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In today’s blog, I share some thoughts on what to do after a bike accident in Vermont that wasn’t your fault. As someone who rides a bicycle on the road, I can tell you that few things frighten me as much as the thought of being hit by a car while riding.

While I don’t like to imagine the possibility, it is important to understand that what happens immediately after a bike crash can make a real difference in how the legal system treats you and how well you recover both physically and financially.

In today’s blog, I’ll talk about:

  • What to do before the police arrive;
  • How to document the accident; and
  • How to document your injuries

What You Should Do While You Wait For An Emergency Response

Let’s begin with what you should do after a bike accident while waiting for the police to arrive. If you are involved in a crash on a public road, whether hit by a car, truck, motorcycle, or even another bicyclist, the first thing to do is assess the extent of your injuries.

If you can’t move, don’t. If you can, get out of the roadway to avoid further injury to yourself or others who may be trying to help. Unless you’re sure there’s nothing wrong with you, be sure that someone calls 911 and waits for the police to arrive at the scene.

Many people involved in crashes don’t realize they are injured until several hours after the accident. The adrenaline and a desire to leave the scene can be powerful motivators, but they can sometimes hide injuries that develop into serious and permanent problems.

If you wave off the other people involved and leave the accident scene, you may never be able to recover if you do turn out to be injured. Instead, please wait for the police to come to document everything in the police report. The responding officer may also ticket the other operator, which can be helpful when you’re trying to settle a claim with an insurance company or if you find yourself in court.

Documenting The Bike Crash

You must document what happened in the crash to preserve important memories. Do this once you’re in a safe place, and take a moment to make a mental note about the crash. Include information about what happened, how it happened, where and when, and the road traffic and weather conditions if they’re relevant.

Write all of this information in a safe place as soon as you’re able. Get the name of the other vehicle operators involved. Collect their address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.

Please don’t assume the police report will include all this information because it may not. If you’re injured and cannot get this information, ask a bystander to do it for you if you can. Leave your bike and any other damaged items in the same condition as they were after the accident.

Don’t fix or clean anything if you can avoid it and take good-quality photos of any damaged equipment. 

Documenting Your Injuries After The Accident

Finally, let me address how you can document your injuries after a bike accident. I always recommend that you get immediate medical attention for injuries, even minor ones.

You may not need to be transported by ambulance to a hospital, but at least get checked out soon afterward by your primary care provider or a local urgent care facility. The medical record created will serve as proof that you were injured and the extent of those injuries. They’ll also be valuable if you’re ever in a court case and need to prove a causal connection between the crash and your injuries.

Just as with damaged property, take photos of any visible injuries as soon as possible, and document your recovery. Be sure to photograph your injuries right after the accident and give scale to photos with everyday household objects. Continue to write about how your injuries heal and any side effects you’re experiencing.

A few photos, five minutes of video, or a paragraph of written material a week, can provide critical information and a timeline of your recovery, which can be very important later on down the road, especially if you find yourself in court.

Summary What To Do After A Bike Accident That Was Not Your Fault

If you’re involved in a bicycle crash, be sure that someone calls for police or EMS. These folks are good at their job and will collect evidence and maybe even provide you with the medical care you didn’t know you needed.

Document what happened. Collect key information. Make a mental note of any important details surrounding the crash. Keep damaged items in the same condition and photograph them.

And finally, get medical assistance as soon as you can. This is good for your health and good for any possible legal claim you might have. Take good photos and document your recovery well.

We hope you found today’s article helpful. If you want the advice of an experienced Vermont accident lawyer, call Drew Palcsik at Champlain Valley Law.