What to Do if You Are Involved in a Bike Accident
Bicyclists seem to be everywhere these days, and as a motorist, you are naturally concerned when a bicyclist is in your midst. Cyclists seem to come out of nowhere, are often difficult to see, do not always follow the rules of the road, and are extremely vulnerable to injury in traffic accidents. If you are sharing the road with bikes, proceed with extreme caution. If you are ever involved in a traffic accident with a bicyclist, carefully adhere to the following steps to help ensure the cyclist’s safety and to protect yourself legally.
Remain at the Scene of the Accident
If you hit a bicyclist, you must – first and foremost – remain at the scene of the accident. It is not only – obviously – the right thing to do but is also mandated by the law.
Obtain the Necessary Medical Help
First things first – obtain the necessary medical help for the cyclist – and anyone else who may have been injured in the accident. This involves calling 911 immediately and asking that an ambulance be dispatched and helping the injured cyclist in any way that you can until medical help arrives.
The fact is that, even if the bicyclist appears unharmed and/or maintains that he or she was not seriously injured, he or she could have suffered internal injuries that are not readily apparent. Further, the cyclist could be in shock and incapable of making important medical decisions for him or herself at that time. Ultimately, it is important to remember the following:
- The bicyclist had nothing – other than a helmet – to protect him or herself from the impact of the accident.
- Serious injuries can be slow to present with symptoms until they develop into something more serious and more difficult to treat.
- Early medical intervention offers the best chance of achieving full recovery.
Wait for the Police to Arrive
While it is critical that you wait for medical help to arrive, it is also important to wait until the police arrive and complete a police report. The fact is that if the cyclist is responsible for the accident that left him or her injured, you will likely need this report to support this contention. The report will include details that you may not have considered, but that could go a long way toward defending your stance.
Keep Your Responses Brief
Regardless of whom you believe is at fault for the accident, do not admit fault. If the police officer asks you questions about the accident, answer as truthfully and succinctly as you possibly can. Further, once the insurance representative gets ahold of you, refer him or her to your experienced personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are in the business of generating huge profits, and their representatives are well versed at obtaining the responses they seek from unsuspecting motorists involved in accidents.