While riding your bicycle can be a great way to relax and get exercise, it can also present many hazards once you get on the road and around motor vehicles. Unfortunately, even if you are careful while riding your bike, many motorists do not respect the rights of bicyclists. As a result, serious accidents take place each day across the nation, with many cyclists suffering devastating injuries. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, here are four things you should do immediately.
Report the Accident to Police
Once your bicycle accident takes place, always call police to the scene of your accident, and make sure you stick around to speak with them. If you or others suffered injuries or if property was damaged due to the accident, you are legally required to stay at the scene until police arrive. Once they do, be sure to tell them of any injuries you suffered, what led to the accident, and make sure they speak to anyone who may have witnessed the crash.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you do not think you may be seriously injured, always choose to seek medical treatment immediately following your accident. Since traumatic brain injuries and injuries to your back or neck may not display symptoms until hours following your accident, don’t take any chances. Instead, let medics treat you at the accident scene, and either allow yourself to be transported to a hospital or visit your family doctor within 24 hours of your accident.
Don’t Admit Fault for the Accident
In many situations where bicyclists are involved in accidents with motor vehicles, many people are always quick to assume the bicyclist was at fault for the accident. However, even if you think it is possible you may have been somewhat responsible for what happened, don’t admit fault for the accident while at the scene. For example, when speaking to police, the driver of the vehicle, or anyone who may have witnessed the crash, do not under any circumstances say such things as “I’m sorry” or “I’m okay.” If you do, police and others will not only take this to mean you not only have admitted fault for the accident, but have also admitted you were uninjured or suffered only minor injuries.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
Perhaps the most important step you can take after suffering a bicycle accident, you should always hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury and handles bicycle accidents on a regular basis. As to why this is so important, there are many reasons. To start, most personal injury cases of this nature are settled out of court, rather than going to trial. Thus, you will need a lawyer who can advise you of your rights, make sure you don’t prematurely accept the first offer from the insurance company, and negotiate a settlement that gives you the compensation needed for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Though you may have a long road to recovery ahead if you suffered broken bones or other serious injuries after your bicycle accident, having an experienced attorney protecting your rights each step of the way can make a tremendous difference. By keeping these tips in mind and following your lawyer’s advice, you can emerge from your ordeal with a fair and equitable settlement.