Bicycle Accidents Attorney Serving Allentown, PA and Surrounding Communities
Similar to a pedestrian accident, operators of a bicycle do not have the protections that may be available to the occupant of a motor vehicle. Bicycle operators often sustain overwhelming injuries and death when hit by a negligent driver. A collision with an automobile is the greatest fear most people have about cycling; in fact, the fear of a collision with an automobile is the single greatest impediment to getting more people on bikes-- many people want to ride, but don’t feel safe when riding a bicycle.
If you are the unfortunate victim of a bicycle accident, and your injuries allow, follow these rules:
- Always wait for the police to respond to the accident scene so that an official report will be filed. Some cyclists do not realize that they have been injured until several hours after the accident. Seemingly minor injuries may develop into serious and permanent injuries. By then, it may be too late to identify the at-fault driver.
- You should not attempt to negotiate with the at-fault driver. The driver may not give you accurate information about his or her identity, insurance coverage, or vehicle ownership. Many drivers who cause accidents will initially apologize and accept blame for the accident, but later, after they have had time to consider the ramifications of their negligence, will deny that they were negligent. They may even deny that they were present at the accident scene!
- If an accident report is written, make sure that it’s accurate. The accident report will include the driver’s statement as well as all other witness statements. The responding officer may decide to ticket the driver, and this can be useful when trying to settle the case with the insurance company.
- Regardless of whether an accident report is written, make sure that you have the driver’s name and contact info, as well as the names and contact info of any witnesses. If you are physically unable to gather this information, ask a witness to do it for you.
- The accident scene should be investigated for information about how the accident occurred. The investigation should include obtaining skid mark measurements, photographing the accident scene, speaking with additional witnesses, and measuring and diagramming the accident scene.
- Seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries. The medical records generated by the medical provider will help establish the extent of your injuries. Have several photos taken, from different angles and under different lighting, as soon as possible after your accident. Keep a journal (injury diary) of your physical symptoms, starting immediately after the accident, and make entries every couple of days.
- Leave your bike and other damaged property in the same state it was after the accident. Take photos of all your damaged equipment and accessories.
Do not communicate with the insurance company before consulting with an attorney. Most cyclists want to be fair and reasonable with the insurance company. Unfortunately, when you communicate with the insurance company, they are gathering information to be used against you later. What you see as an effort on your part to communicate a fair and honest account of the accident will be seen by the insurance company as an opportunity to gather evidence in support of their argument that your negligence caused the accident.