One of the biggest fears a cyclist has is being involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. The fear is very real, and given the number of vehicle vs. bike accidents that take place in Florida and elsewhere throughout the country, the fear is justified. Many individuals would like to ride their bikes; however, they simply do not feel safe, particularly in areas that do not have designated bike lanes or bike trails.
The results of a collision between a bike and an automobile can be devastating — especially for the cyclist. Your Naples bicycle accident lawyer knows that if you are involved in such a situation, you may not know what you need to do next, not only for the sake of your personal well-being, but also for your “legal” well-being, should you need to pursue litigation.
The following information is provided to give bikers a sense of what should be done if they are involved in a crash with a vehicle. Still, it is imperative that you contact a bike accident lawyer as soon as possible after a collision occurs to obtain the most up-to-date information that may apply to your particular case.
Seek Medical Attention and Contact the Police
Depending on the severity of the crash, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for any injuries sustained. Injuries that may seem to be minor at first can develop into more serious and/or permanent injuries.
If your injuries are severe, you will likely need to be transported to the hospital. However, if they are less serious, you should contact law enforcement while at the scene in order for an official accident report to be drafted and filed.
If the police complete an accident report, you are encouraged to read over it carefully and correct any errors that appear in the report. Keep a copy of the report in your records, as you may need it should you decide to pursue legal options.
Don’t Negotiate With the Driver
On occasion, the driver of the automobile may provide incorrect information
with respect to his or her identity, vehicle ownership and/or insurance
status. Additionally, some drivers will apologize and take the blame for
the accident initially, but later change their minds after they’ve
had time to think about how their negligence will impact them from a legal
Whatever you do, do not negotiate with the driver — even if he or she says they’ll write a check right then and there.
Gather Evidence and Witness Contact Information
The accident scene will likely be investigated by law enforcement in order to gather more information about what happened. If possible, you should take your own photos of the scene with a cell phone or any other picture-taking device that you may have with you at the time. If there were witnesses to the accident, you will want to gather their contact information, as they may be quite helpful to you and your case.
Also, you should be sure to jot down what occurred just before, during and after the accident while the incident is fresh in your mind. All too often, as time goes by, a person’s memory will begin to fade and the facts may become fuzzy. That said, accident victims should keep a journal of what happened and include any information in it about the medical treatment received as well.
Once all of the above has been done, you may want to consider contacting a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer. An attorney can help to ensure you obtain competent representation and will make certain that the responsible party (or parties) is held responsible. If you would like to discuss your legal rights and options, contact The Kelleher Firm today.