It is estimated that bike accidents fatally injure a person every 6 hours in the United States. One-third of these accidents involve bicyclists versus automobiles. An accident can be the result of any number of scenarios, from drivers not looking behind them when backing out, bicyclists struck in an intersection by a car trying to beat the light, or accidents that occur when bikes encounter road hazards that cause them to lose control. In addition, casualties can happen due to problems related to manufacturer’s defects with equipment, or bikes that are assembled improperly. As with any accident, there are many different factors.
Children are more likely to be seriously hurt, than their adult counterparts are. The accident statistics pertaining to children are staggering. Approximately one million children are seriously hurt in bicycle accidents every year. . Injuries that involve head trauma account for 75% of all reported bicycle accidents. However, only about half of all bicycling accidents are reported to the police.
So, what should you do if you are involved in a biking accident?
- First, if you are hurt, seek immediate medical attention.
- You should also take pictures of the scene if you are able to.
- Call the police and make a police report of the incident. Even if you are not seriously hurt, it is important to have a record.
- Get the other persons contact and insurance information. If you are unable to do so, make certain the police get it. Also, gather any witnesses contact information.
- Do NOT admit fault, bike laws vary from state to state. It is a good idea to know the applicable laws in your area.
- Do not talk with the other person’s insurance agency without also knowing your local laws. Just as with automobile accidents, most insurance companies will try to settle as quickly and cheaply as possible.
- If you have been hurt because of road debris, large unmarked potholes or hazards that are the responsibility of local road crews, or parks and recreation departments, you need to contact them right away. Again, you need to call the police and make an accident report for your own benefit.
- If an accident happens because of a bike defect, manufacturer’s error, or the negligence of a retail establishment that put the bike together, you will need to gather all the information you can from legitimate resources.
Contacting a personal injury lawyer should be one of the first things you do after attending to any injuries and gathering the basic information. A lawyer will be able to advise you on the laws and will be able to seek the most compensation for your injuries and/or any losses on your part. The rules of the road are changing rapidly. As more and more people are turning to biking for exercise and as a means of “green” transportation, accident numbers will continue to rise. Trust your case to an attorney that will be able to represent your needs, not an insurance company that is only looking to protect their insureds.