What to Do After a Bike Crash
Texas is one of the deadliest states for cyclists. A number of major cities encourage pedestrian and cyclist traffic, so there are many opportunities for collisions with motor vehicles that coincide with increased bicycle activity. In 2016, 65 bicyclists died throughout the state of Texas. This was a 25% increase from the previous year. Non-fatal bicycle accidents can result in serious injuries, medical bills, expensive property damage, and significant mental and emotional trauma. Nobody plans on being involved in a bike crash, but you can prepare for the worst. In addition to consulting a local Austin bicycle accident attorney, here’s what to do in the event of a bicycle accident in Texas:
A bicycle accident can be incredibly frightening, involving serious injuries, such as damage to the head, brain, neck, and spine. After a crash, you must first try to remain calm. Doing too much too fast can exacerbate your injuries. Try to keep your cool – flying off the handle and shouting at the driver could impact the outcome of any lawsuits involving the accident. Stay on the scene until police arrive, or until you know that everyone is OK. Do not admit fault for the accident. Be as courteous as possible, but do not say anything that could place the blame on you.
Report the Accident
Most bike crashes result in personal injuries or major property damage – or both. Even a small car can crush an expensive bicycle in a collision. Call the police to report any accident once you are safe. Report any injuries at this time so that authorities can request emergency medical services. Wait in a safe place for police to arrive. Once officials arrive, they will gather information, such as the names and contact information of anyone involved in the accident. Again, do not admit fault. Give only facts to the police officer, such as the direction both vehicles were traveling at the time of the collision.
If you are not seriously injured, collect some information for yourself. Take photos of your property damage, damage to the other vehicle, and any injuries. Take pictures of the location of the collision, as well as any imperative details, such as a hidden stop sign or a malfunctioning crosswalk signal. Obtain a copy of your police report and keep copies of your medical bills. If the driver flees the scene, try to gather information from any eyewitnesses. Check with your insurance company to find out if your policy will help cover damages from a hit-and-run accident.
Seek Medical Attention for Injuries
If you have serious injuries, your first step should be to seek medical attention. Go to a hospital as soon as possible after a bike crash and tell the physician what happened to you. If you don’t feel or see any injuries, it is still worthwhile to visit your primary care doctor to explain the crash. You may have an injury that has not yet shown symptoms, such as a concussion or internal bleeding. Medical tests and scans can diagnose accident injuries you may otherwise not notice you have. Common bicycle accident injuries include broken bones, head and brain injuries, neck and spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, and road rash.
File a Claim
Call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as you can. Most insurance companies have rules detailing how soon you must report a crash to receive coverage. Do not record a statement with the other driver’s insurance company, or accept a fast settlement without speaking with a personal injury lawyer in Austin. Most insurance company settlement offers are for less money than you could potentially receive from a personal injury claim – especially if the driver was at fault for your accident. Speak to a local bicycle accident attorney to discuss your crash, your rights, and your possible legal options.