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What to do after a bicycle accident

Photo of Christopher Seleski

One of the greatest aspects of cycling is that it fulfills so many different people for so many different reasons. Whether you are training for a competitive race or event, commuting to work, or even riding for work, bikes provide people with the freedom to explore themselves and their surroundings. However, like almost every activity, cycling is not without risk.

Biking in urban areas, especially densely populated ones like New York City, comes with a decent amount of hazards. Even though the city has been working over the years to make the City more bike-friendly, the vehicles and pedestrians are an ever-present danger to cyclists. Ideally, if everyone sharing the roads followed all traffic laws and regulations, accidents would not happen, but where there are humans there is human error. So what should you do if you are involved in a bicycle accident?

Call 911

If you have been injured, or your property has been damaged, call 911 so that the police can come to the scene and fill out an accident report. This report will be important for any legal actions after the accident. If you can, prevent anyone involved in the accident from leaving the scene, but do your best to remain calm and collected. Any erratic behavior may be used against you later on.

If you have been seriously injured, your well being should be the highest priority for everyone involved. If you need emergency medical services, go to the hospital. Do not let the potential expense stop you from getting medical assistance; those expenses may be covered.

Talk with witnesses

If you can, talk with people who may have witnessed the accident happen. Exchange names and contact information so that they can be reached to verify how the event actually occurred.

Get a copy of the police accident report

Once the police arrive at the scene of the accident, they will fill out an official police report detailing the accident. Be sure to get the names and contact information of the officers involved and ask them for a copy of the report they file or for the best way to get a copy of the accident report.

The accident report is one of the single most important documents in the whole process and getting a copy of it is essential. It contains a large amount of necessary information (insurance policy numbers, names, information about the accident, etc.) and all of that information will be needed later. When you get a copy of the report, be sure to also get what is known as a "key" for the report. The key allows you to make sense of all of the information in the report.

New York "No-Fault" insurance

As previously stated, your medical expenses may very well be covered. The state of New York has what is known as a "no-fault" insurance law. Under this law, it does not matter who caused the accident, everyone is covered up to a very substantial amount.

If you are involved in a biking accident, getting past the whole thing may be a priority. Unfortunately, many cyclists do not take full advantage of the available resources and they end up having to deal with a large portion of expenses or injuries on their own.

Luckily, the state of New York has laws and regulations that assist people who are in these types of situations. Accidents like these can quickly become complicated, especially if there is bodily and/or property damage. It is in these situations when having an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional on your side can make all of the difference.

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Past President NYSTLA
Big Apple | Pothole & Sidewalk Protection Committee
Trial Lawyers Care
Super Lawyers
Take Justice Back | www.takejusticeback.com
Life Member | Million Dollar Advocates Forum | Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum | The Top Trial Lawyers in America
American Association for Justice Leaders Forum | Patron 2015
American Association for Justice | Sustaining Member 2015
Avvo Rating | 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Medical Malpractice

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