What to do after a bicycle accident

There are a lot of articles telling you what to do if you get into a car accident. There are fewer telling you what you should do if hit by a car while on your bicycle.

The steps are similar to those you would take after a car accident, but some are a little different. Others gain even more significance as you try to recover damages from the driver who hit you.

1. Get off the road

You may have heard that if you get into a car accident, you should not move your vehicle until authorities arrive. With a bike accident, however, you are vulnerable to further injury or damage to your bike if you remain in the road. Unless you have symptoms of spinal cord injury, e.g., numbness or paralysis, get yourself and your bike out of the way of traffic as quickly and carefully as possible.

2. Call 911

As a bicyclist, you are at a greater risk of serious injury from a collision than as the driver of a car. Therefore, you should call 911 for a medical evaluation. You may not seem hurt at first, but sometimes symptoms of a serious injury do not show up right away. After your evaluation, you should obtain your medical records and keep track of any symptoms that you have following the accident.

Even if you are fortunate enough to escape serious injury, you should still summon authorities to the scene of the collision to make an official report. You should check the accuracy of this report later and make any amendments as needed.

3. Preserve evidence

Following a collision between your bicycle and a car, you may be eager to have your bike repaired and your clothes laundered, as well as to dispose of any damaged equipment. In doing so, however, you may inadvertently destroy important evidence. Do not take any of these steps until after the resolution of your case.

In addition, you should gather as much information as possible at the scene. You should exchange information with the driver if possible. However, even if he or she refuses to talk to you or leaves the scene, you may still be able to get his or her license plate number.