Bicycle crashes do happen, but most crashes actually do not involve vehicles or other people. Typically bicyclists lose control on a bad surface or hit a fixed object. Sometimes collisions with other bicycles and motor vehicles also occur. If you are involved in any crash make sure you don’t ignore even a minor injury. Some injuries may be masked until later due to the adrenaline rush from the crash. Here are some tips if you are in a crash involving another vehicle or person:
At The Scene
- If you’re hurt, don’t move unless you’re sure you won’t hurt yourself more.
- If you’re not hurt, call 911 for medical help for other parties.
- Apply immediate first aid to anyone injured.
- Keep a level head so you can ask questions and take notes.
Get the Following Information:
- Drivers: Name, address, phone number, license number, plate number, vehicle model and year, and insurance company and policy number.
- Witnesses: Names and phone numbers.
- Officers: Names and badge numbers. If a police report is filed get the number.
- Use your cell phone to take photos or video of the scene and to take notes.
Protecting Your Rights
- Do not admit anything. Simply state the facts.
- Do not say you’re “OK.” You may not know until later. If asked, simply say something like, “I will know more after I visit my doctor.”
- If asked about your bicycle, say, “I will have to have a professional check it for damage and get a repair estimate.”
- Insist that the investigating officer records your account of the crash for their crash report.
- While it is fresh in your memory, write down exactly what happened.
- Call your insurance agency. Minnesota is a “No-Fault” insurance state, and you may have coverage under your own auto insurance policy or that of the driver.
- Keep a copy of all medical bills and papers regarding the crash.
- Keep any damaged clothes or equipment (including your bike) as they may help your case if you end up in court.
- Have someone take pictures of all your visible injuries
- Keep receipts for replacement and repair costs.
- Have a mechanic make sure your bicycle is in safe working order.
- Contact an attorney that specializes in bicycle law. If a criminal case is filed against the driver, kyou may be able to obtain restitution from the driver for economic losses. You may also be able to bring a civil claim for any personal injuries or damage to your bicycle or other property. Don’t expect the courts to do anything for you if you were aggressive.
Bicyclists are involved in less than 1 percent of all traffic crashes. Proportionally, they represent a greater number of fatalities than any other group of roadway users. This is why it is especially important for drivers to pass bicyclists at a safe distance and to always yield to them before making turns.