5 Steps to Take After a Bike Accident
As the weather starts warming up, lots of people will be getting their bikes out of storage and going for a ride. For thousands of people around the country, riding a bike is more than just fun or exercise, it’s their preferred method of transportation as long when the weather is nice. But many drivers have a hard time sharing the road with bicyclists and as spring and summer come around, the number of people injured in bike accidents starts to go up. If you’re injured in a bike accident, here’s what you need to do:
Report the Accident
Suddenly being involved in an accident can be a very scary, overwhelming experience. One of the best things you can do is call the police and have them come to the scene so you can make a police report. If you think you’ll be filing a lawsuit over your accident, a police report will be a very important part of your case. The officer should record each party’s version of how the accident happened, talk to witnesses, and make notes about the conditions at the scene of the accident. If it’s clear that the driver did something wrong, they may issue the driver a ticket.
Even if you don’t immediately think you’ll be filing a lawsuit, still make a report. Sometimes injuries aren’t immediately noticeable, so you may change your mind later on.
Get the Driver’s Information
Before you leave the scene of the accident, make sure you get information like the driver’s name, license plate number, insurance details, and contact information. It’s very important to get information about the driver’s auto insurance policy because injuries from bicycle accidents are often dealt with by making a claim through the driver’s insurance.
As you talk to the driver, be careful about what you say. Don’t apologize or say anything that might even be remotely seen as admitting fault. Even though we’re taught that it’s good manners to apologize after an accident, this is one situation where you should not apologize because it could be used against you later on.
Take Notes and Pictures
Since accidents can be so overwhelming to deal with, it’s best to try and document your experience as much as possible as it happens. The more time passes, the more likely it becomes that you will forget details or get facts mixed up. Write down your version of events as soon as possible, take pictures of the accident scene and of your injuries, keep a list of all the doctor visits you need, and record how you feel each day after the accident. If you’re in contact with a lawyer or insurance company representing the driver, keep a record of who you spoke to and what was said.
Basically, if it’s related to your accident or about how the accident has impacted your life, write it down. Don’t worry about being too detailed. It’s important to document as much information related to your accident as you can.
Seek Medical Treatment
If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, of course you should get medical attention immediately Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, it’s still smart to get yourself checked out by a doctor right away to be sure. In many cases, injuries take some time to show and the longer you wait to get medical treatment, it can be harder to prove the accident was definitely responsible for your injury.
Talk to a Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer can be very helpful in helping you handle the aftermath of a bicycle accident. Dealing with insurance companies can be very difficult and they will often try to get out of paying you the benefits you’re entitled to. Bike accidents in Michigan can also be unique since Michigan is a no-fault state. Michigan no-fault law does cover bicyclists injured in accidents with cars and a lawyer can help you handle making a claim for no-fault benefits.