As the weather warms, bicycles become a more popular form of transportation and leisurely activity. However, with the increased use of bicycles comes an increased risk of injury as well. Bicycle accidents may be the result of many different circumstances, such as poor road or sidewalk conditions, negligent drivers, or careless pedestrians and fellow cyclists. In some cases, the state, county or municipality can be held responsible for failing to provide safe roadway conditions. In addition, negligent drivers, pedestrians, and fellow cyclists, can be held responsible for the injuries sustained from a bicycle accident if their actions caused the accident.
When accidents occur due to another’s negligence, it is possible to recover damages for injuries you sustain. For this reason, it is important to record and document as much as possible when the accident first happens. There are several steps you should take following a bicycle accident to increase your chances of receiving compensation:
- Call the police. The police will most likely take a statement from both parties to include in an accident report. This is crucial, even if you don’t believe you have been injured. You may discover injuries later on that you may like to seek damages for. In addition, this helps you identify the other party involved, helps to avoid any confrontations or conflict with the other party, and helps to establish fault.
- Gather information at the scene. If you are physically able, it is important that you obtain the name and contact information of the other party involved, as well as any witnesses to the accident. In addition, you should take photos of your injuries, damage to your bicycle, as well as the road or sidewalk conditions. When you are able, it is important to write down exactly what happened as soon as possible. In the days and weeks following the accident, you should also keep a journal of your physical symptoms resulting from your injuries.
- Save evidence of damagesA damaged bicycle, clothing, and other equipment that was in use at the time of the accident can all serve as evidence later on. Avoid having your bicycle or other equipment repaired and don’t wash the clothes you wore that day.
While there are some steps you can take at the scene and in the weeks following an accident, the most important thing is to contact an attorney. It is important to hire an attorney before consulting with the other party, as well as the insurance companies to avoid compromising your legal claim. If necessary, an attorney will help you conduct an investigation of the accident and advise you on the best way to proceed based on the circumstances of your case. The experienced personal injury attorneys at McGuire, Pelaez & Bennett have handled bicycle accident cases and will guide you through the legal process of making a claim and seeking compensation for your injuries. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call our Long Island firm at 631-348-1702.