Now that summer is upon us, it is more important than ever for Connecticut drivers to be aware of bicycle riders on the road. Car vs. bike accidents can be serious and traumatic to all parties involved. I recently came upon one such accident. As the police waved my lane of traffic to pass, I could not help but notice how frightened the cyclist lying on the ground looked, as well as the driver of the car involved in the collision. The entire windshield of the car had been cracked and I could see that the frame of the bike was bent. These types of accidents are usually the result of somones negligence, the drivers, the cyclist, or both. This is why as a cyclist, it is so important to know what to do after a car vs. bike accident.
Immediately following an accident call 911 and do a full body assessment before making any sudden moves. Do not leave the scene before the police arrive. Next, seek medical treatment. In these types of accidents there are the obvious injuries such as road rash, and the not so obvious injuries, such as concussion or soft tissue injuries. Due to the "DOMS" effect, delayed onset muscle soreness, some cycleist dont realize they are injured for a day or two. Be as comprhensive as possible when describing injuries to the medical provider. It is not uncomon for a concussion to go undiagnosed because the cyclist thinks it is just a headache and does not mention it to the physician.
Collect information. Reports, medical records, witness statements, and pictures are all key pieces of information in an accident case. Pictures should be taken of injuries and property damage. Property damage showing which part of your bike was damaged may be useful in determining liability if there is a question. Pictures of torn clothing, marks or scratches on the bike helmet are also very helpful.
Contact an injury attorney who has handled car vs. bike accidents before speaking with anyone about the accident. This is an emotional and traumatic time in which facts can be confused or forgotten. This is not the time to make a statment or speak to an insurance adjuster. When you communicate with the insurance company, they are gathering information to be used against you later. The more you speak the more information you are giving to the adjuster to use against you. An accident attorney will see to it that will not happen. An accident attorney will work with you, gathering evidence to build your case and protect you.