Personal Injury

10 Steps to Take After an Auto-on-Bicycle Accident

Eric Chandler

Eric Chandler

Thursday April 25, 2024

Bicycling is not only one of the most popular modes of transportation, but also a beloved recreational activity enjoyed by millions worldwide. However, the risk of accidents is inherent, particularly when sharing the road with motor vehicles. Before an accident even occurs, it’s important to always ride with a cell phone, personal identification, emergency contact information, and something to write with.

In the event of a bicycle accident, knowing how to respond promptly and effectively is crucial for ensuring personal safety, preserving evidence, and seeking appropriate recourse. Follow our guide of 10 recommended steps to take after an automobile-on-bicycle accident occurs.

Step 1) Prioritize Personal Safety of all Parties Involved

Immediately following a bicycle accident, prioritize personal safety for you and the other parties involved. If physically able, move to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further harm. Activating hazard lights (on helmet or bicycle) or using a flashlight can help make yourself more visible to approaching vehicles, especially in low-light conditions.

Assess your injuries and those of others involved, and seek medical attention promptly, even if injuries seem minor. It’s essential not to underestimate the potential severity of injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, as many injuries such as internal bleeding can initially go unrecognized.

Step 2) Contact Emergency Authorities or Police

Once in a safe location, contact the appropriate authorities to report the accident. Dial emergency services if there are injuries requiring immediate medical attention. Otherwise, contact local law enforcement to document the incident in a police report.

When reporting the accident, provide accurate details about the location, number of parties involved, and any injuries sustained. Law enforcement officers will arrive at the scene to assess the situation, gather information, and prepare an accident report. Cooperating with authorities is crucial, as their report serves as valuable documentation for insurance claims and potential legal proceedings.

Step 3) Exchange Information with Parties Involved

If able, exchange essential information with all parties involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, and witnesses. We recommend you obtain the following information:

  • Names
  • Contact information
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • License plate numbers
  • Insurance information
  • Vehicle descriptions

Additionally, document the names and badge numbers of responding law enforcement officers. Gathering this information facilitates the claims process and ensures accountability for damages incurred.

Step 4) Document the Scene

If not prevented by your injuries, document the accident scene thoroughly by taking photographs or videos from multiple angles. Capture the positions of vehicles, road conditions, traffic signs, and any visible damages. Pay attention to skid marks, debris, or other evidence that may help reconstruct the sequence of events leading to the accident.

Having documentation of the scene provides visual evidence that can corroborate your account of the incident.

Step 5) Seek Medical Evaluation

Regardless of the perceived severity of injuries, seek a comprehensive medical evaluation after a bicycle accident. Some injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury or internal trauma, may not manifest symptoms immediately and can be life threatening.

A medical examination not only ensures proper treatment, but also generates medical records essential for insurance claims and potential legal actions. Be sure to follow all medical recommendations and attend follow-up appointments as needed.

Step 6) Preserve Evidence

Preserve all evidence related to the accident, including damaged bicycle components, personal belongings, and medical records. Refrain from repairing or altering your bicycle until insurers and authorities have had the opportunity to assess the damages.

Retain copies of all documents, correspondence, and receipts associated with the accident for reference during the claims process. Preservation of evidence strengthens your position when pursuing insurance claims or legal actions.

Step 7) Notify Insurance Company

Notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Most people don’t realize it, but even if you do not have a separate insurance policy for your bicycle, your own auto insurance policy will include coverage in the event you have been injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.  Many policies will also contain coverage to help with payment of any out-of-pocket medical expenses.  Provide your insurance company with accurate details of the incident, photo or video evidence, and any documentation gathered at the scene. Prompt notification enables the insurer to initiate the claims process promptly, facilitating timely assistance with bicycle repairs, medical expenses, and other damages.

Step 8) Consult Legal Counsel at Chandler|Conway

Consider consulting with a qualified attorney from Chandler Conway who is experienced in handling bicycle accident cases. Bicycle accidents often result in significant injuries. Legal counsel can provide invaluable guidance on navigating insurance claims, negotiating with involved parties, and pursuing compensation for damages. One of our bicycle attorneys will safeguard your rights and interests, advocating for a fair and just resolution of your case.

Visit our Bike Accident Attorneys page for more information on how to get a free case evaluation and how the process of bicycle accident law normally goes.

Step 9) Evaluate Financial Impact

Assess the financial impact of the accident, including bicycle repairs, medical expenses, lost income, and other consequential damages. Keep detailed records of all expenses incurred as a result of the accident, as these will factor into insurance claims or potential litigation. Understanding the full extent of financial losses empowers you to pursue adequate compensation effectively.

Step 10) Follow Through with Procedures

Follow through with all necessary procedures including attending medical appointments and adhering to legal deadlines. Prompt and thorough compliance with these obligations strengthens your position when pursuing insurance claims or legal actions. Remember that patience and persistence are often crucial in achieving a satisfactory resolution.

Bicycle accidents can have profound physical, emotional, and financial implications for those involved. As provided above, the essential elements to navigate the post-accident landscape include prioritizing safety, preserving evidence, engaging with authorities, and seeking appropriate assistance.

By following these guidelines and seeking support when needed, individuals involved in bicycle accidents can move towards recovery with greater confidence and resilience.


Use Chandler Conway Attorneys for Bicycle Accidents

One thing that separates bicycle crashes and accidents from the typical car crash is the greater likelihood of sustaining serious and life-threatening injuries. There isn’t much room for error when you’re injured on a bicycle.

At Chandler|Conway PC LLO, our personal injury attorneys have several years of experience successfully representing victims of bicycle accidents. Contact us or explore our website to see how we can help you.


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Attorney Eric Chandler
Eric Chandler

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