You’re driving down the road, and you see several cyclists in your peripheral vision. You are aware of them and continue down the road ensuring they have sufficient space. Then, all of a sudden, you see a car get too close and come into contact with one of the cyclists. The cyclist goes down, and so do two riders which were following behind the first rider. It’s shocking, and you think people are most likely going to be injured. What should you do?
While it’s important to ensure that any accident is given the attention needed to ensure everyone is okay and justice is served, cyclist accidents are of a more sensitive nature. There is often a bias against cyclists in accidents, so third party witnesses are very helpful in ensuring that the truth of the situation is documented.
With that in mind, anytime you witness an accident involving a cyclist, here are five things you should do.
#1 Stay Calm
It can be very shocking to see a cycling accident. Even if you aren’t involved, it can get your adrenaline pumping. However, to be any help, you need to remain calm. The people in the accident will probably benefit from your help and will likely be feeling frantic, so try to stay calm and collected so you can accurately assess the situation.
#2 Call the Police
Police need to be on the scene so that a report of the cycling accident can be recorded and filed. Since the parties involved can often be in a state of shock, ensure someone has called the police or do so yourself. Without a police report, the parties can change their stories down the road when filing claims with the insurance companies and the case can get messy.
#3 Check if People are ok. Call Ambulance if needed
The next thing to do is to stop and see if the people involved are okay or if they need an ambulance. Again, after an accident, there is a lot of adrenaline which can cause a delay in calling for the help that is needed. Furthermore, if they are seriously injured they may be unable to call for help.
#4 Provide Name and Contact Information
It’s also important that you provide your name and contact information to the people in the crash (if they are conscious) as well as the police. A third party witness can give an unbiased view of what happened which can help to ensure the claim is settled fairly. Witness duties can go as far as appearing in a court where you are called in to testify on what occurred.
#5 Document the Accident and People Involved
Next, write down the license plates of the cars involved, descriptions of the people, their names, their contact information, and exactly what happened. Memory can fade fast, and you want to ensure that you can provide an accurate recall of what happened if there is any need for your testimony.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of an accident while cycling and need legal representation, the attorneys at Bike Legal can help. We know bike laws and have been dedicated to winning cycling and personal injury cases for the past 35 years. Contact our offices at (800) 449-4850 or online for a complimentary case review.