Cycling has recently become a popular means of transportation for a broad demographic. Some people bike as means of transportation to work, with the motivation of environmental conservation, in consideration of their health, or to reduce transportation costs, among other reasons. With the growing popularity of cycling, the risks and frequency of accidents related to bicycles are also increasing.
Cyclist colliding with motor vehicles and other hazards can be devastating to the bicycle rider, even when wearing protective gear such as helmets. Some drivers may not be accustomed to sharing the road with cyclists, thus increasing the risk of forgetting to be on the lookout for cyclists when making turns, switching lanes, or when backing out of the driveway. Some drivers are also unwelcoming to cyclists, and this makes biking even more dangerous.
When involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, it is important that bicyclists follow the proper procedures to file a report. If someone else witnesses the accident, they can play a vital role in providing details of the event. Witnesses are especially important when the parties involved in an accident are critically injured as they can help obtain information on the vehicle(s) involved, such as the license plate number, the color and model of the car, and the time and place of the accident. If possible, the witness could also get the names of the motorists involved and details of their insurer.
After an accident, you might be in a panic and that could compromise your judgment making you feel like you have everything under control. This might not be the case since you could have suffered a concussion. A witness could help by keeping you calm as you wait for the police to arrive. If you are injured, a witness will be in a better position to call for an ambulance for immediate medical help. Reporting the accident and seeking medical attention as soon as possible will impact the strength of your claim when you file a lawsuit. You might not be in a position to do all this if you are injured in an accident, but a witness could help you.
An account of what a witness saw will also be important for the police to compile various points of view about the accident. Reconstructing the accident can be challenging, because as time goes by, details of the order of events may be difficult for you to recall. Witnesses at the scene can help by writing a record of what they saw to serve the same purpose.
It is important that you contact a lawyer immediately for legal advice. You should be aware of the details you share with others as the driver’s lawyers or insurance company may be quick to offer you a settlement. Agreeing quickly to a settlement could be detrimental in the long term since some injuries manifest gradually, and early settlement could lock you out of the deserved value of compensation.
For representation and advice on the procedure to pursue personal injury claims following a bicycle accident, contact Forbes and Forbes Law today.