Ways to Make Sure You're Covered
After a Bicycle Accident
Cyclists are taking to the streets in record numbers. Ridership is up 25 percent since 2000, according to a study released this week by the League of American Bicyclists.
While bikes offer a cheap, healthy, and green alternative to driving, they present certain dangers — particularly if you live in an urban area.
In the first six months of 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that 618 people were killed in bicycle accidents, and thousands more were injured. If you're one of those people, experts say it pays to know your rights before you hit the road.
What to Do in a Bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident can take place anywhere you ride your bike, including neighborhood streets and sidewalks, parking lots, city streets, and highways. Although many drivers are supportive of bicyclists, some drivers view them as nuisances or obstacles they must drive around. This attitude can lead to reckless driving that may cause an accident between a car and a cyclist.
If you're injured in a bike crash, the first thing to do is call 911. You or someone else should stay on the scene and wait for the police. In some states, leaving the scene of an accident — even if no one was hurt — can lead to criminal charges. Even if the other party says it's not necessary, insist on the police coming.
Inform the police about any injuries you sustained. Be sure that your injuries are noted on the police report. If you don't feel like your injuries are being taken seriously by law enforcement, ask for an ambulance to be dispatched.
Below are some things you can do when involved in a Bicycle crash that can help you if you think of filing a personal injury case later on:
Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries.
- Get the contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
- Report the bicycle accident to your insurance company as soon as possible, regardless of fault.
- Keep track of all your medical expenses, and make sure you get copies of all your medical records.
- If you're not at fault, but the driver does not have car insurance, then report it to your own insurance company anyway (you might have underinsured motorist coverage).
- Keep track of all expenses relating to repairing or replacing your bicycle and any other property damage that resulted from the accident.
Ways To Get You Covered
Bicycle accidents are common and can cause some serious injuries. When you're involved or injured in a bicycle accident, you need to make sure that you're covered. You wouldn't want to get stuck paying out of pocket for medical bills and other expenses.
If you've been in a bicycle accident, it may be time to call an attorney right away. Here are some ways to be covered after a bicycle accident.
1. Make Sure You Have an Attorney
The most important thing that you can do after a bicycle accident is to look into hiring a bicycle accident attorney. This attorney will be able to help with any claims or civil cases that may arise as a result of your accident. Make sure that you find an attorney who has experience in this field, and who will be able to give you the best chance of success in court.
In addition to this, attorneys can help you determine if your injuries are enough to warrant legal action against the driver who hit you. In many states, it is illegal to hit someone while they are on a bicycle, regardless of whether they were riding on the sidewalk or on a bike lane.
2. Make Sure Your Medical Bills Are Covered
It is vital that you make sure all of your medical bills are covered, especially if your injuries are going to require long-term care. You should make sure that your bills are covered by either your health insurance or by whatever insurance program covers bicycle accidents within your area. This way, you will be able to afford the care necessary to get better and move on with your life.
3. Get a Medical Exam
One of the first things you should do after an accident is get a medical exam done. Even if you feel fine at the scene, there could be other injuries that have taken place. Getting an exam will also show proof of your injuries so that you can use it for the insurance company later on. It's important to have proof from a doctor rather than your own words when it comes to this situation.
4. Talk With Your Insurance Company
You need to talk with your insurance company about what happened as soon as possible. If there was damage to your bike, then this should be covered by your insurance policy. You may also want to look into getting additional coverage on your bike if you don't already have much coverage on it.
If you’re injured in a cycling accident, the last thing you want to be worrying about is the legal aftermath or being able to afford an attorney yourself. The best thing you can do if you are injured in a bicycle accident, no matter how minor or major it may be, is to ensure that you have an experienced bicycle accident attorney on your side as soon as possible. Be careful on the road, and regain control over your life.
Story From Brett Sachs
Brett Sachs, partner & principal attorney at MVP Accident Attorneys, graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with Cum Laude Honors and worked for an insurance defense firm before starting his practice. Brett has evaluated thousands of personal injury cases and has helped his clients receive the justice they deserve.