- Personal Injury
In beautiful Colorado, bike riding is an extremely popular pastime; for many, it is their primary mode of transportation (even in the snow!). It is eco-friendly and provides tremendous health benefits. However, as most cyclists know, there are also dangers associated with riding your bike near motorized traffic. Drivers often do not see cyclists or drive aggressively in their presence, leaving the cyclist in a vulnerable position compared to the hulking mass of a car. Consequently, we see a lot of cases involving bike crashes with motorists. So, we’ve put together a quick guide on what cyclists should do after a bike accident involving a motorist.
See to Your Medical Needs
Your priority following a bike crash is to seek treatment for your injuries. If you are seriously injured, you should go to the emergency room. However, when injuries are less serious or at least are less apparent at the moment, many people will avoid medical treatment and try to "walk it off," but this is a bad idea for several reasons.
First, you may not realize the extent of your injuries. Your adrenaline is pumping after an accident, and you don't feel pain similarly. Some injuries, such as head injuries, may manifest in ways that are not immediately obvious.
Second, defense attorneys will use the fact that you did not seek medical treatment right away to argue that you were not injured. Instead, see a doctor, and take photos of your injuries.
At the Scene of the Accident
If your injuries are not so severe as to restrict your mobility, you can do a few things at the scene of the bike crash to help protect your legal position. The first is to call the police, even if the crash does not seem too serious. The police will arrive and create an accident report that is very helpful documentation. Be sure they include your perspective and statements in the report, not just that of the driver.
Next, take photos of the scene. Try to photograph your bike and the car before they are moved. Take photos of the general area (bike lanes, intersections, etc.) to capture what happened. Document the damage to your bicycle (which may require a trip to your local bike shop).
Finally, talk to any witnesses. Ask them if they saw what happened and if they can make a statement. Perhaps you can record their statement with your phone if they're willing. Write down their names and contact information.
It would be better to prevent bicycle accidents to avoid serious injury in the first place. You can improve the odds and help if legal action is required with a few preventative measures.
- Wear a Helmet – Even if a helmet is not required, it's always a good idea to wear one. Sometimes a relatively minor crash can still have serious consequences if you hit your head.
- Obey Traffic Laws – Even cyclists must follow the rules of the road. Doing so will help keep you safe and preserve your legal rights. Signal to drivers if you are turning or changing lanes.
- High-Visibility Gear – Consider wearing reflective clothing. If you ride in low-light conditions, always use lights.
- Use a Camera – If you ride frequently or commute via bicycle, we strongly recommend you buy a GoPro or other similar small camera and mount it on your helmet or bike. Switch it on every time you ride; the video will be invaluable if you happen to be involved in an accident.
Consult the Colorado Personal Injury Specialists
If you've been in a bike accident and were injured, one of the best things you can do is speak to a personal injury lawyer. Our team is experienced in such cases and can help you get fair compensation for your injuries. Of course, we only get paid if you win, so there's no downside to sitting down for a consultation. Contact us today to set up a meeting.