Let’s face it – riding a bicycle as a means of transportation can be scary. Many cars are unfamiliar with, or simply don’t care about, best practices to share the road with bicycles.
While great progress has been made recently, a lot of cities in the United States have uneven or inconsistent infrastructure to help cyclists and motor vehicle drivers safely navigate the roads together.
When a collision occurs, bicycle riders should take immediate steps to protect themselves and their long-term interests in any insurance claims or litigation that may result from the accident. If your accident happened in Florida, as many of them do, a good first step is to check out these Clearwater bicycle accident lawyers. They offer free case evaluations, and the best part is you don’t owe anything unless they win your case for you. If you have not gotten that far yet, here’s what else to keep in mind during a very stressful situation.
- Keep Your Calm
It’s easier said than done – cars have a perceived (and real) advantage over bicycles, so it is understandable that many cyclists’ first reaction to being involved in an accident with a car is anger. Hard as it is, keep this under control – only the facts matter, and the more calmly and clearly you can express yourself the more helpful it will be to your situation.
- Look For Your Friends
Witnesses who saw the accident can provide you with much-needed assistance by offering their testimony about the sequence of events, and if you are really lucky, a dashcam or other video footage that can confirm with certainty what happened.
If your accident happens near stores or residential buildings, consider going back to ask if they have security footage facing the spot of the accident – but do so soon as many cameras erase their contents every few days.
- Check yourself and your bike checked out
Promptly getting medical treatment for yourself and a damage assessment for your bike is a critical step. For one thing, any physical injuries you have can be minimized by early treatment, and it’s important to document that any injuries you suffered stemmed directly from the accident.
A long delay between your accident and diagnosis offers a chance for the other side’s lawyers to claim the injuries may be unrelated to the accident. The same is true of assessing any damage to your bike for insurance purposes. The sooner damage is evaluated and quoted for repair after the accident, the more relevant and convincing it will be for any claims that result afterward.
A bicycle accident can be a scary and life-threatening situation. If you are unlucky enough to be in one, taking immediate steps is the best way to protect your physical and legal well-being.