Today you will learn about what to do after a bike accident in Vermont that wasn’t your fault. As someone who rides bicycles on the road a lot, I can tell you that a few things frighten me as much as the thought of being hit by a car while riding.
But while I don’t like to imagine the possibility, it is important to understand that what happens after the crash can make a real difference in how the legal system treats you. And ultimately 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
- How to document your injuries
So let’s get started.
What You Should Do While You Wait For An Emergency Response
First, let’s talk about what you should after a bike accident do while you’re waiting for the police to arrive. If you are involved in a crash that takes place on a public road, whether you’re hit by a car, truck, motorcycle, or even another bicyclist, the first thing to do is assess how to hurt you are.
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 that there’s nothing wrong with you, be sure that someone calls 911 and wait for the police to arrive at the scene.
Many people who have been involved in crashes don’t realize that they’ve been injured until several hours after the accident. The adrenaline and a desire to get away from the scene can be powerful motivators, but they can sometimes hide injuries that later 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 useful 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 it occurred, and the road traffic and weather conditions if they’re relevant.
Then as soon as you’re able, write all of this information down in a safe place. Get the name of the other vehicle operators involved. Collect their address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, and any insurance information if you can. And try to get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
Please don’t assume the police report will include all of this information because it may not. If you’re injured and cannot get this information yourself, 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.
Take good quality photos of any damaged equipment. We’ve made a whole video you can find here on taking good photos after an accident.
Documenting Your Injuries After The Accident
Finally, let’s talk about how you can document your injuries after a bike accident. I always recommend that you get immediate medical attention for injuries even if they’re minor.
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 any damaged property, take photos of your injuries as soon as you can, and document your recovery. Be sure to photograph your injuries right after the accident and give scale to any photos with common household objects. Continue to document 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
So your takeaways from today’s video are these. Number one, 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 we’ll collect evidence and maybe even provide you with the medical care you didn’t know you needed.
Number two, 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, number three, 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.