Bike accidents can result in some of the most severe and catastrophic injuries, especially for bicyclists. The number of bicycle deaths has increased by nearly 40% over the past decade, and the majority of these accidents are caused by the negligence of vehicle drivers. Most experts believe that distracted driving is one of the major contributors to the recent rise in bicyclist fatalities.
Now more than ever, bicyclists need to be aware of their surroundings, and they need to be on the lookout for careless motorists. It is also wise to be prepared and know what to do If you are ever involved in a bicycle accident. Here are some of the most important steps to take in case this happens to you:
- Carry Essential Information with You When You Ride
When you go out riding, it is always a good idea to have some essential items with you that will come in handy if you get into a bicycle accident. Carry some type of personal identification (such as a driver’s license or state identification card), your cell phone, health insurance information, and a phone number of someone who to contact in the case of an emergency.
- Call 911 Immediately After a Bike Accident
After you get your bearings, the first call you should make is to 911. The top priority after any type of traffic-related accident is to ensure that anyone who is hurt gets prompt medical attention. If you are unable to do this yourself, ask someone nearby to make the call for you.
- Move Out of the Way of Traffic
After the crash, do your best to get yourself and your bicycle off the road and out of the flow of traffic.
- Wait for the Police to Arrive
The police should be called to any traffic accident that involves injuries, and the 911 operator should summon the police for you. Even if your injuries are minor and/or there is minimal damage to your bike, do not leave the scene of the accident. Wait for the police to arrive, tell them what you know about the accident, and wait until the police say it is okay for you to leave.
- Take Photos of the Bike, Accident Scene, and Your Injury
If you are injured in any type of traffic accident, it is best to obtain as much documentation as possible. The police will produce an official report, which will be relied upon heavily during any subsequent legal claim. But it is also a good idea for you to gather visual evidence at the scene. If you are able, take multiple photos of the accident scene, your bicycle, any other vehicles involved, and your injury. Again, if you are unable, ask someone nearby to take these photos for you.
- Obtain Statements from Witnesses
If there are any eyewitnesses who are willing to attest to what happened, obtain statements from them while everything is fresh in their minds. In many instances, a witness might be willing to record a statement using the audio or video recorder on your smartphone. This is another key piece of evidence that could be used later in an accident injury claim.
- Be Careful What You Say After the Accident
When you are talking to others who were involved in the accident, be very cautious what you say. Be courteous, but never apologize or admit any fault for what happened – leave that for the experts to sort out.
It is also a good idea not to discuss your accident on social media or in any other digital format. Insurance companies are known to twist peoples’ words around and use things they post online against them. Whenever you are involved in any type of personal injury case, it is best to take a break from social media entirely until the case is concluded.
- Do Not Make a Statement to the Insurance Company Until You Have Talked to an Attorney
Soon after the accident, an insurance company representative will most likely contact you to discuss what happened and try to get you to provide an official statement. But a statement like this will only be used to diminished value of your claim and/or deny it altogether. It is best not to talk to the insurance company at all until after you have already spoken with an attorney about your case.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident in Georgia? Contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. for Assistance
If you or someone close to you got hurt in a bike accident in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. for the experienced legal help you need. To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys, message us online or call our office today at 678-981-5370. We look forward to serving you!