An increasing number of people are commuting to work on bicycles in order to save fuel, as well as to get exercise en route. The number of leisure bicyclists is also increasing substantially. While biking is an admirable and beneficial activity, the unfortunate reality is that bicycle accidents are occurring at an alarming rate. In fact, bicyclists and pedestrians are hit by motor vehicles throughout the greater Los Angeles area on a near-daily basis.
The city has more than 1,200 miles of pathways that are specifically dedicated to bicyclists. However, many of these routes run along busy roadways where motor vehicles and bikes vie for space. In a statistical report that was compiled by the California Highway Patrol motor vehicle drivers were shown to be at fault approximately forty percent of the time where the bicyclist was seriously injured or sustained fatal injuries.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in the Los Angeles metro area, your health and well-being are the first concern. It is advisable to seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not think you have been seriously injured. A trained professional physician can let you know the extent of the injury and advise you about the best ways in which to take care of yourself.
Here are some other things to do after a bike accident:
As soon as possible after the accident, jot down when and where it happened. If possible, gather any names of people who were involved in or who witnessed what happened. If you have your cell phone or camera with you, it can help to take photos of the site where the accident occurred. Include pictures that show any damage to your body or property, and that, if possible, can be used to illustrate exactly how the accident occurred.
It is a good idea to call the police after a notable accident. They may be able to offer quick medical attention on the spot, if necessary, as well as to obtain any emergency services needed to treat any injuries. It is also important to file a police report at this time and to request a copy of the report to give to your attorney.
Any clothing worn at the time of the accident, the helmet or other related items should be kept so they can be used as evidence, if necessary. The same is true for receipts for bicycle repairs, replacements for protective equipment or accessories.
If the driver of the motor vehicle has insurance, chances are, you will receive a call from his or her insurance adjuster. At this time, one should obtain the name, address and contact information for the insurance carrier, as well as the claim number for the accident and any pertinent information. However, do not discuss any of the following or do the following when dealing with the insurance agent:
- Do not discuss whose fault the accident was
- Do not issue any general statements about the accident
- Do not discuss settlements
- Do not sign any forms
Instead, immediately call a qualified attorney who specializes in protecting those who have sustained personal injuries. If you are injured in a bicycle accident or would like to have more information, please contact us. We are a personal injury law firm serving Los Angeles and the surrounding metro areas, including the San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Van Nuys, Encino, Thousand Oaks and North Hollywood.