguably one of the most important steps to take following your bicycle accident.
Fleeing the scene of your crash may lead to charges for leaving the scene of the accident (hit and run), even if you are on a bicycle.
Therefore, it’s important that you remain at the scene.
In addition, remaining at the scene of your accident allows law enforcement to accurately record the events that led up to your collision.
These police records are important when identifying liability and making insurance claims on damages.
You are relying on the accuracy of these reports, and therefore, it’s up to you to ensure you’re still on the scene.
2. Check yourself and others for injuries
When you’re in a bicycle accident, it’s important to make sure you’re okay.
Check yourself for any superficial injuries, and take a mental note of any areas that are bothersome.
Taking a mental inventory of your injuries will allow you to assess whether or not you need to seek immediate medical care.
In addition to caring for yourself, check with the other party or parties involved in the collision.
If there are other injuries that will need medical attention, you will need to mention it when you call the police.
3. Call the police
Once you have assessed that there are no serious injuries, call the police.
You will need to file an accident report, regardless of the injuries or the damages.
In addition, contacting the police post-accident will allow them to send medical care, which can be critical to an injured cyclist.
When the police are dispatched to the scene of your incident, they will also dispatch an ambulance to assess your injuries.
This is critical, as these emergency responders will be able to identify symptoms of concussion or internal injuries that may require additional medical attention.
4. Exchange information
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, you should exchange basic information with the additional party or parties involved in the collision.
Providing names and whether or not you each have insurances is useful in determining how the party at fault will cover the damages.
Sometimes, you are able to settle damages without reporting it to your insurance company.
If not, having this information will be useful to record in the police report.
Exchanging information ensures that you have what you need in the event that you have to take your case to court.
5. Take pictures
Once you have called the police and exchanged information, snap a few in-focus photographs of all damages.
Taking post-collision photographs as soon as possible provides physical documentation of your damages.
These photographs can help to legitimize your claims for damages, should you need to provide them to your insurance company or attorney.
In addition, these photographs stand against claims that you may have fraudulently applied false damages to your bike post-accident.
In all, taking quality post-accident photographs of all damages ensures that you are not under-compensated for all of the damages that took place in the collision.
6. Inform your insurance company
If you have bicycle insurance, notify the company of your bicycle crash.
Filing an immediate claim will make it easier to collect your insurance, cover your medical costs, and replace your damaged bicycle.
Additionally, your insurance company can work to collect those relevant expenses from the faulty party.
7. Hire an attorney
If you have been injured or have sustained damage in your collision, hire an attorney.
While you may still be able to collect on those damages without taking your case to court, there is still a chance that the faulty party will be unwilling to settle.
In the event that your bicycle accident becomes a legal case, you should provide the police report and all photographs to your attorney.
Any evidence and witnesses that you are able to provide to your attorney will help to build your case before taking it to court.
Becoming involved in a bicycle accident is unsettling, but following these steps can provide you with some comfort in knowing that you’re on track to normal.
Taking care of yourself should be your top priority following an accident, and these steps are designed to help you take care of yourself and your damaged property.