Cycling accidents have injured and killed many people in the past. Though highway traffic deaths are declining, bicycle fatality rates are on the rise. According to data from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the percentage of pedestrian, bicycle, and other non-vehicle occupant deaths has been steadily rising since 2012.
When riding a bicycle, safety is paramount, but no matter how much safety you pay attention to, it is not good for you-in Los Angeles, there are far more cars than two-wheelers. At some point, you or other companions may have driver-related accidents. Knowing that taking immediate action after the event can have different effects on the protection of your rights or the rights of a partner who may be seriously harmed.
If you engage in such an accident and you are the driver, it’s essential to know the appropriate steps to take. What you do after the accident can impact the compensation you get for damages. You may need to hire an MG Law attorney to represent you and help you get compensation. But before you do that, here are the steps you need to take immediately after the accident.
1. Keep Safe
Safety is a crucial component after being involved in an accident. If your injuries aren’t too severe, it will help if you remove your bicycle from the middle of the road and move it to the side of the road to prevent other cars from running it over and damaging it further.
2. Call 911
The next thing you want to do after confirming that you are safe is to inform the police about the accident. It’s vital to wait for the police to come to the scene so that they can file a police report. When they arrive at the location, do not leave until the police and medics confirm that you are physically and mentally stable. Due to shock, you may not realize that you are injured until some hours after the accident. Often, injuries that seem mild may become more severe and permanent if they are left unattended. Therefore, if you leave the scene of the accident, you may not identify such injuries or the at-fault driver.
As you wait for the police, don’t negotiate with the driver. Some drivers may apologize and pretend to take the blame only to deny it later. Allow the cops to get there and ticket the driver because that may help you to get compensation from an insurance company.
3. Try To Collect Evidence
To form a solid case that can help you get compensated, you will need evidence. The police may not collect everything on the crime scene, so it’s vital to gather as much evidence you can find yourself. Try and get the at-fault driver’s details such as their address, driver’s license number, phone number, name, and insurance information.
If there are any witnesses, try to get their names and contact details as well. Taking photographs of the damages and injuries can also be handy if you file a lawsuit.
4. Hire An Experienced Lawyer
Some people may be tempted to engage with the offending party’s insurance company or lawyers before contacting their attorney. That’s a mistake you don’t want to make because they can use your words against you later. Hiring an injury lawyer can help you through complex legal issues. Sometimes, just a letter from your lawyer to the offending party or your insurance company is enough to resolve all the problems. Actually, most bicycle injury cases are settled out of court.
How To Minimize The Risk Of Getting Involved In A Bicycle Accident
Even though it is necessary to follow these steps after an accident, it is equally as essential to know how to avoid getting into one. Here are some things you can do to minimize bicycle accidents:
* Wear reflectors every time you’re riding your bicycle to allow other drivers to see you. You can also wear bright-colored clothing and add lights onto your bicycle’s front and back.
* Wear a helmet to prevent head injury.
* Avoid drinking and cycling because it can impair your judgment and affect your vision.
Talk to a bicycle legal expert. There are many professionals around you who are happy to watch your case and give you the best advice to protect yourself and get back on your feet after a car accident.
Do avoid contacting your insurance company before talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer in a bicycle accident case. The insurance company may use whatever you say to you in the future. In situations where you may not be able to bear it, due to injury, the responsibility of collecting evidence in a civil lawsuit falls on you, so it is difficult to overestimate the value of letting others fight for you. The initial consultation with the lawyer is free, confidential and without obligation. They can help you deal with tricky situations that may lead to a crash, and can help you avoid making mistakes, which can cause you huge losses in the long run.
A lawyer can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, hire bicycle accident experts to investigate the accident and represent you in litigation if necessary. The person may obtain the measured value of the non-slip mark, photograph the scene, talk with other witnesses or measure and draw the accident scene map. Remember, as a cyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle driver. Drivers need to respect the rights of cyclists and pay attention to sharing the road and avoid accidents. However, it is in your best interest to take appropriate steps after an accident to ensure that your rights are protected.
It’s important to have the relevant information about what to do in case you’re involved in a bicycle accident. Not having such information can cost you money and prevent you from being compensated. Apart from knowing the steps to take after an accident, it’s also vital to understand how to avoid one.