Nationwide, cycling is seeing an increase in popularity for both recreation and transportation. As more cyclists take to the road, the number of accidents between cars and bikes also increases. Because these accidents often result in serious injury, it’s important to know what to do beforehand.
Do your best to stay calm and avoid panicking. You also want to keep your temper and avoid getting into an altercation with the police. If you can move, get out of the street and find a safe place on the sidewalk but remain close to the scene of the accident. Your body may be full of adrenaline, masking any potential injuries.
Call the Police
Even if you think you’re ok, someone should call the police. Wait at the scene until they arrive. Make sure that you give them your version of what happened. Get the officer’s name and badge number, and find out how to get a copy of the accident report.
Get Contact Information for Any Potential Witnesses
If you’re dazed, ask them to write it down for you or simply give you a business card. Make sure you have their name, mobile phone number, home address, and email address. To the extent that you are able, ask them what specifically they saw.
Most importantly, follow up with them in a couple of days to confirm their information and get a brief synopsis of what they saw.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are in pain, you should go to the emergency room. If not, you should still go see your doctor or other medical professionals to make sure you’re ok sometime soon after the accident. Some injuries, particularly soft tissue injuries, may not manifest themselves right away.
Keep Careful Documentation
Make sure to keep copies of any and all documents and paperwork, such as the following:
- Doctor’s notes and other medical reports
- Medical bills
- Accident reports and other documents the police have generated
- Any documentation of lost wages
Err on the side of caution and keep paperwork even if you’re not sure you should. Create a special file for all records related to the accident and keep it in a safe place.
Preserve and Compile Evidence
Do not get your bicycle fixed right away and don’t wash the clothes you were wearing. These items can be extremely compelling evidence of the severity of the accident. Be sure to keep any broken parts that fell off with the bicycle so that they don’t get lost.
Pictures can also be extremely helpful evidence. If possible, take pictures immediately after the accident, including pictures of the vehicle that hit you. If you didn’t take pictures immediately after the accident, that’s ok – return to the scene and take pictures from multiple angles. Be sure to photograph any pertinent signage, how the street is laid out, and any other potential road or traffic feature that may help prove that you were not at fault.
Contact a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a motor vehicle while riding your bike, you should seek legal advice in order to protect your rights. The attorneys at Slappey and Sadd are here to help – call us at 404-255-6677 or email us via our online contact form in order to schedule a free consultation.