What to Do After a Bike Crash
Important Tips & Recommendations:
- Get yourself out of danger.
- If you can move without further injuring yourself, get out of the roadway to a place that will not expose you or your rescuers to further danger. If you can’t move, make sure you are visible.
- If injured, seek medical attention or get someone to call an ambulance for you.
- Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured it’s essential to seek medical attention.
- Call the Police.
- At the time, you might think that you are OK, but you may regret this later. You need to properly identify the other vehicle, insurance information or responsible party and the police will help you do this. The crash will also now be officially documented as to the time and place of the incident.
- If possible, look for and get information witnesses.
- If you can’t, get someone to find witnesses for you. People may move on quickly, so it is important to do this early on. Witness statements are crucial in Court and for the police. DO NOT rely upon the police to do this for you.
- Get the vehicle and driver’s information.
- You should make a note of vehicle registration plates, make, color, and model. Try to obtain insurance details including policy number and name of insured. Get the names of both the driver and of the vehicle owner.
- Gather evidence if you are capable of doing so, or ask someone to do that for you.
- Pass this information onto the police and but keep a copy of this information for yourself. If capable, use your phone to take pictures of the scene. This should be done before the vehicle and your bike are moved. Be as thorough as you can with your picture taking, including the damage caused.
- Keep copies of everything.
- Find out from the officer how to obtain the police reports. You should also make note of attending officers’ names and details.
- Medical Bills- New York is a no-fault state.
- No-Fault assists you in getting your medical bills paid. File a No-fault claim. In NY, a no-fault claim must be filed with the cars insurance company within 30 days of the crash.
- If you get a call from an insurance company, be careful what information you give them.
- Your conversations are normally recorded and even an “off-the-cuff” comment may be used against you later. If you have an attorney, refer the company to them and make no statements at all.
- The same goes for social media – DON’T post any information related to your case on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere! Major insurance companies have a whole department dedicated to searching claimant’s social media pages for evidence against them.
- Find a competent bike crash attorney.
- Bike crash attorneys work on a contingency so there is no cost to you. They will also assist you in filing your no-fault application and help get your property damage covered.
- Property Damage – take your bike to a repair shop to get a damage estimate.
- Bike shop mechanics will likely be far better able to tell how bad the damage is and identify if there are any cracks or bends in your frame and other components which could significantly compromise your safety.
- And make sure to keep detailed receipts of anything that is damaged and/or repaired.
For essential Bike Law information that is continually updated, check out NYBC’s Wheels of Justice blog and the selections below:
- What You Need to Know When You’re Involved in a Crash
- What to Do after a Bike Share Crash
- A Guide to Understanding Bicycle Damage Claim in New York State
- A Summary of New York State Bike Laws
- Vulnerable Road User Law
- Another NYBC post on Vulnerable Road User Laws
- Understanding No Fault Laws in New York
- What to do if you’re involved in a hit-and-run crash or collision with an uninsured or underinsured vehicle?
- What Is a Safe Passing Distance for Motorists?
- Insurance Coverage
The above advice is offered by New York Bike Crash Lawyers Dan Flanzig and Jim Reed. Board members and Legal Advisors to NYBC.