It can always be frightening when you’re riding a bike and you get into an accident involving a car or truck. It’s a good thing that most bike accidents don’t actually involve vehicles, but if you’re riding your bike when an accident with one does happen, then it’s crucial that you keep your cool afterward. Asheville, NC bike injury lawyer Lakota R. Denton talks below about certain things you should do after a bike accident.
The things you do, or don’t do, immediately following an accident can go a long way in determining how well you fare after the fact. This is in regards to the potential outcome of lawsuits triggered by the accident, as well as how much you might recover for your bodily injury and physical damage to your bike. Keep reading to learn what to do after a bike accident.
First of all, get off the road – You need to do this in order to stay safe out of traffic and keep away from suffering more injury or damage. If anyone needs medical attention, that takes priority over all else. Call an ambulance if one is necessary.
Second, call the police – You need them to make and then file a police report. Do this even if you don’t think you’re injured because some injuries might not reveal themselves until hours later. Also, an injury that seems minor at the time might turn into something more serious or even permanent later.
Third, make sure the at-fault driver stays at the scene until the police arrive – While you’re waiting, refuse any attempts at negotiation with them. A lot of drivers might say they’re sorry right away and even accept blame, but then they might later deny that they were negligent. Some will even lie and say they weren’t there. Let local law enforcement handle documenting everything in the accident report. Also, if they wind up ticketing the driver, that helps you settle with their insurance company.
Make sure that the accident report has your version of events in it. Report every injury you have, regardless of how minor they seem. There will be times that a police officer might take a statement from the driver but not you as the cyclist. If the officer on the scene doesn’t put your statement into their accident report, go to the station later to have your statement included in an amended report.
Gather up contact information of both the driver and witnesses. For the driver, get their name, their phone number, their address, their license plate, their driver’s license number, and their insurance information Never assume that the police officers that show up are going to get all this for their report. Even if they do, it might not get included. If you’re injured to the point of being unable to collect this information yourself, have a bystander do it.
Document everything that happened on your own while it’s still fresh in your mind – Do this on top of the police report. Write it all down when you get home, or even record yourself talking about it at the scene with your smartphone. Keep medical records for any care you sought following the accident. Journal any physical symptoms you have in the following days, and if possible take photos at the accident scene. Also, make sure you preserve the evidence. Don’t wash the clothes you were wearing, don’t repair your bike, and don’t even send your bike helmet or the bike itself to any part aside from your own lawyer.
Even if the driver’s insurance company reaches out to you with a settlement offer, do not communicate with them without your own professional counsel who can protect your rights and get the most for you. Finally, do what you can to learn from the accident. Even if it wasn’t your fault, you might be able to learn how to ride safer later.
Being involved in an Asheville pedestrian or bike accident is a terrifying experience, and the results can be catastrophic. You will likely require a significant amount of medical attention if you’re hit by a car while walking or riding, and the severity of your injuries can affect your life in many ways. Contact Asheville personal injury lawyer Lakota Denton for a free case consultation.