California bicyclists are likely aware of the dangers they are exposed to on the busy roads of our state. The consequences of a bike crash can be life-changing and may include fractured bones, internal trauma, catastrophic injuries or brain damage. Sadly, fatalities are also not uncommon in bicycle accidents. Victims of bicycle crashes may decline medical attention immediately after an accident, but should keep in mind that some injuries only become apparent later, and a thorough medical examination may benefit any future claim.
In order to be prepared for legal action after a bicycle accident, you may take some steps, including asking the driver of the vehicle to remain at the accident scene. If he or she refuses to wait for the arrival of the police and you fail to get his or personal details, the vehicle details may help. Make a note of the type and color of the vehicle, the license plate number and the state where it was issued. The personal details of any witnesses should be recorded, making sure you have their contact details.
Upon the arrival of the police, you may want to make a note of the name and badge number of the attending officer and ensure he or she fills out an incident report of which you may obtain a copy at a later stage. If the witnesses are still present at that time, ask the police also to speak to them. If your accident was caused by a motorist opening a car door, he or she might be cited for a door violation. In the days following the accident, you may request witnesses to put in writing what they remember of the accident. Clear photographs of your injuries along with medical reports may be valuable, along with photographs of the damages to your bicycle and a quotation for repairs.
Armed with all this evidence, an experienced California bicycle accident attorney may be able to build a personal injury case to present to a civil court. Your legal rights and options for financial recovery will be explained. If you have suffered severe injuries in a bike crash, we will fight to obtain fair compensation to cover related medical expenses, along with other damages that are allowed by state laws. Our personal injury website may provide answers to more questions about recovery of damages after a bicycle accident.
Source: sfbike.org, “Crash Checklist“, Nov. 28, 2014