It doesn’t matter how careful you are; accidents can still happen. If you ride a bicycle to work, it only takes one reckless driver to cause you serious injury. You’re always careful and mindful of other drivers, but you may not have time to react if a driver opens their car door into the bicycle lane or cuts you off with a right turn at an intersection.
These accidents can be serious, causing limb, spine, neck, or head injuries. In these cases, it helps to talk to a Pittsburgh bicycle accident attorney about receiving compensation to cover the impending medical bills.
Steps to Take After a Pennsylvania Bicycle Accident
If you aren’t seriously harmed, move away from the road. If you have severe injuries, it’s better to lay in one place until the ambulance gets there to avoid further injury.
2. Call 911
If you are not physically able to do it yourself, ask someone else to call emergency services. You’ll need to report the accident, what injuries you’ve sustained, and the location so an ambulance can find you.
3. Always Get the Driver’s Information
This accident is no different than a car crash. Pedal cycles are subjected to the same duties and rights as vehicles on Pennsylvania roads according to PennDOT Code 3051(a).
Get the driver’s address, phone number, full name, and insurance information. If they insist on leaving the scene before police arrive, get their license plate number and state as well, so you can request a copy of the driver’s ID.
If the accident is a hit and run, it’s even more important to get the vehicle’s license plate number, as well as the make, model, and color of the car. Write down a physical description of the driver for the police and take notice of which direction they drive off in.
In addition to the driver’s details, take the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the crash. Your Pittsburgh bicycle accident attorney can have them testify in court about how the accident occurred, possibly tipping the case in your favor.
4. Take Photos
Using a digital camera or your cell phone, take photos of the scene of the accident. You’ll want pictures of your injuries, your bike, the car with its license plate number, and the place where the accident occurred.
5. Talk to Police
Give the police a detailed report of your side of the story including all injuries incurred. Then ask for a copy of the incident report.
6. Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you think you’re alright, head for the hospital. Sometimes the adrenaline involved in an accident can hide injuries or make serious injuries seem smaller.
7. Don’t Admit Fault
Never talk to the driver’s insurance company without first speaking to a lawyer. It’s a slim chance that the driver or their insurer will be looking out for your best interests. They’re likely to try to put the blame on you. Even if you think the accident might have been your fault, never admit liability.
8. Properly Maintain Evidence
After the accident, don’t do anything that could hurt your case. This includes throwing away your helmet, repairing your bicycle, or washing the clothes you wore when the accident occurred. Keep track of all of the pictures you took and the contact information for your witnesses and the driver, and hold onto all of your medical receipts. These could all be invaluable evidence if you decide to fight for compensation.
9. Contact a Lawyer
A Pittsburgh bicycle accident attorney will help you start a claim for reimbursement to cover medical expenses, property damage, and any wages you lost during the time you were incapacitated. With financial stability comes a better future.
The lawyers at SMA Law Group have years of experience representing cyclists. We’ll work to get you the compensation you need and deserve to move forward with your life without a financial burden. Call us today at 412-744-8341 or contact us online.