Bicycle accidents are more common and more injurious than often assumed, especially in Florida. Of the 780 bicyclists killed each year, 125 of those cyclists are on the roads of Florida. Four percent of total traffic fatalities in Florida involve bicycles, double the national average.
The majority of bicycle accidents (75%) occur in urban areas, often in broad daylight. High traffic, non-bike-friendly lanes, driver distraction, and weather conditions, among other factors, contribute to these collisions. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident and have suffered damages or injury, a claim to compensate you for those damages requires proof of negligence – meaning proof that a driver, manufacturer, city transport official, etc., failed in their duty to keep you safe. This is obviously difficult in the aftermath of an accident. Luckily, Cohen & Newmark PLLC have extensive experience in representing vehicle-bicycle collision victims and can help you navigate your way through the process. Let’s begin with a checklist of what to do after a bicycle accident with a car.
- Call the police
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, be sure to call the police and file a report. In the aftershock of an accident, injuries may not make themselves known. In fact, many injuries may not show up for hours or days after a collision – and may require months of physical therapy and rehabilitation. A police report is the first piece of evidence that other parties were involved in your accident. Be sure to tell your side of the story to the police. Do not let them only ask the driver.
- Collect the driver’s information
Just as you would in a vehicle on vehicle accident, exchange names, phone numbers, addresses, and license and insurance information. You will need all of this information when contacting the driver’s insurance company for compensation.
- Talk to witnesses and get their information.
You may need the assistance of another set of eyes on the scene should the case require more proof of fault during negotiations or court.
- Call an attorney
Call a lawyer with experience in bicycle and vehicle accidents. Your attorney will be able to walk you through these protocols, as well as direct you toward a medical professional. When given information about the accident immediately, your attorney can begin to put your case together, helping to streamline your claim process.
- See a doctor immediately
As soon as possible, seek medical treatment. The medical report your physician provides is one of the strongest pieces of evidence of your injury. Further, when given information about your accident, a doctor will know what types of injuries to look for – helping you receive appropriate treatments and/or early intervention for your injuries.
There are a few things you should not do after a bicycle-vehicle accident. Please remember to abstain from the following:
- Do not move your bicycle
If it is safe enough to do so, keep your bicycle as it was immediately after the accident until the police arrive. This helps ensure an accurate accident report. If you do need to move the bike, take pictures before moving it.
- Do not accept fault
Do not accept fault for the accident when speaking to the driver. Let the police report and investigation sort out the facts of the accident
- Do not negotiate with the driver
Even if the driver initially accepts blame for the accident, there is nothing stopping him or her from stating otherwise and denying responsibility later. Again, let the police report and investigation sort out the facts of the accident.
Cohen & Newmark have the experience and knowledge to help bicycle accident victims seek compensation for damages and injuries suffered on the road. From walking you through the post-accident process to finding you a suitable medical professional, working with insurance companies, and representing you in court, our team is here to handle the legal work while you focus on healing.
If you have been in a bike accident, Call Lee and let us help you with the next steps.