What to Do If You Have Been Hit on a Bicycle
Riding a bicycle for exercise, running small errands in your community, commuting to school or work, or simply for pleasure, is a choice that’s healthy for the body and for the environment. But the same open-air and 2-wheel design that makes cycling an exhilarating ride also leaves riders vulnerable in a collision. While helmets protect the head from some injuries, the remainder of the body is likely to experience blunt-force trauma in an accident, especially in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle.
No one expects a bike ride to end in disaster, but over 130,000 Americans are injured in bicycle accidents each year and around 1,000 of those accidents end in death, amounting to costs of over $23 billion dollars annually in medical expenses and lost time from work.
If you were injured while riding a bike due to a driver’s negligent actions, a malfunctioning traffic signal, or other cause that was no fault of your own, it’s important to know what to do in order to protect your physical and financial health.
Make Your Health and Safety a Priority
If you’ve been seriously injured in a bicycle accident you may be unable to move without causing further harm to yourself. In this case, you should remain in place and let others render aid and comfort until emergency services arrive. If you can reach your phone and it’s intact, call 911 to report the accident. If bystanders are assisting you, ask someone to call in the accident. Wait in place until help arrives.
How to Protect Yourself Physically and Financially in the Aftermath of a Bicycle Accident
If you’re mobile and able to move around safely after the accident, move to the shoulder of the road and then do the following:
- Call 911 to report your accident
- Use your smartphone to collect the contact information of the involved driver and any eyewitnesses
- Use your phone to take pictures of the scene. Include photos of your bike, any involved vehicles, and the immediate area around the accident scene.
- Take photos of any other relevant factors such as traffic signs and signals, road signs, intersections, and bike route markings
- If road hazards caused your accidents, like potholes, cracked pavement, or malfunctioning traffic signals photograph all relevant factors
- Use your phone to make a quick video of yourself describing what occurred while it’s fresh in your memory
- Once you’re able, send the photos and video to a trusted family member as a backup
Actions to Take in The Days and Weeks After Your Bicycle Accident
During your medical evaluation and treatment at the hospital be sure to tell the doctor about all of your symptoms and every injury. Ask the medical staff to take detailed notes and ask for a copy of the report, including all findings, treatment recommendations, and prognosis. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s recommendations and attend every appointment, procedure, and follow-up. Seek help from a therapist if you experience PTSD, anxiety, or depression after the accident. Once you’re physically able, do the following:
- Gather your medical records and bills
- Obtain a copy of the police report
- Call a personal injury attorney in New Mexico for a free evaluation of your case
- Avoid posting on social media
What Can a Bicycle Accident Claim Do For Me?
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident through no fault of your own, the at-fault party owes you compensation. This is typically paid through their insurance company, but powerful private insurance companies routinely deny or undervalue claims. With a New Mexico bicycle accident attorney on your side to gather evidence and prove liability you could gain the following compensation for your damages:
- Medical expenses and any future expenses for upcoming surgery or procedures
- Lost wages from missed work days and lowered productivity
- Lost future wages if ongoing medical care or treatments are required
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Diminished quality of life in cases of lasting or permanent disability
Drivers on the roadway owe a duty of care to keep bicyclists safe by following all road rules and avoiding distractions. If a driver’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing caused your accident, or if a hazard on the roadway, malfunctioning traffic signal, or other poorly maintained road condition caused you harm, you’re owed compensation for your damages so you can focus on your recovery.