Cyclists can save a lot on their monthly and annual costs by biking to work instead of driving, and it also improves their health and fitness! Seattle and the Greater Seattle areas are popular for cyclists of all levels of skill. Approximately 20 percent of Washington State residents rode a bicycle in 2001, and it is the fastest growing mode of transportation in our region, according to the Cascade Bicycle Club.
The Seattle Department of Transportation reports that more than 158,000 Seattleites ride bikes – either for general recreation or to get to a destination (such as work). Seattle is ranked number two in the nation for urban walking and bicycling, as the Seattle Times reported this spring. However, hundreds of bicycle collisions still happen each year – more than 1,800 accidents involving a cyclist were reported between 2007-2011. Click here for more bicycling safety statistics.
Cyclists of all skill levels need to be alert, follow traffic and safety laws, and know their rights to avoid and protect themselves from car accidents and the repercussions.
Here are the important steps to follow when you get into a bicycle accident – particularly if it’s an accident involving another motor vehicle:
- Call the police. If you are able, call the police immediately after the bike accident and wait for them to arrive. If the police are involved, you can be sure that correct contact information will be exchanged. Additionally, the police will write an accident report so that there is documentation of the incident – you may need this later, to press insurance claims. Make sure to report all personal injuries even if they seem to be minor – after an accident, adrenaline in your body may trick you into thinking you are uninjured, so be aware. If there were any witnesses to the accident, it is helpful to also have them report what they saw or heard.
- Exchange information. Of course, you should get the contact information for everyone involved in the accident – the driver of the car(s), and any witnesses. For any vehicles involved, obtain the driver’s name, insurance information, phone number, home address, and driver’s license number. You should also get the contact information for any witnesses to the bicycle accident.
- Contact a Personal Injury Attorney. Before you contact the insurance companies, you should find and choose a personal injury attorney to help you with your case. These kinds of lawyers are skilled in this kind of situation, to ensure you receive the fullest extent of just compensation for damages to yourself, your bike, and future costs associated with the accident. If you talk to an insurance company before speaking to a lawyer, you may not receive the full recompense you are eligible for under the law.
Click here for some more tips on handling bicycle accidents with cars, according to a blog at Bicycling.com. Should you get into a bicycle accident with a car, contact Martin Law, PLLC for excellent, skillful support and guidance through the after-accident process.
Featured photo credit Flickr user Fort Greene Focus.