In the Event of a Severe Bike Crash

1)     Tend to yourself first. Use caution before moving. If you are seriously injured, seek immediate medical help. Call an ambulance if necessary.

2)     Record all the facts as soon as possible, or have a friend do so. Take photos, make a sketch and keep notes. What was the weather? Were there any obstructions, skid marks, road/path signs and markings in the area? Estimate distances. Watch for road or path hazards.

3)     Determine police and/or other governmental entity has jurisdiction over the place. Call the appropriate agency. Get a written report.

4)     Exchange contact and insurance information with other parties involved. Do not admit fault or offer payment. If your injury is significant, notify your insurance company.

5)     Record names and contact information of witnesses. If you are not in condition to do this yourself, have someone else do it.

6)     Preserve the evidence. Take pictures and/or video of the site of the crash as well as of yourself and your bike. Keep the wrecked bike. Keep the tires, keep the parts if you think you may want to pursue a claim.

7)     Make notes about what happened. Maintain a personal diary about your condition and pain you may be experiencing as well as any problems at work or in daily living activities as a result of your injury.

8)     If serious medical problems persist, obtain ongoing care. Provide your doctor with detailed information about your physical pain and work limitations resulting from your injury, and make sure he or she makes accurate notes. Don’t exaggerate your symptoms and don’t talk about a possible lawsuit with the physician. That’s not his job.

9)     Contact an attorney for an evaluation. If you retain the lawyer for filing a possible personal injury lawsuit, make sure he or she evaluates the matter with dispatch. You’ll likely have a year or two years from the date of the crash to file your claim. But the opportunity to dig out key facts may be gone by then.