As our streets become ever more congested, more and more Americans are beginning to bike, not only for recreation and exercise, but also as a means of transportation.
While biking to and from work, or to run errands can save bicyclists gas money and help protect the environment, it can also put us at risk of collision with nearby vehicles.
These types of accidents occur much more often than most people realize. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 467,000 people suffered bicycle-related injuries in 2015 alone.
Tragically, some of those injuries proved fatal, resulting in the deaths of over 1,000 cyclists.
Because cyclists are so much less protected than motorists, the injuries they sustain tend to be particularly devastating, resulting in painful and expensive treatment, taking time off from work, and adjusting one’s daily routine.
Fortunately, it is possible for injured bicyclists to receive compensation for these losses, so if you have injuries from a collision with a motorist, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can walk you through your legal options.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
Whether a person should file a claim against the individual or entity who caused his or her bike accident depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the injuries sustained and who was primarily at fault for causing the accident.
While these factors will ultimately determine whether injured cyclists have a claim, there are a few things that those who are involved in these types of collisions can do after an accident to improve their chances of a positive outcome in the event that their case goes to trial, including:
- Waiting for law enforcement officers to arrive and file a police report;
- Speaking with the police officer who is taking the statement to ensure that their side of the story is included in the final report;
- Visiting a hospital or doctor’s office to ensure that any injuries are carefully documented;
- Obtaining the other party’s insurance and contact information, as well as the names and phone numbers of any witnesses who saw the accident occur and could testify as to its cause at a later date;
- Documenting the accident by taking photos of the scene and noting road, traffic, and weather conditions;
- Documenting their injuries by seeking medical attention, having photos of any visible injuries, and noting symptoms in a journal;
- Preserving evidence by leaving their bike and any other damaged property in its post-accident condition, or at least taking photos of the damage; and
- Seeking the advice of an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can negotiate with insurers, help collect evidence, and ensure that their interests are protected.
Although taking these steps does not guarantee that an injured cyclist’s claim will be successful, it can significantly increase your chances of a positive outcome.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with a Dedicated Attorney
For help with your own bicycle accident claim, please call VanderGinst Law at 800-797-5391 and a member of our legal team will help you set up an initial consultation with a dedicated bicycle accident attorney who can advise you.