5 Helpful Tips for Bicycle Accident Victims
If you’re ever involved in an accident on a bicycle, you’ll be understandably shaken up. You could also be distracted by pain if you’ve been injured during the collision. In other words, you might not have your wits about you. But if you want any hope of receiving reparations from the responsible party, there are a few details you’ll need to attend to in the wake of your accident. For one thing, you need to know who hit you, who is responsible for the accident (if not the person you actually collided with), and how to contact them. Plus, you need to know how to contact witnesses. And of course, you must recount the accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible. However, it can be difficult to remember all the things you’re supposed to do when you’ve just been in an accident, especially if you’re hurt. So here’s the order in which you should accomplish tasks. If you can remember to do just the first two, the rest will fall into place.
1. Call 911.
This is paramount. Whether you think you’ve been injured or not, you need to file an accident report with the police and get checked out by an EMT. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one thing, you could have trauma and not even realize it thanks to the adrenaline pumping through your body. So you need to be assessed by a medical professional. In addition, speaking to authorities immediately after the accident could be important for your insurance claim. An accident report that lists the other party as being at fault can help to make it easier to see a timely payment on your claim. And the other person’s insurance provider will almost certainly expect a medical report from the time of the accident, especially if you end up claiming injuries.
2. Call a family member or friend.
Because you will be understandably out of sorts following a cycling accident, it’s important to have a clear-headed ally to make sure you get all of your ducks in a row. By calling a family member or friend to meet you at the scene of the accident, you’ll ensure that at least one person is looking out for your best interests and gathering needed information.
3. Stay still.
If you come out of a bicycle accident unscathed, it’s virtually a miracle. Chances are you’ll sustain some kind of injury, even if you don’t realize it at the time. So stay as still as possible until medical professionals arrive to check you out.
4. Collect contact information and take photos.
Right after the accident happens, you might not have the presence of mind to jot down contact and insurance information for the other people involved, as well as any bystanders that witnessed the accident. But it’s important to get this information before people leave the scene. Just in case you end up involved in court proceedings, you should also take photos to give to your insurance provider. If you need to be taken from the scene by ambulance, ask a friend or even a sympathetic witness to gather this information. Police may also take information and photos for their report, which you should be able to get a copy of after the fact if all else fails.
5. Follow professional recommendations.
If the EMT recommends that you go to the hospital, for goodness sake go. They may recommend that you go for liability reasons, but the truth is that you might need a medical report. If you start to feel neck or back pain after the fact, for example, you’ll have an easier time convincing the insurer paying out the claim that it was related to the accident if you go to the ER as soon as possible.
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