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What to do after a bicycle accident

How to respond if you're in a bicycle accident

Cycling to and from work, and using our bikes to get from A to B, has never been so popular. Whilst we are aware of the benefits of using our bikes to get around, from being eco-friendly to improving fitness, we also have to be aware of the dangers, so we need to go to great lengths to make sure we are safe when cycling. Should the worst-case scenario happen, and you are involved in an accident, see the top tips below on how to react, and on what to do to make sure you are properly protected and legally covered.

1. Make sure everyone is OK

Firstly you are going to need to survey the situation and see if there is anyone involved that is going to need medical attention. If an ambulance is not necessary, but there are quite a few vehicles and/or cyclists involved then you are going to need to contact the police.

2. Who’s to blame?

You will then need to figure out who was to blame for the accident as this could be key later if later on down the road you want to sue for compensation for any damages to your bike or any injuries sustained to your person. Make sure you write down any specific damage to your bike and alert the police, at the scene, about the damages done to your bike due to the accident.

3. Take down details

Once you have established that everyone is OK and that those that need medical attention are being seen to, you will then need to start taking down down people’s details. You will need to take down the names and telephone numbers of everyone involved and you will also need to take the details of any witnesses that are there at the scene.

If you have a camera phone it can be a good idea to take a couple of pictures of the accident scene, should you need to use them in a legal capacity at some point, following the accident. Obviously, if there are any seriously injured people involved in the accident, make sure you are respectful and sensitive and are not taking any pictures of any victims suffering at the scene.

4. Get checked out by a doctor

Even if you feel that you have not sustained any serious injuries it always advisable to see a doctor. The details of an accident can seem very blurry looking back at them and it is incredibly difficult to remember exactly what happened and that also applies to the parts of our bodies that suffered at the time of an accident.

It is all too easy to pick ourselves back up and brush ourselves off without actually being aware that we have banged our heads, for example. With the adrenaline pumping, it can be surprisingly easy to not realize that damage has been done, and sometimes it takes a substantial amount of time before some injuries become apparent.

Head injuries can very easily go unnoticed initially but may create some serious problems later on down the road if not immediately looked at and detected. Therefore it is very important to get checked out by a doctor, immediately after an accident to make sure that there are no underlying injuries that you need to look into…

5. Organize a claim

If the accident was not your fault, then you may be eligible to make a claim in order to receive some compensation for damages and any injuries sustained. Therefore you will need to contact personal injury claims specialists to organize a face-to-face appointment or a conversation over the phone, to discuss the details and talk through what you may be eligible for.

Similarly, if someone is suing you for damages or injuries sustained then you are going to need to make sure that you have a reputable insurance policy behind you that will protect you in situations like these.

6. Record as much Info as possible

It’s important to be able to get down as much information as possible in case there is any blame involved and things could potentially go down a legal road. Therefore you should be getting down any number plate information, if you can take a quick sketch of the scene, that could also come in really handy.

Make sure you also scribble down the date and the time of the accident and try and jot down as much additional information, as possible, regarding the damage done to other bikes and cars and any other injuries sustained.

Top photo credit: A cycling accident just happened. What to do? By MOILIP (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

11 thoughts on “What to do after a bicycle accident”

  1. Make sure to ride legally on the road and legal bike lanes.
    Less than a year ago, I was hit in the back by a cyclist. I was on a pedestrian sidewalk where it is illegal to ride a bike.
    The cyclist smashed into my back. Nothing broke, but I am still suffering, a lot!!!!!

    1. I can’t “like” your comment Resa as I don’t like the thought of you being in pain :( Do gentle exercises for the back help give you some relief? How did the cyclist not see you – or maybe he/she didn’t care. I am NOT impressed by the cyclist!~

  2. Good tips, especially about the doctor. Lots of injuries from accidents only start to manifest or be painful a day or two later.

  3. Seems very similar to an auto accident, Christy. I do wish cyclists would adhere to the rules of the road. In my town, we have signs and bicycle lanes everywhere, yet many cyclists still cross on red lights and ride their bikes through crosswalks, to name two of the infractions. Sadly, many accidents are caused by their negligence :( Very informative post ♥

    1. We have this thing over here where if a cyclist gets in an any kind of accident a driver is automatically at fault. What we have found Tina is that cyclists now kind of do what they like cos if they get knocked down it will be the motorists fault. Talk about an ass of a law. . We live on a one way street and every time you glance out the window there’s one gaily cycling along the wrong way. Now the fact is the corner is blind and cos it is one way folks often pull round it without thinking, stopping, anything. I wonder what would happen if a cyclist going the wrong way caused an accident. Great post Christy my darling though. xxxx

    2. It’s pretty much the same here, Shey. The motorist is usually found to be at fault. But there’s only so much you can do to look out for cyclists ~ as well as pedestrians, traffic lights, stop signs, jaywalkers, etc. The law and insurance companies expect motorists to have eyes in the back and sides of their heads! Cyclists should have to apply for a license, take a cycling test, and be made to adhere to the rules of the road just like motorists. A bicycle is, after all, a vehicle sharing the road with other vehicles

  4. And anticipate! Legally, motorized vehicles are supposed to anticipate cyclists, but we all know that in reality, 90% of the onus is on the cyclist. Because the risk of injury is greater for the cyclist than the motorized vehicle, motorized drivers are arguably less aware of their surroundings, because the stakes are lower for them. Be careful everyone!

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