Being involved in a bike crash can be traumatic physically, emotionally, and financially. But if it happens to you, here are some important recommendations to follow in the immediate aftermath.
What to Do at the Scene of a Bicycle Accident
If you’re seriously injured, it may not be possible for you to do much of anything about investigating what happened. Hopefully witnesses or bystanders will step in to gather as much information as possible. If you are able to direct them, have them collect all the information they can about the driver and the vehicle.
From an investigation standpoint, one of the most important things following the crash is to identify the witnesses and bystanders. Many times they have critical information but may simply disappear without realizing how important what they saw could be to documenting the crash. Sadly, you cannot assume the police will do a thorough job of identifying witnesses, nor should you assume they will make any effort to document the location of critical pieces of evidence such as where you and your bike landed and where any equipment on your bike was found in and around the crash site. Having witnesses take photographs of these things before they are moved can be of vital importance in piecing together how the crash occurred.
What to Do Following a Cycling Accident
Seek medical treatment immediately and describe to the doctor or medical provider every relevant detail about any injuries that happened in the crash. You may feel dizzy, light-headed, or disoriented, but try to give exact details as thoroughly as possible. Concussion symptoms may begin to manifest themselves in the days following the crash. Do not dismiss them. Things like word finding issues, balance, dizziness, headache, no memory of the crash, or changes in personality or sleep patterns may be clear indications of concussion. These symptoms need to be thoroughly described and discussed with a physician.
If you have a vehicle registered in Florida with no-fault coverage, your own insurance company will pay up to the first $10,000 of your medical bills using your PIP benefits. If you do not own a vehicle, the PIP benefits on the driver’s policy will be available for you in addition to any possible bodily injury liability insurance they may have available. As quickly as you can, report the accident to each insurance company. Don’t assume the other party/driver will report it. You’ll need a claim number from your insurance company to give to the medical providers.
If you suffered any injury for which you need medical care beyond an initial emergency room visit, it’s best not to repair or replace your bike or significant parts of it until you have consulted with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer. Many times those parts are critical evidence in your case. Also, damage to your bike needs to be documented by a reputable repair shop and photographed in order to preserve evidence of what happened.
Remember, insurance adjusters for the opposing party have no intention of paying you full value on your claim if they can avoid it. So, without an attorney of your own, you are at their mercy. So before you speak with an adjuster or sign any forms, consult with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer who’s also an active cyclist. This step will insure that you receive expert advice and compensation for any damages you have suffered in terms of loss of income, current and future medical expenses, property damage, and pain and suffering.
How Riding with a Bike Computer (with a GPS Tracker) Can Help Your Bicycle Accident Case
Many serious cyclists use GPS trackers to record their route and collect data from their heart rate, cadence and power which they then upload to ride-logging app to evaluate their performance. But did you know that if you were in a bike crash your tracker could help your case? As a bicycle injury law firm we always ask the cyclists we represent if they were using a bike computer because if it is using a GPS tracker because this tracks where you are on the road. We can then overlay this information on a map which tells us where you were in relation to a stop sign, a through lane or a bike lane. This is critical data to reconstruct a bike crash. We highly recommend cyclists ride with a GPS computer, just in case the unexpected happens. It’s made a huge difference in the settlements of several of our cases. There’s a lot of bicycle computers out there that only gives you the speed and not the GPS but for just a little bit more, you can have one that has it. There are several out there. Start by looking at all the versions of the Garmin Edge bike computers.
Benefits of Riding with a Camera Attached to Your Bike
A bicycle camera is another device that our law firm has used in cycling crash cases. Though we recommend using one we don’t recommend using one that attaches to your helmet but rather to your bike. Riding with a bike camera can help:
- Prove to law enforcement and the insurance companies the driver was acting negligently when they violated your space which caused you to go down.
- Provide the license plate tag number of harassing and/or hit-and-run drivers so you can report them to law enforcement.
- Prove that a vehicle was too close causing you to fall off your bike.
A cyclist avoid being surprised by a vehicle coming from the rear.
Some of the popular cycling cameras we have seen fellow cyclists using are the Garmin Varia, DJI Action 2 and Akaso V50.