Personal Injury Lawyer
As a cyclist, a rider can do all the right things – stay close to the road’s edge or ride side-by-side with a partner to create space so you don’t have to ride in danger gravel, wear blaze orange or neon yellow, have lights to raise even more awareness – and can still get into an accident.
For some reason, cyclists tend to antagonize vehicle drivers, which doesn’t help the situation at all. Drivers apparently resent having to slow down to pass cyclists safely, and some don’t care to slow down at all.
According to Bill Strickland, former editor of Bicycling magazine, the nice approach is the best when dealing with other drivers.
But what nice doesn’t work, and an accident occurs, anyway? What happens after an accident?
In a blog post that appeared on the website Active, Seattle cyclist John Duggan tells his story. He was turning left, and as the law requires, was on the far-left side of the turning lane when the car along side him chose to make a U-turn when the light turned green, cutting Duggan off and sending him soaring off his bike.
Like most people involved in an accident, Duggan didn’t seem injured, so he and the driver both went on their way, but a half-mile down the road, adrenaline from the initial accident gone, pain was no longer masked, and Duggan ended up in the emergency room.
He did what every cyclist involved in a car accident shouldn’t. He failed to get the driver’s information, and he was left shouldering the entirety of his medical bills. Duggan was a lawyer, so mistakes such as this can happen to anyone.
What to do in the event of an accident
Duggan (who now handles legal cases primarily for cyclists) did what many cyclists – and drivers – might do in an accident. He brushed himself off and went on his way.
What he should have done, however, was:
- Call 911. A police report can help prove who is at fault, so if there are injuries, the injured part will know whose insurance should cover it. That goes for damages to car or bicycle as well.
- Get pertinent information from the driver. The driver’s name, license number, insurance information, phone number and address are all important information to have.
- Take down witness information. If people are paying attention (they are driving, so they should be), they will have likely seen the accident and will be able to make a statement on your behalf.
- Document the scene. Take notes, use your phone to take photographs and gather as much information as possible before police arrive.
- See medical help. You won’t know the extent of your injuries without an evaluation by a medical professional.
- Contact a bike accident lawyer in Boynton Beach, FL. If your injuries are extensive or your bike is destroyed, an attorney can help you get compensated for your losses.
Duggan offered one important bit of information: Don’t ever admit fault. Leave it up to the police to decide whose fault the accident was, and proceed from there.
Thanks to The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into personal injury claims and bicycle accidents with cars.