These days it seems like drivers have forgotten the importance of being conscientious drivers. You see it every day, motorists driving while talking on their phones, checking their texts, or eating in the car. It seems like driving has taken a backseat to other distractions.
According to the CDC, 3,000 people die in crashes involving a distracted driver every year.
With all the distracted drivers on the road, it’s more important to know the safety guidelines when riding a bike on the road. You may be an expert cyclist, but bike accidents happen.
When they do, you want to make sure you’re prepared. Knowing the actions to take directly after a bike accident with a motorist can protect your rights.
Here is a quick checklist of actions to take after a bike accident.
1. Wait for the Police to Arrive
It’s important to remain at the scene so the police can assess the situation, take statements, check for injuries and property damage. Even if you feel like you are okay to ride, wait for the authorities.
Often, people involved in crashes don’t realize they are injured until much later, so it’s important to get checked out and make a statement at the scene.
2. Don’t Negotiate With the Motorist
Never negotiate with the motorist. Even if they accept blame and apologize profusely, you may not be aware of any injuries on the scene. With all of the adrenaline that comes with an accident, you can forget to think clearly and make poor judgments. Make sure to assess injuries and damage to your bike with the authorities only.
3. Get the Driver’s Information
Make sure to exchange information with the motorist. You’ll want to receive their name, address, phone number, license number, license plate number, the make and model of their car, and insurance policy number.
If there are any witnesses, get their information on the scene as well.
4. Document the Accident
While the police are on the way, make sure to provide as much detail about the accident that you can remember. Think about when, where, and how it happened.
Write it all down, and if you can, draw maps or diagrams that show the direction of everyone involved. If you have your phone, take photos of any injuries or property damage.
5. Provide a Statement to the Police
When the police arrive on the scene, make a point of providing a statement of your side of the story. Next, make sure your statement is included in the police report.
Make sure to report any injuries, even if they are only superficial. If your statement isn’t included for some reason, you can always ask to have the report modified later. Make sure to get the accident report number and write it down.
6. After You Leave the Scene
The actions you take after you leave the scene are just as important as the actions you take at the scene. Here are few things to consider:
- Seek medical attention and document injuries
- Any clothes should be kept as evidence, unwashed
- Hold on to damaged parts and if you repair your bike, keep receipts of work done on the bike
- Don’t negotiate with insurance companies
Contact a Professional for Your Long Island Bike Accident
If you’ve been involved in a bike accident in Long Island, seek the advice of a personal injury attorney with experience in representing bicycle accident cases.
An attorney can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, hire a specialist to investigate the accident, and represent you in the event of a lawsuit.
If you’re looking for an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your case, contact the Falkowitz Law Firm.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.