So You’ve Been in a Bicycle Accident. Now What?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 840 people were killed in traffic accidents while riding their bicycles in 2016. While there are many things you can do to try and protect yourself while riding a bike on a busy road with vehicle traffic, sometimes accidents happen that aren’t avoidable. Some of the most common types of accidents involving bikes and vehicles include:
- Ignoring stop signs: This works both ways, either when you ignore a stop sign as a bike rider, or when a driver in a vehicle ignores a stop sign. Either way, the results can be tragic. While the vehicle may not experience much damage, you and your bike may be lucky to walk away from the accident depending on the speed of the vehicle.
- A vehicle leaving a driveway: If a driver fails to notice your bike while backing up, you may be hit accidentally. In a lot of cases, drivers look for other vehicles before backing up or driving through an intersection, and may not also be keeping an eye out for bicyclists.
- Making turns: Again, a driver may not see you when making a turn. For example, in many cases, vehicles have to yield to bikes. When a bike is coming from the opposite direction and a vehicle fails to yield and tries to turn instead, you may accidentally get hit.
- Riding a bike at night: If a vehicle doesn’t notice your reflectors or flashing lights, that can create a recipe for disaster and cause an accident, especially when bikes attempt to cross traffic or ride down a busy road.
- Distracted or intoxicated drivers: When a driver is distracted or intoxicated, there is a good chance they will not see you riding your bike, and may end up crashing into you.
What to do After a Bicycle Accident
If you’re ever in a bike accident, there are a few things to remember. First, dial 911 if you’re able. Then, if you’re safely able to take pictures of the scene of the accident, do so, or ask someone nearby. When taking pictures, pay special attention to the lighting outside, and take pictures of your bike and the vehicle that hit you. Also, try and take pictures of road signs, and construction or the traffic if there is any. On top of that, try to collect names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Doing these things as quickly as possible will make it easier for your attorney to fight for you should you decide to pursue litigation or file an insurance claim.
Seek Medical Attention
When the EMTs arrive, make sure to get checked out, even if you think you’re uninjured. Sometimes adrenaline and shock can mask pain. An EMT will be able to make sure you don’t have any internal, more serious injuries. Even when you’re cleared to go home, have someone monitor you for signs of a concussion. Additionally, make sure to keep copies of any doctors’ reports and receipts that could come in handy later down the road.
If you were hit or injured while riding your bike, you should contact an attorney experienced with dealing with bike accidents. A San Jose bicycle accident lawyer will be able to help file a personal injury claim and walk you through any legal options that may be available to you. Give the office of Solution Now Law Firm a call today at 408-256-2871.