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What to Do If You Are in a Bicycle Accident (no, Crash!)

You've been hit on your bike, now what do you do?

Bike Law network lawyers, Bruce Hagen (GA) and Bob Mionske (OR) discuss one of the most FAQ we receive – “What to do if I’m in a bike accident?”

We have written extensively on the topic of what to do after a bicycle crash and at our recent Bike Law retreat, we put together an information-rich video on our tips for what to do after you’ve been in a bike crash and why we call it a crash, not an accident.

Information You Should Know Before a Bike Crash

Unfortunately, people often find our resources when they are searching the internet after they have been hit by a car. We ask you to share this information widely so that bicyclists know what to do before an incident occurs.

Key things covered in the video:

• Why we call them bicycle crashes and not accidents. You can learn more about this topic in past articles.
• Why you should call the police
• What information you should gather
• Why you should visit a doctor
• How to handle insurance
• What to look for in a good bicycle crash attorney

10 Things to Do After a Bike Crash

  1. Before you start your ride, make sure you have a cell phone, personal identification, emergency contact, and something to write with. (We carry a mini pencil in our seatbag)
  2. Dial 911: call the police or an ambulance immediately. If you are unable to do so, ask someone to help.
  3.  Always wait for the police to arrive and file an official report. A police report provides documentation detailing the incident, including the identity of witnesses.
  4. Get the business card of the officer.
  5. Leave your bike in the same state it was after the crash, if possible. It is best if the police see the accident scene undisturbed.
  6. Obtain the contact information of any witnesses.
  7. Immediately seek medical attention, either at the scene, the emergency room, hospital or doctor’s office. When in doubt go to the ER! Give all complaints to the doctor. Medical records are proof that you were injured and document the extent of your injuries.
  8. Take photos of injuries and keep a diary of how you feel after the crash.
  9. Never negotiate with the driver of the vehicle, regardless of who may be at fault. Get photos of the car, license plate, driver’s license and insurance card, along with the names of any passengers.
  10. Give no written or recorded statements to anyone until you talk to an attorney.

Other Bicycle Crash Resources

Other articles we believe every bicyclist should read:

• Learn more about bicycle safety

Damaged bike in a crash? Make a claim

Does auto insurance cover a bicycle crash?

Insurance advice for Oregon bicyclists and most everywhere else

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