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Choosing to Cycle to Work: What to Do If an Accident Happens

ByDave Stopher

Jan 24, 2019 #cycle, #cycling

Riding a bike to work every day can be a fantastic addition to your daily routine. Not only will you be getting great exercise and time out of doors, but you’ll also be avoiding the hassle of morning traffic (for the most part) and doing your part to minimize your carbon footprint. More and more cities are rethinking how they layout infrastructure to support the choice of biking to work. Of course, bike accidents are frightening, and they do happen. The following will examine the things you need to know in the event of a biking accident.

Seek Medical Attention

First and foremost, if you’ve been in a biking accident, make sure you get proper medical care. Many types of injuries aren’t apparent at first, either due to shock or other factors that delay the onset of pain or difficulty. There are countless types of injuries that can’t be seen from outside the body, and your first priority should be making sure you don’t have them, or they’re treated if you do. If anyone else was involved in the accident, this applies just as much to them as it does you. The first step is always to ensure injuries are dealt with quickly.

When speaking to a healthcare professional, make sure that you describe all of your sensations or experiences, even if they don’t feel related to the collision. Sometimes our bodies work in strange ways, and something you didn’t think to mention might turn out to pose a serious health risk.

Contact An Attorney

One of the best things you can do for yourself after an accident is to reach out to an attorney. You’ll want to find someone that specializes in the particular incident you were in. This is because each area of law is drastically different, and being an expert in one specialty doesn’t qualify a lawyer to help you out with another area of law. Ideally, you want someone with experience in handling accident proceedings for cyclists. You’ll also want an attorney that works in the state where the accident occurred. This is because the law varies from state to state, and even in situations where the written law is the same, the interpretation of the law, and precedents set in the past can vary. 

Take Photographs And Save Anything Related To The Incident

On the scene of the crash, you’re going to want to take photos and videos of everything, if you are able. Try to get both wide shots showing the layout of everything as well as close-ups of all the details. You might need this evidence if legal proceedings take place after the incident. If there was damage to anything like stop signs or trash cans or buildings, be sure to photograph this as well. Beyond the images of the scene, you will also want to hold onto receipts, bills, and medical records related to the incident. Again, this might be needed if lawyers or insurance workers are reviewing the accident.

Minimize Interacting With The Other Parties

After an accident, if other people are involved, you will need to speak to them. You would want to get their insurance and drivers’ license information if they were in a motor vehicle or their contact information if they were walking or biking as well. Beyond this, you don’t want to speak too much to the other person if you can help it. This is because, after a collision, people are highly volatile—this is human nature—and it can be easy to say the wrong thing at the height of your emotion. Anything that you say could end up being used against you in court or insurance dealings if things go that direction.

Stay Off Social Media

When we’ve been hurt or scared, it’s easy to turn to the internet to vent out frustrations. After an accident, this is never a good idea. Our social media posts can be accessed by lawyers, judges, insurance companies, and law enforcement and be used in legal proceedings. Even something simple like posting a picture of your dog can imply that you were not as hurt as you claim to be. It’s best to stay off social media completely until everything has been settled unless otherwise instructed by your attorney.

The above information should be able to guide you in the event that you get involved in an accident while biking to work. Of course, every collision and every street layout is a little different. For the most accurate information possible about your particular situation and your options moving forward, always reach out to an experienced lawyer.

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