Just about anyone who rides a bicycle winds up crashing it at least once eventually. The main problem for people who ride road bikes is that while more people than ever are beginning to turn to bicycles as more affordable and environmentally responsible forms of transportation, local infrastructure rarely keeps up. As a result, cyclists are left competing with cars and riding on roads that were not designed with their needs and safety in mind. The steps to take following a bike accident vary slightly depending on the cause of the accident, the rider’s condition, and the state of the bike, but there are a few things any injured bicyclist should know.
Dealing With Serious Injuries
Being hurt riding your bike doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the emergency room or a call to a local lawyer, but just as often, it does. Suppose a rider is injured due to another driver’s negligent or reckless actions. In that case, the results can be devastating and the victim deserves to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Bicyclists who were hit by passenger cars should always seek medical care, even if they don’t feel that the accidents were serious.
Immediate Steps to Take
Riders who have been hurt in a bike accident should take steps to protect themselves. In many cases, that means not just caring for injuries but also bolstering the strength of potential insurance claims. Taking these steps immediately following the accident can help:
Step One: Call 911
Accident victims sometimes act irrationally as a result of shock. They may refuse medical treatment or try to move with injuries that require immobilization, but having a plan in place can help injured bicyclists remain calm. That plan should always involve calling 911 and waiting until the authorities arrive to leave the scene.
Step Two: Obtain Other Parties’ Information
When bicycle accidents involve passenger cars, riders who are physically able to move around safely should request drivers’ names, insurance information, license plate numbers, and other relevant facts. In Florida, it’s also possible to request this information after the fact by filling out an Insurance Request Form and mailing it to the relevant authorities. Use this method when injuries are severe enough to preclude walking around the accident scene.
Step Three: Take Photos If Possible
If bicyclists have not suffered severe or immobilizing injuries and have smartphones on them, now is a good time to take photos of the accident. Try to capture both the general scene and small, relevant details. A lawyer may be able to use the photos as evidence of the accident’s cause.
Step Four: Seek Medical Attention
The final immediate step that any bicyclist should take after getting into an accident is to seek medical attention. Even if the EMTs or paramedics sign off on an accident victim leaving the scene without going to the emergency room, it’s best to either visit an urgent care center or primary care doctor the same day. Some injuries don’t show up immediately, but they can still be dangerous or even life-threatening.
Always Seek Legal Counsel
After the dust has settled and riders have gotten the medical care required to be stabilized, they should always hire lawyers. Bicycle accident attorneys can help clients get the just compensation they need and deserve to pay for damages following crashes.