Whether you’re out on an afternoon ride with friends or commuting to work, bicycling can be one of the best ways to get exercise, enjoy nature and uniquely explore your city or town.
However, riding on the road puts you at risk for an accident with another vehicle that can put your health and finances at risk.
If you find yourself involved in a bicycle accident, follow these steps to deal with the aftermath of the accident and get your life back on track again.
Seek Medical Attention ASAP
It’s important to go to see your doctor or emergency room as soon as possible following an accident.
Even if you don’t have any major injuries, it’s important to be checked out and treated for any cuts and bruises, which can lead to infection. Seeking medical attention can also rule out more serious injuries.
After speaking with your doctor, they might prescribe medication such as painkillers or antibiotics if needed.
It may also be recommended that you do exercises to strengthen your muscles and work through any stiffness. Most accidents occur in areas without support from your muscles, like the neck, shoulders, and lower back.
It’s important not to skip out on these at-home exercises since they will help lessen the pain post-accident.
Notify Law Enforcement
First, contact law enforcement to report the accident.
The police will keep your name and other personal information private. In most cases, you can call 911 for free or find your local precinct’s non-emergency number online. Be ready to answer any questions law enforcement may have about what happened, who was involved, and whether there are injuries requiring medical treatment.
You might also want to take photographs as evidence for insurance claims before law enforcement arrives.
When reporting an accident involving injury or death, give law enforcement your name and contact information. Still, it is not necessary to provide an eyewitness account at the scene of the event unless asked.
File an Insurance Claim
Know your auto insurance policy to see if you are covered for an accident involving someone else. If not, determine what additional insurance you might need and how much it will cost.
In some areas, you may want to get collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage for potential bicycle accidents, but that could cost about $800-$900 per year.
We’ll also need this insurance on our car if we have bicycles attached.
If there is no way you can afford these premiums at the moment, set up a payment plan that better suits your budget so that your policy doesn’t lapse while waiting to save up enough money.
Protect Your Legal Rights
Once you are certain that you do not require any immediate medical attention, the next step is to be mindful of your legal rights.
You will want to report the accident and file an insurance claim so that you can cover your medical costs.
You may also need to be proactive and reach out to local bike shops if you have any parts or components on your bike which were damaged in the crash.
It is important to take photos of your bicycle’s damage before repairing it, as this will make processing your claim faster and easier.
Above all, don’t feel pressured into taking unsafe transportation home when other options are available such as ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft, taxi cabs, public transportation, etc.
Hire an Attorney
After an accident, you should always seek legal counsel from someone specializing in personal injury and accidents.
This is necessary to ensure that your rights are protected and to get help navigating this difficult time.
For instance, if your injuries were severe enough for hospitalization, you may need to consider options for medical disability coverage.
Hiring a personal injury attorney in Jacksonville as soon as possible after an accident. can help you get the rightful compensation your deserve.