Most bicycle wrecks don’t fit the true definition of an “accident.” Instead, they are preventable events that result in far too many needless injuries and deaths throughout Mississippi and the rest of the United States. In 2019, the number of preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents increased 6 percent, contributing to a 37 percent increase over the last ten years. In 2010, there were 703 preventable deaths, and there were 1,089 preventable deaths in 2019.
While cyclists may not be able to prevent themselves from falling victim to a reckless motorist, bicycle operators should take proper steps to be safe, but also know what to do in the event of a wreck. One of the most crucial things to do after being involved in a bicycle accident is to connect with an experienced Biloxi bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Immediately After the Wreck
Move to Safety
Immediately after a bicycle accident, victims should get off the road. For bicyclists, moving themselves to safety and out of the path of any oncoming traffic should always be the first step whenever possible. If one cannot move to safety, those around them should attempt to take steps to protect them.
Call for Help
Injured victims should call 911 or the local emergency response number. Even if the cyclist seems fine or says they aren’t injured, it’s imperative to have a legal record of the accident in the form of a police report. The responding officers should interview or ask for a written statement from all involved parties, including the injured bicyclist and any bystanders.
Seek Medical Evaluation
Keep in mind that some injured bicyclists may not be aware of the extent of their injuries until hours or days later. As such, it’s always best for victims to see a doctor as soon as possible after being involved in an accident. EMTs can examine the victim at the scene and make their recommendations as to whether they should take the ambulance to the hospital, have someone drive them to the hospital, or follow up with their physician.
Exchange Pertinent Information
If possible, the victim should exchange contact and insurance information with the at-fault driver(s). If the victim can’t, a bystander should attempt to get the information on their behalf. It can be as simple as taking a picture of the motorist’s driver’s license, license plate, and insurance card.
Record the details of the accident. Victims can text or email themselves all the details they can remember, including what happened, when, and why. Even small details that might seem unimportant should be recorded as they may prove helpful when the victim has a Biloxi bicycle accident attorney review their case.
Once the dust has settled and the urgency of the situation is over, there are additional steps injured cyclists should take.
See a Doctor and Continue Treatment Plan
If an injured cyclist has not already seen a doctor, now is the time to do so. Any injuries should be medically documented as soon as possible. If the doctor prescribes a treatment plan or physical restrictions, the incurred victim should be sure to follow it.
Contact a Reputable Biloxi Bicycle Accident Lawyer
As soon as possible, those injured in bicycle accidents should contact a reputable Biloxi bicycle accident lawyer. Even if the victim isn’t sure he or she has grounds for a personal injury claim, one should still discuss potential claims with a lawyer. Many victims miss out on the compensation they deserve to pay their bills simply because they don’t fully understand their legal rights – a situation that is easily remedied through a free consultation with a Biloxi bicycle injury attorney.
At Van Cleave Law, we offer a free consultation with an experienced Biloxi bicycle accident attorney to help accident victims understand their legal rights, and where appropriate start their claims. Victims should understand that the longer one waits to get a claim started, the less valuable it may be. Important evidence can change or be destroyed over time. Additionally, claims must be brought within the applicable statute of limitations (which in many cases will range between one and three years), or be forever barred. The sooner a bicyclist consults an attorney, the sooner that attorney can get to work collecting evidence for available claims, to ensure the injured bicyclist receives full and fair compensation.
Don’t Repair or Throw Out Evidence
In the meantime, the injured cyclist should be not repaired or discard the bicycle involved in the crash. The same is true for helmet(s) and any other safety equipment in use at the time of the accident. While it might be tempting to move on and ensure one has a workable bicycle again as soon as possible, the damaged bike is valuable evidence in a bicycle accident case. It can show how and where the cyclist was hit, the severity of the impact, and support the presence victim’s physical injuries. Note that pictures taken after the crash are also available and can help provide the same or similar evidence if the bicycle is no longer available for inspection. The injured cyclist can purchase a new bike if they please. However, one should keep the receipt and, when possible, keep their damaged bike until the case is resolved.
Record Aftereffects and other Details of Post-Accident Life
Record any aftereffects of the crash and resulting injuries. Victims can experience other symptoms or side effects long after the initial bicycle accident occurs. Even if they aren’t severe enough to report to a physician, victims should mention them to their attorney. In many cases, these kinds of problems and unexpected inconveniences are compensable losses. Some victims find it helpful to keep a journal specifically related to their accident. Here, an injured bicycle rider can record symptoms or circumstances, such as:
- Trouble sleeping
- Inability to attend work or school due to the accident
- Inability to go to their children’s school or extra-curricular activities, or even a family vacation or wedding
- Other interference with normal daily living activities
Call an Experienced Biloxi Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
Bicycle accident victims and their loved ones have a right to full and fair compensation for their damages and injuries. However, pursuing deserved monetary compensation while healing from injuries suffered in a bicycle crash can prove difficult at best. To obtain full and fair compensation promptly and to the full extent, an injured bicyclist can benefit from the experience, dedication, and knowledge of a Biloxi bicycle accident attorney. A Biloxi bicycle attorney at Van Cleave Law will thoroughly investigate the accident and strive to hold all responsible parties accountable for the damages and harms they cause through their negligent or reckless acts.
Call us today at (228) 432-7826 or contact us online to schedule your confidential, no-obligation, free legal consultation with an experienced Biloxi bicycle accident lawyer at Van Cleave Law.