According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), there are nearly 1,000 bicycle accidents that involve a vehicle and cause injuries or death every year in the Lower Mainland. By comparison, in 2016, there were more than 1,000 cyclists and pedestrians hit on Toronto streets by June. Bicycle safety is obviously a serious concern across Canada. Experts in the region call these numbers a “serious health issue” that needs to be addressed.
Because these accidents are so common, it is important to know what to do if you have been injured following a cycling accident. This brief article provides some pointers so you can be prepared if the unthinkable happens to you or a loved one. Following this advice can make or break a personal injury claim related to your accident.
First and foremost, you should take steps to obtain medical care if you need it. As there is a huge size difference between most vehicles and a bicycle, personal injuries are far more common for bicyclists. If you are unsure whether you should call an ambulance, err on the side of speaking to a medical professional.
Getting medical help is not only good for your health, it is also good for your personal injury case. Having an immediate evaluation after an accident can be extremely helpful to show which injuries were specifically caused by the crash. A third-party evaluation from someone who has medical training can go a long way to proving the injuries associated with the collision.
It is important to have the police at the scene so they can create a report of the accident. Having a police report provides a vital third-party description of the crash and the scene. Do not leave the scene of the collision without speaking to a police officer first.
Gathering information is particularly critical for those involved in bicycle accidents. Often, bicyclists are so taken aback by the crash that they do not think to collect information from the driver involved or from nearby witnesses. It is important to get information about both the driver and the name and contact information of any witnesses to help move your case forward.
Using your cell phone to document information can be extremely helpful. For example, you may want to take pictures of the scene, including any sightlines, skid marks, nearby traffic signals or stop signs, and even photos that generally show the weather.
If you are in an accident, you should never apologize for your actions or assume that the crash was your fault. Even if you feel terrible for the situation, these admissions can be used against you later. It is a good idea to stick with gathering information and politely asking if everyone is okay, instead of discussing how the accident happened or whose fault it may have been.
In many bicycle accidents, your property is damaged because of the impact with the vehicle. This often includes your bike itself, your helmet, and your clothing. Be sure to keep any torn or damaged safety gear or clothing as well. Do not repair any damages until after you speak with a lawyer. Sometimes showing these damages to others can display the severity of an accident in a way that other types of evidence cannot.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident with a vehicle, you may have a legal claim. It is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as you canto discuss your legal options. Contact our team by calling 1-800-567-HURT for more information