Bike accidents are common all over the United States, even in Colorado where it is popular to bike ride against the state’s scenic landscapes to enjoy its majestic beauty. In fact, Denver was in the midst of all-time record high for bike accidents in 2012 with over 200 reported by mid-year.
In August of 2013, 62-year-old Randy Herndon was killed on Valmont Road, just east of Boulder, when a truck driver made a left turn and struck Herndon with the vehicle’s rear tires. Hopefully, you will never be involved in a bicycle versus automobile accident, but should this unfortunate situation occur, you must react wisely to avoid limiting your rights.
You want to protect your ability to recover your damages for any injuries you sustain and, of course, the damages to your bicycle.
Whatever you do, do not leave the accident scene, even if you’re not injured. Rather, call and wait for the police. Injuries may show up hours later, so while you may feel all right after the accident, you might not be. Don’t hesitate to seek medical care to ensure that you are unharmed, even if you can walk away from the accident, and make certain you document your injuries thoroughly with photographs and copies of your medical records.
You should also avoid trying to negotiate with the driver. While the driver may express regret and even offer to pay for any damages, he or she may deny it later, and you’ll have no proof of the accident. Go through the proper channels to report your accident legally, and do so immediately.
Memory fades fast, so it’s vital to get the events on paper before you forget This protects both you and the driver. Make sure the police document your side of the story for the police report, including all of the injuries you have sustained and the damages to your bike.
The police might focus on the driver, and this can lead to your version of the events being minimized in the report. Ensure the report accurately reflects what happened, and contact the police to have it amended should additional injuries or damages surface later.
Obtain the driver’s information, including his or her name, address, phone number, insurance company and policy number. Write down the automobile’s make, model, year and license plate number, and document all damages. Ask any witnesses for their name and contact info, and if you’re injured and require urgent medical attention, ensure someone on the scene secures all of this information for you.
Alongside the photos of your injuries, take clear photos of your bike’s condition post-accident. Don’t attempt to fix it or have it repaired until after everything is settled. If your clothes or equipment, such as your helmet, were damaged, take photos of those as well. Although being in a bike accident can be stressful and painful, keeping your wits about you is the best way to ensure that you are taken care of. Seek professional help if you have any concerns about your rights. Learn more at: www.zanerhardenlaw.com.