What to Do If You’ve Been Involved in a Bike Accident in San Francisco
Perhaps a frazzled mom ran through a stop sign, and T-boned your bicycle on a quiet Bay Area street; or maybe a careless motorist doored you while you were biking across town to see a friend. In either case, you’re probably confused and upset about what happened. You want appropriate medical care, as well as fair compensation and justice.
After a Bicycle Accident in San Francisco – Your Next Steps
Statistically speaking, the majority of bicycle accidents in San Francisco do not involve cars or other motor vehicles. Odds are also good that you or your injured loved one will recover in the long run. However, actions that you take (or fail to take) in the first few hours or days following a bike crash have profound repercussions. Here are steps to take:
File a police report as soon as possible.
Even if you don’t feel “that hurt” at the scene, you want an objective account of what happened. Make sure that the police officer listens to your side of the story (and not just the driver’s), and ask for a copy of the report.
Gather evidence and information from the scene.
Take pictures (a cellphone camera will do) of your injuries, of damage to the bike, of the scene of the accident itself, and of other cars or objects involved. Likewise, collect names, numbers, license information and witness statements. Written documentation is always better than remembered testimony. Collate this information in a binder or folder for easy access.
Avoid discussing fault or making subjective comments about the crash.
Don’t make comments like “I’m okay” or “I think I’m fine.” You might be, and hopefully you are, but the trauma of a bike accident triggers neurochemical processes that can numb victims to the pain and extent of their injuries. A serious concussion may only feel like a numb, dull headache in the immediate wake of a fall or skid out. However, the symptoms might become more severe over time.
Get medical assistance.
In some cases, you will not need to be reminded to go to a hospital or doctor! However, seemingly minor injuries – such as “mild” head trauma – might turn out to be anything but. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Collect and save any receipts or medical documents you obtain, and follow up on your course of treatment. If you’re too hurt to collect this information or pay attention to your doctor, ask a friend or relative to assist you.
Get in touch with an experienced bicycle accident attorney – ideally, before your speak with an insurance company representative.
Depending on the nature of the accident, how much damage was done to your bike, and what injuries you sustained, you may need to take legal action quickly to preserve evidence and ensure fair treatment and a just outcome. Please call our experienced Bay Area bicycle law team to approach the aftermath of your scary experience in a mindful and strategic way.