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What to do if you are in a bicycle accident

 


At the accident scene:

  • Call the police to take an accident report even if you think you are uninjured.  An injury can reveal itself several hours after an accident, and seemingly minor injuries can develop into serious problems.
  • Do not discuss the accident with the vehicle driver – wait for the police.  Drivers often initially apologize guilty only to decide to deny fault by the time the police arrive.  Let the driver “unburden” him or herself in an admission to the police. 
  • Make sure that the police take a statement of facts from you including a report of injuries – however minor. 
  • Obtain all driver and witness information including name, address and phone.  Also obtain the drivers insurance information, license plate number, driver license number and registration (to determine the owner of the vehicle).  The police report may not contain all of this information.  [Link to form again, same text]

 

After the accident:

  • It is often a good idea to make a few notes on the details of your accident such as date, time, location and road, weather and traffic conditions.  It is surprising how quickly memory fades and a brief note on the facts of the accident often proves helpful. 
  • Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, even if you feel that they are not serious.  It will be helpful to have medical documentation should your injuries worsen.  Take photographs of any visible injuries. 
  • However, it is essential to understand that any writings you create – whether on paper or electronic format can and will be requested from you should you have to file a lawsuit to resolve your injury claim.  This includes any social media such as Facebook or Twitter.  Do not produce anything that you do not wish to see later in a court of law!
  • Preserve any evidence.  Take photographs of any damaged equipment and of your bicycle.  Do not repair your bicycle or have estimates taken until you have spoken to an attorney. 
  • Seek advice from an attorney prior to contacting or taking calls from the driver’s insurance.  Their job is to try and deny fault if they can, and they will seek a statement from you for these purposes.  There are unique vehicle statutes and insurance regulations which apply only to bicycles.  Avoid possible legal pitfalls by speaking to an attorney first.

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