What To Do After A Bike Accident And Crash
Bike crashes, traffic collisions, and getting “doored” by a car driver or passenger can happen suddenly. Here are the steps we recommend you take to ensure your health and safety, make sure the police fairly investigate crash, and protect your legal rights after a bike accident.
- Get Out Of The Road: If you are in the roadway, move or ask for assistance in moving to the side of the road. If you are in a safe place, don’t rush to your feet. Check yourself and your helmet. Did you hit your head? Accidents happen fast and unexpectedly; gather yourself and evaluate your injuries before rising from the ground.
- Prioritize Your Health: If you suffered an injury requiring medical care, call 9-1-1. If you cannot make the call, ask others to call 9-1-1.
- Get The License Plate Number: Ask the driver to remain at the scene of the crash until the police arrive. If the driver refuses, write down the vehicle license plate number and a description of the vehicle.
- Get The Driver’s Information: Ask the driver for his/her phone number and to inspect his/her driver’s license. Write down the driver’s name, current address, date of birth. Get insurance information (name of insurance company and policy number) plus vehicle registration information including the vehicle license plate number.
- Gather Evidence:
- Witnesses: Get the names and contact information of witnesses. Do not rely on the police officer to obtain this information. If you are injured, ask a bystander to assist you in getting witness contact information.
- Photos: Take photos of the crash scene and/or ask others to take photos.
- Get The Police Officer’s Information: Write down the police officer’s name, badge number, and contact information. Ask the officer to take an incident or traffic collision report.
- Tell Your Side: Make sure you provide the police officer your version of what occurred. If you suspect the driver was texting or distracted in another manner or speeding, tell that to the police officer.
- Get Police Report: Ask for a copy of the police officer’s report. If that is not available, ask for a receipt with instructions on how to obtain a copy of the report. If for any reason there was no police report taken at the scene, go to the nearest Police Department and file a counter report.
- Preserve Evidence: Preserve your bike in its damaged state and any evidence of your ride, such data from a GPS tracking application like Strava. Do not attempt to ride your bike after the accident unless you are absolutely sure your bike is structurally sound and you are in the proper physical condition to continue riding.
- Create Documentation:
- Document What Happened: As soon as you are able to, write down in as much detail as possible what happened. Save your notes along with the information on the driver, witnesses, and police report.
- Document Your Damages: Write down or save in a computer the injuries you suffered and damage to your bike, helmet, and clothing. Again, take photos!
- Do You Still Need Medical Care? If you did not need to go the hospital right after the crash, but suffered an injury, even a minor one, seek medical treatment right away. It is common for some injuries to manifest themselves days after the bike accident. Report all pain, discomfort, stress and anxiety you are suffering. You need to do this to obtain proper treatment and fair compensation later by having your injuries documented in your medical records.
- Be Cautious In Speaking To An Insurance Agent For The Driver: If you are contacted by the driver’s insurance agent, you are not obligated to speak to him/her. The conversation will likely be recorded. Keep in mind it is the mission of insurance companies to limit or avoid paying any claims. The agent may try to get you to make incriminating statements about the crash. Do not be surprised if the insurance company tries to place the fault for the accident on you and minimize the damages your suffered. If you are considering initiating legal action, consult with an injury attorney prior to speaking to any insurance agent.
- Consult A Bike Injury Attorney: If you suffered serious injuries, including a concussion, fractures, or any long-term injury, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who has successfully litigated bike accident cases. You’ll never know your rights and remedies under California bicycle laws or the full compensation the law permits for the damages you suffered unless your speak to an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Most attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation.
Contact A Bicycle Accident Attorney At Dolan Law Firm Today
The Dolan Law Firm is a long-time sponsor of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Bike East Bay, and Marin County Bicycle Coalition. We are proud to be recognized by these groups as local, bicycle-friendly attorneys. Our firm also sponsors the California Bicycle Coalition which advocates in Sacramento for the rights of cyclists.
We have successfully represented injured bicyclists from San Francisco, Oakland, Marin County and across California for over 20 years. We are proud to have been repeatedly recognized as one of the best injury law firms in California and outstanding bicycle accident lawyers.
We are known for taking challenging, complicated cases to trial and winning. As a result, we regularly obtain recoveries far above what other lawyers obtain.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bike accident, of simply have questions about California bicycle laws, we urge you to contact our attorneys today online or call us at 415-636-8160. We will review your case for free, promptly and with no obligation on your part.