Even if you’re wearing appropriate safety gear and acting as responsibly as any cyclist could, getting involved in any kind of bike crash—especially one caused by a negligent motor vehicle driver—can be a uniquely frightening and traumatizing experience. It’s understandable for you to be unsure about exactly what you should do after a bicycle accident, and what you have the legal right to recover financially from your injuries.
The right approach to dealing with the aftermath of a bike accident will be different for each person, depending on the injuries and losses you sustain from your unique wreck. That said, below are some important things to keep in mind to minimize the long-term harm a bike accident may cause you.
Get the Medical Treatment You Need
The top priority for anyone involved in a bicycle accident should be seeking immediate professional medical attention. Even if you’re feeling fine or think you only suffered minor injuries, getting checked out by a doctor could be key to discovering hidden injuries that could be dangerous if left untreated. Plus, if you suspect someone else is to blame for your crash, the medical reports generated by your physician can serve as vital evidence when it comes to establishing how badly you were hurt and what sort of losses you need to recover for as a result.
Keep Track of Important Documents and Details
On that note, be sure to keep copies of all medical bills and reports for injuries caused by a bike accident in a safe place—ideally alongside other related documents like:
- Police reports;
- Witness contact information;
- Receipts for bike repairs;
- Past pay stubs to establish missed income;
- Photos or videos of your injuries and the accident scene; and
- An injury diary documenting your recovery.
These can all be factored into a future settlement demand or lawsuit to establish all the economic and non-economic forms of harm you suffered because of your wreck.
Take Care of Your Mental and Emotional Needs
While you can factor physical pain and psychological trauma into a civil claim over a bicycle accident, those effects can still weigh heavily on you and dramatically impact your quality of life. Prioritizing your mental well-being can be just as important to dealing with the aftermath of a bike crash as treating physical injuries—even if it’s something small like meditation or journaling your thoughts.
Be Careful When Talking About the Accident
Unfortunately, if you try to recover financially from your bike wreck injuries, many people will not have your best interests in mind. In fact, they may actively work against you to minimize their own liability for your losses. For this reason, you should take care not to provide unnecessary information to people like insurance adjusters and attorneys representing the people responsible for your crash. This includes refraining from posting anything on social media that could possibly be used against you.
Consider Contacting Experienced Legal Counsel
Negotiating for compensation and handling the procedural aspects of your case can be daunting and difficult. There’s no substitute for assistance from a reliable legal professional who has handled similar cases successfully. Even if you know the law and are aware of your rights, insurance companies often refuse to compromise if you are not represented by an attorney. Dealing with the aftermath of your bike accident will likely be more successful if you have a dependable lawyer on your side. In addition, an attorney can take much of the burden of proving your case from your shoulders so that you can focus on your recovery.