If you have ever witnessed or been involved in a bike accident, you understand that it can be stressful and traumatic for everyone involved. Even in the best-case scenarios where no one is hurt, the high stress of the situation can feel overwhelming and make it difficult to know how to navigate the logistics. 

According to the CDC, an average of over 130,000 injuries occur from bike accidents each year. Almost 1,000 of those are fatalities.  Both bikers and drivers can take measures to prevent bike accidents, but unfortunately, accidents will still occur.

Did you know that legally bicycles and vehicles have the same rights and responsibilities when on the road? So even if you are not a biker, you are just as responsible for the safety of bikers on the road when you are behind the wheel. 

Tips to Prevent Bike Accidents if You are DRIVING:

  • Drive defensively and obey the speed limit. Slow down for road conditions. Be sure to eliminate distractions while driving
  • Check your surroundings, especially in parking lots, when you are backing up, or approaching a stop sign.  
  • Yield to bikes just as you would yield to another vehicle.
  • Give bicyclists room when you pass.
  • When turning right on a red light, be sure to check your mirrors and look over your right shoulder for bicyclists on the edge of the road or the sidewalk.

Tips to Prevent Bike Accidents if You are BIKING:

  • Wear a helmet.
  • Wear attire that helps you be seen like florescent colors or reflective gear. This is even more important at night.
  • Make sure your bike has the correct light reflectors–white for the front and red for the rear.
  • Carry all items in a backpack or securely strapped to the back of the bike so both hands are available to steer and brake.
  • Go with the flow of traffic and obey all street signs and stop lights.

Hopefully, you will never have to use this information, but here are five things that you should be sure to do in the event of a bike accident.

1. Call the police

If someone is injured, call 911 right away. Communicate your location and the details of the injuries as clearly and specifically as you can. 

When telling the dispatcher your location, it can be helpful to give more details than just the address. For example, you can say that you are in the northeast corner of the intersection or on the south side of the road in front of the gas station.

Stay on the line until help arrives or the dispatcher tells you that you can hang up the phone.

If all parties are uninjured, you still should call the police. You can call 911 or use the local non-emergency number. It’s still important to have a police officer respond to the accident in order to file a police report and ensure everyone involved is all right. 

Police reports are important records of the events and effects of the accident. They are often required for insurance claims or legal processes. In most cases, it is much more difficult to file a report after the fact, so it is better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it.

2. Document Everything

Similar to a police report, documentation can be very helpful in resolving issues that arise from accidents. Take pictures of any injuries and damages that have occurred from multiple angles and from close up and far away.

Photos provide evidence and a timestamp of when the accident and damages occurred. This is helpful in case you end up going to court or need proof for insurance companies. 

You will be required to fill out a summary of what happened as part of the police report, so again, be as detailed as possible. You can request a copy of the police report once the officer has processed it. 

3. Get Information from all Parties

Everyone who was involved in the accident should exchange information. This includes names, phone numbers, and insurance information; and possibly addresses, emails, or other personal information. 

This information will also be included in the police report, but you may need access to it before you receive a copy of the report. So it is always a good idea to write down the information or take pictures of identifications and insurance cards as soon as possible after the accident.

4. Seek Medical Care

The first concern after an accident should be everyone’s well-being. Paramedics and EMTs can treat you at the scene of the accident and on the way to the hospital. But even if you do not feel you are in need of emergency care, you should still visit a doctor to make sure everything is okay.

Urgent care facilities can also be useful to visit in non-emergency situations or if you are not able to get in to see your primary care doctor. 

Some injuries may not be apparent right after the accident, but a medical professional can rule out any injuries or complications and provide important documentation. Be sure to tell the medical provider you were in a bike accident and follow all care instructions and medical advice that are given.

5. Get Legal Help

The cost of personal injuries that occur as a result of accidents can be extremely high and continue for years if the consequences are severe, not to mention the cost of damages to your bike or vehicle. 

If you feel that you or a loved one were injured in an accident due to another person’s negligence, you may require legal help to get the compensation you deserve. Get in contact with an attorney to review your case and determine if you have a case that could benefit from legal representation. 

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

The team of expert attorneys at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton specialize in personal injury law and will review your case for free. They recognize that every bike accident case is different and provide legal help that is tailored specific to you and your situation. 

With over 25 years of experience, you can trust Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.