What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Traffic accidents are jarring. It’s easy to get overwhelmed after an accident and be unsure about what you should do next, especially if you are dealing with an injury. Below, we offer a few tips on the first steps you should take immediately after a bike accident. If you’ve been hurt in a southern California bike accident, call a dedicated Calabasas bike injury attorney for advice and representation.
Get to a Safe Location
If you are physically able to move, it’s important to get out of the middle of the street after an accident. Get to the shoulder or side of the road or, if possible, get off the street entirely.
Get to a Doctor
As soon as you can after your accident, go to a doctor’s office, hospital, or urgent care clinic, depending upon the extent of your injuries. If you are severely hurt, call 911 or otherwise accept emergency care–let the ambulance take you to the hospital and do whatever the paramedics say.
Even if you are not critically injured, however, it’s important to get medical attention as soon as possible after an accident. You could have hidden injuries that can easily become worse if left untreated, such as concussion, internal bleeding, or organ damage. Moreover, if you wait too long to see a doctor, you are giving insurance companies and defense attorneys the chance to argue that whatever injuries you do discover were incurred in some later incident. The sooner you see a doctor after your accident, the stronger your legal claims will be.
Report the Accident and Wait for the Police
Accidents in which someone was injured must be reported to the proper authorities. If you were riding your bike and you were hit by a car, the accident must be reported. It behooves you to make sure the accident is reported to the police and wait for the police to arrive to conduct their investigation (assuming you do not need emergency medical care at the hospital).
Even if you’re not sure whether you were injured, it’s worth waiting for the cops–you may need to bring a legal claim down the line, and the police report will be a key piece of evidence. The police will also have the identity of the motorist that hit you. Make sure that you provide a statement of what happened and that your statement gets into the report. If they do not take your statement at the time of the accident, you might be able to contact the station and have your statement added later. You’ll want to get a copy of the report as well.
Get the Driver’s Information
Drivers are required to stop at the scene and exchange information with other parties after an accident involving injury or property damage. If you were hit by a car while riding your bike, the driver has to assume you may have been hurt and must stop. Exchange information with the driver including name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, make and model of their vehicle, and their insurance information.
If you are physically capable of doing so without aggravating any injuries, start collecting information about the accident. Take pictures with your phone of the vehicles involved, your injuries, and the surrounding area (street signs, stoplights, weather conditions, etc.). If there were any witnesses, get their contact information. At the scene of the accident, you do not need to conduct a full investigation; taking photos, collecting witness contact info, and marking key details for yourself are enough. If you do too much, it could undermine your injury claims.
Keep copies of any documents generated in connection with your accident, including police reports, medical bills, medical records, communications with your employer about missed work, letters from insurance companies, etc.
Call a Bike Accident Lawyer
After your bike accident, you will need to field negotiations and communications with a number of parties–your insurance company, the at-fault driver’s insurance company, the driver’s lawyer, etc. Handling any of these communications in the wrong way, waiting too long to pursue a claim, or making other legal or administrative mistakes can significantly undermine the value of your claim. You might not be able to get coverage for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damage. The sooner you get a bike injury lawyer on your side, the better. Injured accident victims who retain an attorney get paid more and get paid faster than people who try to go it alone.
Call Now for Experienced and Dedicated Representation from a Seasoned Southern California Bike Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a bike accident in Southern California, the experienced and effective personal injury legal team at the Halpern Law Firm is here to help. We fight to get you the compensation you and your family deserve. Call us at 818-785-5999 today for a Free No-Risk Confidential Consultation. These cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t be charged any attorney’s fees unless we win.