Safety is extremely important while riding a bike but no matter how careful you are the fact is that there are a lot more cars on the road. At some point in time, you or your friend riding with you may get into an accident involving a car. You need to know what you have to do afterward as it will make a difference in how well you may be able to protect your rights or those of the fellow rider in case of serious injuries. Here is a checklist of things you need to do to keep control of the situation and maintain crucial information.
1. Wait for the police: You and the other party involved in the bicycle accident are legally required to stay at the scene in case there are any injuries or if there is any property damage. Sometimes you may not believe that you are injured but wait for the police anyway. You may realize later that you are injured. If you leave the scene of the accident it will be difficult to track down the car driver later.
2. Do not negotiate a deal with the car driver: Do not try and negotiate a deal with the car driver even if he/she apologizes and is ready to accept the blame. You might not be aware of the state of the damage to the bike or the state of your injuries and the driver might change his mind later and deny the incident altogether.
3. Get the driver and witness information: Exchange information with the car driver such as name, phone number, and address. Also get his license number, license plate number, car make, and insurance number. Also, take down the names and phone numbers of the witnesses.
4. Write down everything: Remember all the details of the bicycle accident such as where, when, and how it happened along with traffic, road, and weather conditions. Write everything down as quickly as possible. Also, draw maps and figures indicating the positions of everyone involved. You need to include signs, streets, and traffic lights. In case you or your fellow rider has a mobile phone along with a camera, utilize the device for documenting the injuries, vehicles involved, and the scene.
5. Get medical attention, document the injuries, and maintain the evidence: Your injuries from the bicycle accident may be minor but consult a doctor immediately and obtain a written evaluation. Take photographs of the injuries and record the symptoms for a few days. Keep the damaged clothes but do not wash them. Also, keep the damaged bike components and do not try to get the bike repaired. If it is indeed necessary to get it repaired take its photographs first and maintain a written document enlisting the details of the damage.
6. Do not negotiate with insurance companies: The insurers of the car driver may call you and try to make a settlement before you have acquired all the necessary information for supporting the claim. Do not negotiate directly with the insurers. Get advice from a professional.
If you are in Tampa you can talk to a personal injury attorney from Rojas Law Group, an expert in cases related to bicycle accidents. Remember, the insurance companies might use the things you have said against you at a later date. The attorney is capable of negotiating with the insurance companies on your behalf.
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