In 2013, approximately 48,000 cyclists suffer injuries or are killed in road accidents involving motor vehicles. 743 of those were adults that died in accidents involving bicycles while more than 3,100 were seriously injured.
Bicycle accidents have risen over the past few years as cycling becomes a more popular form of exercise among adults. It is important to know what steps to take if you are injured in a cycling accident in order to preserve your rights.
The first thing to do if you are injured in a cycling accident is to seek medical and contact the local police and wait for them to arrive on the scene. This is critical even if you don’t believe you are injured or think your injuries are not severe enough to report.
A minor injury can develop into a more serious one hours or even days later. If you leave the scene without speaking to the police, you may not be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver. If the other driver attempts to negotiate, ask them to wait until the police arrive.
Drivers have been known to apologize and accept blame only to deny they did so when the police are present. In addition, the police may issue a ticket to the driver which may aid you in filing a claim with the insurance company.
Be sure that the police include your version of the events in the police report. In some cases, police talk to the motorist and don’t speak to the person on the bicycle. Be sure that the police interview you and document any injuries you suffered, even if they are very minor.
If the police refuse to take your statement, contact the police department later to request an amendment to the report that will include your version of the events. If the victim is your child, insist that the child be interviewed in your presence and also that the police include what you or other adults saw happen when the accident occurred.
You will need to gather the names of witnesses and how to contact them. If you can, request the driver’s full name, address and phone number of anyone, especially adults, who witnessed what happened.
In addition, be sure to obtain the vehicle driver’s name, address, phone number, license number, car license plate number and insurance information. Although it should, it is possible that a police report will not include all of this information.
As soon as possible, create a written documentation of what happened. Include where the accident happened, what time it occurred and specific conditions such as weather, road condition and other traffic in the area. As you remember other details, add them to your written documentation in order to preserve them for use later.
Even if your injuries are minor, seek medical attention. This will provide you with documentation that you were injured and were seen by a medical professional. Because medical professionals must document all treatment, you will have written records of the injuries you sustained.
Take photos of your injuries as soon after the accident as possible. Keep a journal of your injuries for a few days after the accident as well, noting if any injury worsened.
If you or a loved one has been injured in cycling accident, or if a loved one has died of injuries sustained in a cycling accident, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have. Complete the easy query form online to arrange for a consultation regarding a possible personal injury or wrongful death claim.