In Florida, given the year-round beautiful weather, it's quite common to see bicyclists riding along the side of the road. Unfortunately, that can lead to more frequent bicycle accidents as well. Bicyclists are considered to be vulnerable on the road because of the lack of protection in the event of a crash. In Florida, being injured while riding a bicycle is far too common, and cyclists continue to suffer injuries at higher rates. In 2010, 4,610 cyclists in Florida suffered non-fatal injuries after being involved in a motor vehicle crash.
Being in a bicycle accident is extremely scary, especially when a motor vehicle is involved. If you're a bicyclist in Florida, it's important that you know what to do if you're ever involved in an accident involving a motor vehicle. What you do immediately following an accident may have a big impact on how much you're able to recover for your injuries and damages.
Wait for the Police to Arrive
Even if the accident is minor, it's important that you wait for the police to arrive so they can take, and file a police report. Often times, cyclists don't realize that they're injured immediately following an accident. If you leave the scene and later realize that you're injured, you may never be able to identify the driver in order to seek compensation.
As tempting as it might be to attempt resolving things on your own, don't try to negotiate with the other party/driver. In the heat of the moment, many drivers will apologize and accept blame, only to later deny that they were at fault. Instead, wait for the police so they can document everything into a formal police report.
Make Sure to Give the Police Your Side of the Story
Sometimes, when the police officer will take a statement from the driver, but not bother to talk to you. Do everything you can to ensure that the police have your side of the story as well. Additionally, report all injures, regardless of how minor they may seem. Those minor injuries may manifest into something more serious later.
Obtain Contact Information for the Driver and Any Witnesses
Prior to leaving the scene of an accident, make sure you exchange contact information with the other party/driver. This includes his or her address, phone number, driver's license number, license plate number, and insurance information. Additionally, try to get information from any potential witnesses. Never assume that this information will be documented in the police report, and always take the time to get the contact information for your own records.
While you should take notes on what happened, it's also important that you take pictures of the accident scene. Take pictures of the damage to your bike, the motor vehicle, the surrounding area, and anything else that you feel may be helpful in the future. If you sustained any injuries, take pictures of those injuries as well. If you're seriously injured and are unable to take pictures, see if any bystanders took pictures and have them send the pictures to you before leaving the scene.
Seek Medical Attention
Often times you won't feel injured immediately following an accident, but that doesn't mean that you're not actually hurt. Many times, the extent of your injuries won't be evident right away, but a doctor will be able to look for signs of a possible injury, such as a concussion. Seeking medical attention will serve as proof that you were injured, and your medical records will document the extent of your injuries. This will be especially helpful when and if you try to receive compensation for your injuries.
Meet With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident due to the negligence of someone else - don't delay. Contact the Dellutri Law Group today for a free, no-obligation consultation! Call us at (800) 391-4337.