It’s crucial to observe all road safety measures when you’re cycling. However, you have to accept there is still a risk of a cycling accident, such as hitting a pothole, or being knocked off by a vehicle.
Knowing how to handle an accident can help you to protect your rights or those of a fellow cyclist in case you do end up being involved in a bike crash. Without the proper knowledge, you could find yourself liable for the accident. Even worse, you might end up walking away from a crash, not realising that have been injured.
The checklist below can help you maintain control of the situation and guide you through what you should do after a cycling accident:
- Get To Safety First
It’s crucial to clear the road and head to a safer spot as soon as possible. If you’re feeling light-headed, it would be best to find somewhere to sit or lie down. You can then assess your situation to determine the extent of your injuries. If you’re badly injured, call an ambulance. You can also request assistance from people around you if you’re too injured to assist yourself.
- Get The Details Of The Other Party
If you can, note down the registration number, colour, make and model of the vehicle that hit you. After that, ask for the driver’s name, email and postal address, insurance details and mobile number. Try to stay calm and avoid getting into arguments, blaming yourself, or admitting fault as much as possible. The important thing is to sort out the necessary information before you proceed.
- Take Photos
Photos can help record the scene of the accident. You can use your phone to capture pictures of the accident from different angles. If the accident was due to a road defect such as a pothole, you could take photos with an item beside it to show its size and depth. If the accident involved a motorised vehicle, you can also take a picture of the vehicle’s number plate if the driver refuses to exchange details.
If you have a video of the accident, it’s crucial to save it and make sure it doesn’t get overwritten by new footage. The footage can help you make a claim against the guilty party or defend yourself against faults or allegations.
Having more details guarantees a more manageable process when dealing with legal claims or claiming insurance. For example, you might get injuries that can affect your life after a cycling accident. With documented details about the accident, you can hire an Englewood Personal Injury Attorney to represent you and help you get compensation for the damage.
- Get Witnesses
Witnesses are essential, especially when the case goes to court. They can provide their recollection of what happened, which can help you back up your claims. Get the details of anyone who witnessed the incident and can willingly give an account of what they saw.
- Report To The Police
You need to report the incident to the police within 24 hours after the accident. Make sure to ask for the name of the officer you’re speaking to, as well as the police incident number. On some occasions, police officers tend to focus on recording the motorist’s version of the incident.
Therefore, you need to ensure the police include your side of the story in the report. It’s also crucial to report all injuries, including seemingly minor ones since they might develop into bigger issues later on.
You also have to contact your local council if the cause of the accident is a road defect. Reporting to them allows them to address the cause of the problem, hence preventing future accidents.
- Contact Your Insurer
You need to call your insurer immediately to inform them about the details of the accident. They also have to know the extent of damage to your bike or other accessories. In some cases, the other party’s insurer will try to offer you compensation to avoid a lengthy legal process. This is usually lower than what you’d normally get from a proper claim, so avoid entertaining these offers.
- Seek Medical Attention
You need to get a medical check-up even if the injuries seem minor or you feel okay, then have a written evaluation. Getting the check-up can help detect unseen or minor injuries that can lead to severe problems if left unattended.
- Keep Damaged Items
Keeping the damaged items can help since they can be required as evidence when making an insurance claim. Keep helmets, clothing, or other cycling accessories that might be damaged during the accident.
It’s also important to avoid replacing or repairing your bike until your insurer or the other party’s insurer permits you. In cases where you necessarily have to fix your bike, it’s crucial to take photos, keep the service receipt and acquire a written record of the damage.
As a cyclist, you have similar rights and responsibilities to other motorists while on the road. Drivers have to respect the rights of cyclists to prevent accidents. However, accidents can happen, regardless of how careful you are when cycling. Therefore, it’s crucial to know the proper steps to follow when a cycling accident occurs.