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Do you know what to do after a bike accident? Cycling for transportation or exercise should be a safe activity. There are rules for drivers and cyclists to follow. So long as everyone obeys the rules, there should be plenty of space on Virginia's roads for cars and bicycles. However, it only takes one distracted or reckless driver to turn a pleasant cycle through town into a nightmare.
5 Steps To Take After a Bike Accident
Richmond, Virginia, has some beautiful bike lanes to explore if you like to cycle around the city and nature. Bicycling around the city is terrific exercise and an economical and environmentally friendly way to travel.
However, you run the risk of a motor vehicle causing a bicycle accident whenever you cycle around traffic. A bike crash can result in minor injuries, such as falling off your bike and sustaining a few scratches, but it can also be life-threatening.
If you cycle regularly, you have probably acknowledged the risk of a bicycle crash. Bike riders should always remain alert and wear a protective helmet to minimize your risk of injury. However, precautions can only take you so far. Here is what to do after a bike accident with an at-fault driver.
1. Wait for the Police Officers and Get a Police Report
Your health and safety always come first. If you are seriously injured, seek immediate medical attention. However, if your injuries do not require prompt attention, it is best to wait for the police to arrive.
Once the police arrive on the scene, tell them your version of the event that led to the accident. Filing a police report is important for several reasons, including the following:
- It will document evidence about the accident.
- The insurance company may request a copy of the police report if you file any insurance claims.
- You will need the police report if you file a legal claim for property damage or personal injury.
2. Collect Driver Information (License Plate)
It is best if the other driver can stay until the police arrive. This can help the police to create a more robust police report. However, sometimes the at-fault driver cannot or will not stay. If the driver is unwilling to wait for the officer, you should gather as much information as possible about them and their vehicle.
Some information that may be helpful to note includes:
- The driver's full name
- The driver's insurance information
- The make and model of the driver's car
- The driver's license plate
- Pictures from different angles showing where the bicycle crash occurred, where the car and the bicycle stopped, any property damage, and any other relevant details.
Use your mobile phone to take pictures or record videos. In the case of pictures and videos of the accident scene, more is usually better than less.
3. Collect Information From Witnesses at Bike Crash Accident Scene
If you are lucky, someone witnessed your accident. Find out who saw the accident or other important details, such as reckless driving. Write down the witnesses' names and contact information.
This information could become crucial if you decide to file a legal claim.
Once you have gathered the witness information, look around and note shops that may have captured the accident on CCTV cameras. Once you have finished at the accident scene, you can ask to review their footage.
4. Don't Negotiate With At-Fault Parties or Insurance Companies
An important rule is that you should never attempt to negotiate with any party involved in your bike accident. You should never negotiate with the at-fault party or with an insurance company.
Negotiating with these parties can complicate your case. If anyone attempts to negotiate with you, the best decision is to contact a personal injury attorney experienced in biking accidents. Your lawyer is the only person who should speak with these parties once they attempt to open negotiations.
This is a purely practical matter. You have no reason to understand what your accident may cost you. Your attorney is in a much better position to objectively analyze the situation and calculate your damages. Your personal injury lawyer should also be skilled in the art of negotiation. Your interests are better protected with your bike crash attorney handling the negotiations on your behalf.
5. Get Medical Treatment From a Medical Professional
It is critical that you receive a thorough physical evaluation from a medical professional. With impact accidents, such as the bike crash you recently endured, it is possible for you to feel completely fine after the accident. However, days, weeks, or months later, an injured person could develop pain or other problems from injuries that went unnoticed in the aftermath of the accident.
When these injuries arise, it is often too late to attribute them to your bike accident. However, a thorough medical checkup, including x-rays, should uncover hairline fractures or other issues that could become problematic later.
Immediate medical attention may be the most important thing you can do immediately following a bicycle accident. If you have suffered hidden injuries, these can cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills later. If you cannot link your injuries to the crash, you may have no option but to pay out of pocket or use your insurance to cover the damages.
Having definitive proof that your injuries are linked to the accident can save you significant money and hassles. This is especially true if you opt to file a bicycle accident lawsuit.
Get Legal Advice From an Experienced Attorney for Claims
Dealing with injuries, police reports, property damage, and your recovery is a lot of responsibility. If you have been hit by a negligent driver, it is a wise decision to contact an experienced personal injury attorney for advice on what to do after a bike accident.
The legal team at Commonwealth Law Group in Virginia understands how bicycle accidents happen and how to support your needs during this time. Contact us today to discuss the details of your bicycle accident.
If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.