Key things to Remember Legally about a Bicycle Accident
Disclaimer: the material presented in the article below should only be considered as a general overview regarding bicycle accidents. Should you or anyone you know find yourself in a bicycle accident, it’s best that you speak to an attorney immediately. They can help you decide on what the best legal actions are to take.
As a bicycle driver, it’s paramount for you to keep yourself safe when riding on the road. However, no matter how road and safety conscious you are when driving, there are still people who are not. And when getting involved in a crash against other vehicles, the odds are against you. Bicycles are smaller than other types of vehicles and can quickly incur severe damage during a accident. Knowing what to do if you are unfortunately involved in an accident will make a big difference. Consider the following as it may help you claim for compensation and will hopefully aid you in filing a lawsuit.
- Never leave the scene.
You are legally obligated to stay at the scene of the accident, especially if there are people injured or there are damages to property. You should wait for the police to come and make the police report.
- Never fail to remember to have the police take your report.
There are instances that the police will only take the report of the motorist. Thus, you should make sure that the police will interview you when making the police report. This will ensure that your point of view of the accident is written there. Be sure to make that you’ll be honest when talking to the police officer.
- Never antagonize or negotiate with the other driver.
Never argue with the other driver, as you may end up antagonizing him/her. If you anger him/her, he/she may blame you for the accident or may not cooperate with the insurance company.
You should also avoid negotiating with the other driver. There are drivers that will apologize just to gain your trust or sympathy but will deny this later on when authorities arrive. You should wait for your lawyer to give a signal before making a move.
- Never forget to obtain the other driver’s information.
Write down information about the other driver, so you can contact him/her when you need to. You can share your information with him/her, so he/she can contact you as well.
Information of the other driver
His/her name, phone number, and address.
- Other driver’s insurance details
His/her insurance company, insurance policy number, and his/her insurance agent.
- Details of the other driver’s vehicle
The type, make, and license plate of his/her vehicle.
If you are unable to write these down, ask someone if they can write these for you.
- Never forget to write down possible witnesses’ information.
As soon as you can, you should write down the information of every possible witness.
- Information of the witnesses
Their names, phone numbers, and addresses.
- Their view of the accident
Ask them of what they saw at the crash. And ask them if they can give a statement the police, to make things more transparent.
- Never forget to document what happened.
Document everything that you can remember about the accident. Write everything down, and be sure never to leave out any detail.
Take notes of:
- Things that occurred after, during and before the accident
Make sure that you take down notes of everything that has happened. What you were before, during and after the accident.
- Location, date and time of the accident
Write down the time, date and place of the crash. It would also be helpful if you can write down the conditions that may have contributed to the accident. Conditions such as snow or rain, which may have caused the road to become slippery are important to take note of.
- Objects that may have contributed to the accident
Sometimes that the cause of the crash is not the driver; sometimes it’s their surroundings. Take note of conditions of objects such as a broken traffic light or missing road signs.
- Never forego going to the hospital.
Even if you think that you didn’t get injured because of the accident, you should still go to the hospital as soon as you can.
Why you should go to the hospital:
An injury, no matter how small, is still an injury
Most injuries would seem minor at first, but you should see a doctor as soon as possible in case anything progresses. Even if you don’t see any bleeding or feel any fractures, see your doctor to get a professional medical opinion.
- Proof of your injury
Insurance companies won’t compensate you for your injuries if you don’t have proof that your injuries came from the accident.
- Never forget to contact a lawyer.
Never talk to anyone, even your insurance company, without talking to your lawyer first. Your lawyer will guide and help you all throughout the process. He/she will tell you what to do to help you file for compensation and build you a solid case. Make sure to hire an experienced lawyer so that you can be adequately represented. And always be completely honest when you are talking to him/her.
Most of the motorists forget about this most of the time, but as a bicyclist, you have the same rights that they have. But you also need to protect these rights. If you ever find yourself in a bicycle accident, you should always think about what you should legally do. Act in a way that, even if the odds are stacked against you, you can still come out as a winner. Take the necessary steps to make sure that you’re always protected.
Lilly Jordan has been a law writer for more than 20 years, and she hopes to impart legal wisdom to the common reader through her works. She is currently working on a new law piece. A certified “foodie,” Lilly loves to cook for her friends and family. She often tries new dishes whenever she has free time.