We are often asked what to do immediately after a bicycle accident. Here what to do after a bicycle crash:
- Safety First! Get to a safe location. Make sure that you are out of the way of moving traffic and that you are readily visible to oncoming traffic.
- If you are injured, call an ambulance to take you to the hospital.
- Call 911 to report the crash to law enforcement. If you are injured and taken from the scene for medical treatment, the investigating officer may meet you at the hospital. You may otherwise later regret not reporting the crash. Insist that a police report is made.
- Note the investigating officer’s name, precinct and report number.
- Request a copy of the Accident “Short Form” from the officer.
- Gather as much information at the scene of the accident as you can. If you physically cannot do so due to your injuries, then have someone do it for you.
- Take photographs of your bicycle, the vehicles involved in the accident and the surrounding area (roadways, traffic, etc).
- Take photos of your injuries.
- Preserve all property damage (your bicycle, helmet, damaged electronics, etc). Do not throw away or discard them because they are damaged. They may be necessary for evidence later.
- Have your local bike shop manager assess and document the damage and provide an estimate for repair or replacement.
- Write down the name of the at-fault Driver, Vehicle Owner, License Plate Number, Make, Model and Color of the vehicle.
- Request and note the vehicle’s insurance information and the insurance policy number.
- If the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, request the driver’s car insurance information as well.
- If the accident involves a street or road defect, take a photo of it. Road conditions can change quickly or be repaired without notice.
- Get the names and contact information for all witnesses, including their phone numbers, emails and mailing addresses.
- Report the accident to your own car insurance company.
- Request a copy of the “Long Form” police report. You may be able to buy it from https://www.buycrash.com.
- Do not admit fault or give a “sworn statement” or “examination under oath” to anyone before speaking to an attorney.
- If you are cited and you pay the ticket or otherwise do not contest the citation, you may look guilty as the at-fault party in the accident.
- Anything you say to an insurance adjuster or in traffic court could be later repeated and used against you in court.
- Do not write about your accident on social networks such as Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.
When you feel you are ready to talk to an attorney, call us for a free case evaluation to discuss your legal rights and options.
The Ortiz Law Firm can be reached at 850-898-9904.