In the world of outdoor sports and recreation, one of the most common forms of accidents are bicycle accidents. Whether it’s a minor fall or a major collision with a motor vehicle, the aftermath of a bicycle accident can be challenging.
Learn the steps you should take after a bike accident, and how to navigate the insurance and legal issues that might arise.
Risks of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can happen to anyone, regardless of their experience level or the safety measures they take. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), falls or collisions with cars are among the most common causes of bike accidents.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents:
- Neglecting to wear a helmet
- Riding at high speeds
- Losing control of the bicycle
- Navigating roadways with little to no experience
- Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Engaging in competitive riding
- Riding during the summer
- Riding a bike with a mechanical failure
- Riding despite environmental hazards or poor road maintenance
- Riding despite the lack of bike path or lack of maintenance on a bike path
Types of Accidents and Insurance Coverage
Depending on the type of bicycle accident, different insurance policies may come into play. Here are a few scenarios and how insurance may apply:
Collision Between Two Bicycles
When You’re At Fault: If you cause an accident with another cyclist, your personal liability coverage on your homeowners insurance or renters insurance may cover the cost of the other rider’s injuries and property damage.
When The Other Cyclist Is At Fault: If another cyclist is at fault, your injuries and bike damage may be covered under their personal liability coverage.
Collision Between a Bicycle and a Motor Vehicle
When The Cyclist Is At Fault: If the cyclist is at fault in a car accident, personal liability coverage on the cyclist’s homeowners or renter’s insurance may cover the driver’s property damage and injuries.
When The Driver Is At Fault: If the cyclist is hit by a car, the at-fault driver’s auto liability coverage can pay for the cyclist’s medical expenses and the cost to repair or replace the bike.
Collision Between a Bicycle and a Pedestrian
When The Cyclist Is At Fault: The pedestrian’s injuries may be covered under personal liability coverage on the cyclist’s homeowners or renters insurance.
When The Pedestrian Is At Fault: If a pedestrian causes an accident, their personal liability coverage may cover the cyclist’s injuries and bike damage.
Collision With a Stationary Object
If you collide with a stationary object while cycling, your health insurance may cover your medical bills, and your homeowners or renters insurance may cover damage to your bike.
What to Do Immediately After a Bicycle Accident
Knowing what to do immediately after a bicycle accident can help you handle the situation more effectively and protect your rights.
- Ensure Your Safety: Assess your injuries and move to the side of the road, away from traffic if possible.
- Exchange Information: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved.
- Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and any property damage.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to ensure there are no hidden injuries.
- Report the Accident: Report the accident to the police if required and contact your insurance company.
Legal Representation and Compensation
If you were injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. A personal injury attorney can guide you through the process and advocate for your rights.
Post-Accident Care and Recovery
After a bicycle accident, it’s crucial to take care of your physical health. Keep an eye on your symptoms, especially if you sustained a head injury or concussion. If you notice any worsening symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Knowing what to do after a bicycle accident can help you protect your rights, recover compensation, and get back in the saddle as soon as possible.
Always prioritize safety, seek medical attention, and consult with a legal professional to navigate the aftermath of a bike accident.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much compensation will I get for a bike accident?
The amount of compensation you can receive for a bike accident depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of your medical expenses, and the degree of negligence involved.
Where do most fatal bicycle accidents occur?
Most fatal bicycle accidents occur in urban areas and intersections, according to the NHTSA.
Who is at fault in most bicycle accidents?
Fault in bicycle accidents depends on the specific circumstances of each incident. However, both cyclists and motorists have a responsibility to follow traffic laws to prevent accidents.
What happens when a car hits a bicyclist in Texas?
In Texas, if a car hits a bicyclist, the motorist may be held liable for the cyclist’s injuries and damages if they were at fault.
What’s the most likely time to have a bicycle accident
According to the NHTSA, the most hazardous hours for cyclists are from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the most dangerous days are Saturdays and Sundays.
What are the common causes of bicycle accident
Common causes of bicycle accidents include falls, collisions with cars, and riding at high speeds or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.