Now is an incredibly exciting time to be part of the Minneapolis bicycle community! 30 Days of Biking has kicked into high gear, and National Bike Month is just around the corner.
This means there are more cyclists out now than there have been for months. It also means there is a higher likelihood for accidents involving cyclists and drivers. If you find yourself an unfortunate victim of a bike/car crash, make sure you follow these steps.
8 Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Bicycle Accident
Call 911. Any accident you are in should have a police report. This is true whether you were involved in a minor mishap or a catastrophic crash. This report can become a fundamental piece of any insurance claim or injury lawsuit.
Take pictures and/or video. If you are well enough, and if you have a working cell phone on you, take pictures or video of the scene of the accident. This includes pictures of you, your bike, the car and your surroundings.
Exchange information with the driver of the vehicle. This includes names, contact information, insurance information and the car’s license plate number.
Gather key witness contact information. While you’re gathering information, make sure you do not overlook any witnesses. Get their names, addresses and phone numbers in case you need call on them again in the future.
Seek medical attention. Whether you suffered minor bruising or severe injuries, you should seek immediate medical care. You should then continue with your treatment for as long as you need it, stopping only when your doctor gives you the all clear.
Call your insurance company. You need to report your accident to your insurer quickly, even if you do not think you need to make a claim.
Write down your full account of what happened. The sooner you can sit down and document all of your memories of the accident, the better. Memories fade, especially when it comes to traumatic experiences such as bike accident.
Don’t fix your bike. And don’t do anything with your gear and other clothing. Leave everything that was involved in the accident as-is, as it may become part of evidence if you need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Call a lawyer. If you think you might file an insurance claim for property damage, medical bills and other costs related to your accident, you should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer. No insurance company is truly on your side, and you never know when the driver may change his or her story of what happened. A lawyer can help walk you through the process and protect your interests should you need to pursue a claim.
A Special Note About Hit-and-Run Accidents
At-fault drivers get scared. And we all know that a reaction to fear is to flee. This unfortunately means that many drivers choose to immediately leave the accident scenes.
If you get hurt in a hit-and-run accident, know that you may still have recourse for getting your bike fixed, your medical bills paid, and financial support for other losses you may suffer. Follow as many of the steps above as possible, and ensure you take that last step. Call a lawyer. Skilled legal representation is key to helping you recover after your accident.
Attorney Daniel J. Brazil of The Law Offices of Daniel J. Brazil is an experienced personal injury attorney with offices located in Uptown. He has a passion for the outdoors, especially cycling and climbing. Learn more about Dan and his practice by following him on Twitter (@LawDanielBrazil and #MplsBikeAttorney).