Florida is the Sunshine State, and locals and tourists alike enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling. Unfortunately, a day in the sun can quickly turn deadly in the event of a bicycle accident – particularly one that involves a car.
Unfortunately, despite attempts to protect cyclists, bicycle fatalities have increased nationwide, and Florida is statistically the deadliest state in the nation for bicycle accidents. In 2015, the most recent year of available data, 818 bicyclists were killed in bike crashes.
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, it’s important to take the proper steps immediately to stay safe, and to protect your rights in the event that someone else is responsible for the collision. Below, we cover what to do right after getting into a bicycle accident.
Get off the Road
To prevent another accident, it is important to get off the road as soon as possible after a bicycle accident if you can safely do so. If you are unable to move, attract the attention of bystanders so that they can get you emergency medical assistance before attempting to move.
Adrenaline masks pain, so you may be unaware of the extent of your injuries right after an accident. To prevent further injuries, take a few extra moments when getting up. Do not attempt to ride away on your bicycle until you are sure that you have not been injured, and that your bicycle has not been damaged.
Seek (or Perform) Basic First Aid
Before getting up, scan your body. Can you feel your limbs, are any bones protruding from your skin, or is there a lot of blood? If you feel that you have been seriously injured, seek out or perform basic first aid on yourself.
Monitor for a Concussion
Concussions are a major risk in even relatively minor bicycle accidents, and are considered a medical emergency. Check for any damage to your helmet. If you feel disoriented or confused or don’t know where you are right way, it’s likely that you have a concussion and should seek emergency medical attention.
Wait for Police to Arrive
Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, you should call police (911) after a bicycle accident involving another party and wait for police to arrive. Some bicyclists don’t realize they’re injured until several hours after an accident, as adrenaline often masks injuries directly following an accident. If you leave the scene of the accident and later discover that you have been injured, you’re unlikely to ever identify the at-fault driver.
Retain Driver and Witness Contact Numbers
It is important to document everything you possibly can if you’re involved in a bicycle accident. You never know what information may be important down the road. We recommend taking a picture of the license plates of any vehicles involved in the accident. Also make sure to retain the contact information of any involved motorists or any witnesses present at the time of the accident. Do this by taking pictures of motorists’ license and registration.
If you are given a cell phone number, place a call immediately on your cell. This ensures that you have been given the right number, and the call logs could be important if the motorist later claims that they were not present at the scene of the accident.
Contact a Skilled Florida Injury Lawyer
If you are seriously injured in a bicycle accident due to another’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. In order to do that, though, you’re going to need a smart, experienced injury attorney on your side.
Get started by calling our office today.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.