There’s nothing quite like hopping on your bicycle and taking a leisurely ride through Sarasota or Manatee County. However, bike riding comes with some very real dangers. All too often, motor vehicle drivers are negligent and create hazardous situations for bike riders.
Even if you’re careful and wear a helmet, there’s still a chance that you might be involved in a bicycle accident. Unfortunately, most bicycle vs. motor vehicle accidents don’t favor the bicyclist and can result in serious injuries or even death.
If you suffer a major injury, you need a bicycle accident attorney.
Common Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
When you’re struck by a vehicle on your bike, it can result in major injuries. Some common injuries you might suffer from include:
- Head injuries: These can range from minor scrapes to major fractures to the skull and brain injuries.
- Traumatic brain injury: Traumatic brain injuries can lead to life-altering symptoms, including memory loss, loss of bodily functions, mental and emotional trauma, and even death.
- Facial injuries: Facial injuries can include the loss of teeth, a broken jaw, broken nose, or even eye damage.
- Bodily trauma: Bikers may experience scrapes and bruises, broken bones, torn ligaments, and more.
- Back injuries: If a biker lands on his or her back after being struck, it could lead to back and spinal injuries. In severe cases, this can lead to paralysis.
What To Do If You’re Hit by a Vehicle on Your Bicycle
If you are struck by a motor vehicle while on your bike, it’s essential to take the right steps for your safety and to ensure you collect the right information for a potential lawsuit.
Document the Scene of the Accident
After you are hit, you should immediately call 911 and inform the dispatcher that you were hit by a vehicle while riding your bike.
Then, if you are able — depending on the severity of your injuries — you need to document the location of the accident, the license plate of the vehicle that hit you and get the driver’s and witnesses’ information. Ask the driver for his or her insurance information, their name and contact information, and their driver’s license number.
You should also get contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
Before leaving the scene, you should take photos of your bike, the vehicle, any injuries you suffered, and any traffic control signs, obstacles, or anything that could have led to the accident.
Be Careful What You Say
After being struck and potentially injured, you might be stunned and not thinking clearly. However, it’s important to be very careful what you say – especially to the driver. You need to avoid saying things like “I’m OK,” and “it wasn’t your fault.” These can hinder any lawsuit you might pursue.
If you’re in doubt about what to do, call your lawyer and he or she will advise you.
Get Medical Treatment
If you suffered any injuries – no matter how minor – you need to seek medical treatment. Serious injuries should be treated by emergency personnel at the scene of the accident, but for less severe injuries you should go to an emergency room or urgent care. This is important because you will need medical records to use as evidence in a potential lawsuit.
It’s also important to collect any medical bills, prescription payments, and invoices for other treatments you received. Your attorney can use these to determine what damages to seek in the lawsuit.
Hire a Bicycle Accident Attorney
Perhaps most importantly, you need to hire an experienced bicycle accident attorney. You should do this quickly so your attorney can advise you what to do at the scene of the accident, and how to properly document your injuries and other damages.