What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Austin
A bicycle accident in Austin can leave you badly shaken. You might have injuries and expensive property damage, on top of costs from missing time at work. The driver who struck you may have taken off, or refused to admit fault. No matter the circumstances, there are certain things you should do after a bicycle accident to protect your rights and start the journey toward physical, emotional, and financial recovery.
Call the Police
First things first – call 911 and report the crash. Don’t assume the driver or another witness has already made the call. If you’re capable of getting to your phone, call the police and report the accident yourself. Texas law makes it mandatory to report an accident to police if it causes injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. This describes the majority of bike accidents. Never trust the other driver to pay for your damages without police or insurance involvement.
Request an Ambulance
If you have injuries, tell the police you need an ambulance or paramedics. Common bike accident injuries include fractures, sprains, abrasions, and head or brain injuries. When in doubt, tell the police you don’t know if you have injuries. If you say you aren’t injured, it can be difficult to prove injuries you discover later. Don’t move unless you have to while you wait for paramedics. Moving the wrong way can make minor injuries major.
When police arrive on the scene, they should take down all the most important facts of the accident, including the driver’s name, the names of any bystanders, the driver’s insurance company, and descriptions of damages and injuries. It’s always a good idea, however, to gather information on your own. Take photos of the scene of the crash, your bicycle’s damages, and any injuries if you can. Get the driver’s name and his/her license plate number, as well as the contact information of any witnesses.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
Do not delay in going to the hospital after a bicycle accident. Nothing is more important than your personal health and safety. Delaying medical care can worsen your injuries. It can also hurt your odds of being eligible for injury compensation, as it shows the insurance company that your injuries must not have been very severe. Some injuries, such as concussions, can show delayed symptoms. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, go in for a checkup just in case.
Call the Insurance Company
As soon as you begin healing from your injuries, report the accident to the driver’s insurance company. You may also want to tell your own insurer. Many vehicle insurance policies also cover bicycle accidents. If you were the victim of a hit and run, your own insurer may be your only option for financial recovery. Many insurers require immediate reporting, so do this as soon as possible.
Talk to an Attorney
Bicycle accidents can involve complicated elements such as hit-and-run drivers, serious injuries, lack of insurance coverage, shared fault, and bicycle-specific traffic laws. Talk to an Austin personal injury lawyer after a major bicycle accident in Texas. You can discuss liability, insurance settlement negotiations, and the potential for a personal injury lawsuit. You may discover you’re eligible for significant compensation after your accident.