Legal Tips and Resources
Culturally, bicycles are frequently regarded as modes of recreation or fitness. But with more people depending on them to commute to work or simply get around in clogged urban roadways, bikes have increasingly become a primary vehicle. With more bikes on the road come more bike accidents – yet relatively few cyclists know just what to do if they’re involved in one. What you do at the scene of your bike accident can make the difference between getting a settlement and shouldering medical bills on your own. Here are three common mistakes people make after a bike accident.
Are Bike Accidents That Serious?
Because biking seems like fun to many people, it’s assumed that a bike accident won’t be that serious. But nothing could be further from the truth. A bike collision can result in:
- sprained or broken limbs
- major lacerations
Even a minor accident can leave you with medical expenses that you aren’t prepared to cover. Make sure you avoid these mistakes after an accident to increase the odds of getting damages for your inconvenience.
Leaving the Scene
A car tapped your bike, but you feel just fine. You hop back on your bike, and ride off, right? Wrong. Bike injuries can show up hours later. If you leave without even exchanging contact information, you have no at-fault party to target for compensation. So no matter how minor the incident, stay at the scene until police arrive.
Not Calling the Police
Many people assume police reports only apply to automobile accidents, but that’s not correct. A police report is just as valid and appropriate following a bike collision, so call the authorities as soon as you gather your bearings. The police will gather statements and details about the scene. All of those will go into a report that can be critical to getting damages in a lawsuit.
Negotiating With At-Fault Parties
The at-fault party in your bike accident may be genuinely sorry and may hope to settle the matter between you two without getting the police involved. That can seem like a quick, easy fix but it can cost you in the long run. Don’t absolve the driver and don’t agree to any type of on-the-spot payments. Both of these can come back to haunt you if you end up needing to file suit.
Bike accidents are common and likely to increase. Note the above tips to prepare for an accident, or call an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Washington, DC if you’ve already had one.
Thanks to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and mistakes to avoid after a bicycle accident.