If you are like many in the Los Angeles, California area who enjoy cycling, it is important you know what to do in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, the LA area has some of the highest rates for cyclist injuries and some can be quite severe and life-altering. If you are involved in an accident while riding your bike you will need to be in touch with a bike accident attorney in the local area to ensure you are protected and that you receive any compensation that you may deserve. Other than that, there are some key things you need to do immediately following a bike accident to help reduce the severity of your injuries and to keep you safe until help can arrive.
- GET OUT OF THE ROAD
If you are not seriously injured and are conscious your best bet is to get out of the road. Even crawling to the grassy shoulder is better than laying in the middle of the road. If possible, move your bike out of the road as well so it does not cause any additional accidents. If your injuries are too severe for you to move or bear any weight at all, call for an ambulance right away and avoid moving and try to signal for someone passing by to help.
- TAKE TIME TO ASSESS YOUR INJURIES
Following a crash, adrenaline pumps through the body to power the fight or flight response. Be sure to check yourself for injuries and realize if something looks bad but you don’t feel bad, you still need to be checked because the adrenaline will hide the pain for a time in many cases.1 Take a few minutes to assess any injuries you may have sustained and try to stand and walk and move to see what injuries might need more than passing care and attention.
- CALL SOMEONE FOR HELP
If your crash is not serious or it happened simply because you whipped out, your injuries may be minor and may not affect your ability to ride. However, if you got banged up pretty bad or hit your head at all, it is best to call someone. Have a friend or family member come pick you up rather than risking riding back home alone. Serious accidents involving a car should always be reported to the police right away and an ambulance called.
- GET YOU AND YOUR BIKE CHECKED OUT
After an accident, even a minor one, you need to get yourself and your bike checked out. Not all injuries are obvious right away thanks to adrenalin and some issues with your bike may be worse than they seem. So, always get a throughout check out before getting back on the road.2 Some injuries will not begin to show for hours or days after your accident and you may not notice all damage to your bike right away or know what to look for specifically.
- DOCUMENT THE EVENT
Accidents on the trail or during a group ride may not involve a police report, but if you’ve been involved in a bike-car crash it is important to get all the documentation you can of the accident. This will help in the event of medical bills or any lawsuit that may come from the accident. Be sure to get things like the driver’s name, insurance information, address and phone number, and all other information that can help you with insurance and medical claims.
- TALK TO AN ATTORNEY
A solo wipeout usually won’t result in any injuries or damages that will require the services of a bike accident attorney. However, a bike-car collision can often get quite messy. Consulting with a cycling injury and accident attorney will help ensure you stay safe and that your rights are not disregarded, and you get any and all compensation you deserve. They can also help with paperwork and insurance claims related to the accident.
Following a cycling accident, it is important to take care of yourself and get the help and treatment you need for any injuries you may have sustained. It is important to remember some injuries are apparent and others can be hidden. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a cycling accident and you have questions about what your legal rights are, call a top bike accident attorney near you, and let us help you get the restitution you deserve.