What to do if you are involved in an accident while riding a bicycle:
Report the accident to the police, even if you do not think you are injured or your bike has been damaged. The crash report will document important facts, such as road condition, weather and a list of eyewitnesses. Bike accident victims often do not realize that they have been injured for hours or even days after the crash, and damage to your bike may not be obvious until it is thoroughly inspected by an expert.
Obtain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all witnesses.
Do not say anything to the other party regarding how the accident occurred.
Preserve the condition of your property. Do not have the bicycle repaired until you speak with a lawyer about your rights. Also, carefully photograph the damage and have a bike shop document the nature and extent of the damage.
Report the accident to your auto insurance company as soon as possible because you may be entitled to receive certain benefits from your auto insurance carrier.
Report the accident to the at-fault party’s insurance company as soon as possible. If the crash involved a domesticated animal, you should find out who owned the animal and contact the owner’s homeowners insurance. If the crash was caused by a dangerous condition, find out who is responsible for the property and take photographs of the condition and the surrounding area as soon as possible.
Document your physical condition and take photographs of all of your injuries. Also consider writing a daily log of the activities you can and cannot perform.
Do not discuss the details of the accident with anyone other than the police, your lawyer and your doctor(s). Do not give a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company.
Consult with a reputable attorney, because your accident may have ramifications in traffic court, criminal court or civil court. There are time limits for filing your claim, so you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
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Michael Gunzburg is a New York Bicycle Lawyer serving the New York Metropolitan area, including New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Orange County.