In 2019, 805 bicyclists were involved in crashes in the state of Georgia. These crashes happened mostly at night or near an intersection where cycling can be very dangerous. If you have been in a bike accident here are the next steps to take to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you:
Call 911 and wait for the police
It is crucial to call 911 so that the police can respond to the scene of your accident. Sometimes this may not seem like a necessary step, but there are a few reasons why you need to always call the police after a bike accident.
- After an accident, it is important to make sure you are not injured. Even if you do not think you are hurt, you might be. Sometimes the shock and adrenaline of a traumatic event can keep accident victims from realizing how injured they are. When an officer responds to your accident they can make sure you are safe to leave the scene of the accident.
- When an officer arrives at an accident they will file a police report to document the event. This report will record the stories of both parties as well as document any injuries. This record can be very helpful if you need to file an injury claim with an insurance company.
- When the police arrive at the scene, you can ensure you are getting the contact information of the other party. Sometimes the at-fault party will take responsibility at the scene of the accident but later deny their participation or even presence at the accident. When you have a witness and the contact and insurance information of the other driver, you have more evidence to prove your case.
- Sometimes a police officer might ticket the driver at the scene of the accident. This can be very useful down the road if you need to file a bike injury claim.
Share your account of the accident
When the police do arrive, be sure to share every detail of the accident with them. Occasionally an officer might only speak with the driver and not the cyclist, if this is the case, be persistent about giving your statement. Don’t forget to record all your injuries in the statement, even if they are minor. Sometimes minor injuries can develop into bigger health concerns down the road.
Don’t forget to gather contact information
You will need the name, address, phone number, car tag, driver’s license number, and insurance information of the other party after the accident. If anyone else was at the scene (such as a witness) gather their contact information as well. You can also gather information about the officer who responded to your accident and wrote the police report. Recording the name and badge number of the officer might help you with discussing the police report or filing a claim later on.
Take pictures and document the events
After the shock of the accident wears off, try and record a few details about the events of the day. You can ask yourself the following questions as you think about what happened:
- What was the weather like that day?
- What was happening directly before the accident took place?
- Where did the accident occur?
- What were the road and traffic conditions like?
- How did the accident happen?
Additionally, take a few pictures of the damage done to your bicycle and your own bodily injuries. As your injuries develop, journal regularly about your symptoms and health status.
Seek Medical Care
After an accident has occurred, you will need to visit a medical professional as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, getting a medical examination might reveal unknown internal injuries. You also might want to visit a trusted chiropractor who can help adjust you after an accident. Your medical records will document your injuries and symptoms which will help you with your claim later.
If your bicycle, clothing, or any other property was damaged, do not fix or repair anything. Leave everything in the exact state as it was on the day of the accident. Do not repair or change your bike and do not wash or repair your clothing. You might need to send these items to your attorney as evidence down the road.
Seek an Attorney
After a bicycle accident, you will want to reach out to a personal injury attorney experienced with bicycle claims in Georgia. Accidents between cars and bicycles can become complex legal situations and an attorney can help you navigate the legalese and receive compensation for damages.