After a bicycle accident, the steps you should take will depend on the aspects of your particular situation. If you were seriously injured by another party (like a negligent driver), you should immediately take measures to protect your right to financial recovery – even if you are not sure whether you want to proceed with a claim.
To promote your well-being and legal interests, you should:
- Seek medical attention from your healthcare provider
- Report the accident to the appropriate authorities
- Collect evidence
- Write down the other party’s contact information
- Consider working with a personal injury lawyer
At the end of the day, you should do what makes sense in your situation. However, the aforementioned measures could protect your legal rights.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
After a bicycle accident, you may want to take the following steps to protect your health and safeguard your legal rights.
You may want to consider:
Seeking Medical Aid
According to the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), fatal bicycle crashes are overrepresented, given the proportion of traffic made up of bicycles in the state. In light of the serious nature of these crashes, it is important that your first priority after a crash is your health and safety. Seek medical attention first and foremost.
Reporting the Accident
Once you are safe and your injuries have been addressed, you will need to notify the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Authorities will be able to create an official report that can serve as evidence if you choose to take legal action.
Collecting Your Own Evidence
Sometimes, the official police report omits information that can be useful if you decide to pursue compensation. Consider collecting your own evidence.
Take pictures of your injuries, the crash site, and your bicycle. Pictures of the surrounding road and weather conditions can also be helpful pieces of evidence.
Take down witness contact information and record statements from them, if possible. Witnesses can speak to the crash, your injuries, or both.
Get copies of official reports and other documents that can prove what happened and what injuries you sustained. Medical records, police reports, and repair bills can all be useful.
Getting the Other Parties’ Contact Information
Collect the insurance information and contact information of the other parties involved in your accident. Sometimes, fault lies with one person. Other times, there are multiple parties that may have contributed to an accident.
Do not just get the information of the person you believe is the most at fault—get the information of everyone you believe may have been involved in what happened.
Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you still have questions about what you should do after a bicycle accident, you should consider working with a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer with experience handling bicycle accident cases can be your ally and advocate as you pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
What Not to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Now that we have discussed what you should do after a bicycle accident, here are some things that you should avoid.
Do Not Negotiate Directly with the At-Fault Party
Do not forgo insurance negotiations and negotiate with the at-fault party directly. This may limit your ability to pursue additional compensation later, which can put you in a tough position if the money you initially accepted is not enough to cover your accident-related expenses.
Do Not Admit Fault
Refrain from making statements to the involved parties, insurance adjusters, or witnesses that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Although it may seem rude, refrain from apologizing or explaining yourself too much. This can potentially be used against you if you pursue compensation.
Do Not Only Listen to Insurance Adjusters
After an accident, an insurance adjuster may try to negotiate with you. They are not looking out for you—they are looking out for their employer, the insurance company.
Instead of accepting whatever the insurance company offers, reach out to a personal injury lawyer who can explain your options and fight for the compensation you deserve. Your lawyer works for you and wants to ensure the best possible outcome on your behalf.
You Have a Limited Time to Take Legal Action
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Ohio is generally two years, according to Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10. Your time is limited, so get started as soon as possible. Contact Bressman Law today at (877) 538-1116 to learn more about what you should do after a bicycle accident and receive a free consultation.