Whether you cycle competitively, for fun, or as a primary means of transportation, you face a certain degree of risk every time you get out on the road. Even if you take the proper precautions, such as wearing a helmet and reflective clothing and always following the rules of the road, you can’t always predict when another cyclist, pedestrian, or motorist will do something risky that jeopardizes your safety.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, there are certain steps you can and should take immediately after the accident and in the following days and weeks, not only to ensure your physical recovery but also to protect your right to financial compensation.
Get Treatment for Your Injuries
If you were injured in the accident in any way, no matter how seemingly minor your injuries may be, you should seek medical attention. If you were seriously injured in the crash, you have likely already received medical treatment. However, if you did not go to the emergency room, urgent care, or your regular doctor because you believed your injuries did not warrant medical attention, it’s important that you still see a medical professional. In the aftermath of a bicycle accident, you may not realize that your injuries are more severe than they first seemed.
Seek medical attention for any of the following common bicycle accident injuries:
- Cuts, scrapes, and abrasions
- Broken or fractured bones
- Muscle strains/sprains
- Torn ligaments
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Ruptured discs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
These and other common bicycle accident injuries generally require professional medical treatment in order to heal properly. Even serious cuts and scrapes will need to be properly cleaned to prevent infection and some may even require stitches. Always seek medical attention as soon as possible after a bicycle accident.
Determine Who Is Liable for the Accident
After you have received medical attention and your injuries have been adequately addressed, the next thing you should do after a bicycle accident is determine if someone else was at fault. Why does this matter? Well, if someone else did cause the accident that left you injured, you may be able to seek financial compensation for your medical bills, bicycle repairs, and other damages, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
To determine if someone else is liable for your damages, you’ll need to consider how the accident occurred. Were you hit by a motorist who wasn’t paying attention while making a left-hand turn? Did someone abruptly open a car door into the bike lane, causing you to swerve and fall? Did a pedestrian step into your path while looking at their cellphone? Did another cyclist fail to follow the rules of the road, leading to a multiple bicycle crash? If someone else acted negligently—that is to say, carelessly, recklessly, or wrongfully—that person may be liable for the accident.
In some cases, a product manufacturer may be liable for an accident and/or your injuries. For example, if you were involved in a single-bike crash in which your helmet failed to protect you due to a defect, the manufacturer of the helmet may be legally liable for your resulting injuries. This may be the case even if no one else was at fault for the accident.
In any case, whenever possible, always collect the other involved person’s contact and insurance information after a bicycle accident. You’ll need this information if you wish to pursue a personal injury claim and recover compensation for your damages.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you believe someone else’s negligence led to your bicycle accident, one of the best things you can do to protect your right to financial recovery is to contact a personal injury lawyer. An attorney will be able to look at the legalities of your situation and determine who is liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
At Huffman & Huffman, we have spent decades helping tens of thousands of families in our community who have suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. If you were injured in a bike crash, our bicycle accident attorneys can provide you with the answers you need and the advocacy you deserve.
We encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation.