Don’t move (unless you are in a dangerous location e.g. oncoming traffic)
If you may have injured your head, neck or back, don’t move unless you are still in traffic and wait for assistance; remember, your adrenaline may be high which may mask a more serious injury. Wait for an ambulance to arrive on scene.
Go to the hospital in the ambulance
However minor your injuries may seem at first, concussions and non-visible injuries are often the more critical issues that need to be addressed.
Do not assume that you are uninjured; remember your adrenaline may mask a more serious injury.
*Do not forgo a trip to the hospital by ambulance because you are concerned about the cost – in no fault states, there is generally insurance coverage that will pay for the costs of an ambulance and medical care either through your policy if you have car insurance (or non-owner auto insurance), through the motorists’ insurance company, or even, in the event of a hit and run, there may be a state entity established that provides no fault insurance.
Prioritize your health
If you declined medical care at the scene and symptoms develop and/or persist for more than a few days, do not wait too long before getting checked out by a medical professional to at least document that you were having complaints near the time of the crash.
Take photos of the crash scene (if you can)
Photos of the crash is essential if liability becomes an issue later.
Take as many photos as you are able (or ask witnesses at the scene) of the crash scene and the other vehicle(s).
Get the plate number or, if you can’t, ask someone to take down the plate number and state of the vehicle that hit you or was involved in the crash – the plate number is critical because it enables you or your attorney to obtain insurance information (don’t rely on the police to show up or get the plate numbers of all involved vehicles).
Grab witnesses, take names
Sometimes people do not want to get involved. If there are any witnesses, try to take down their name(s) and phone numbers at the scene; ask if they can provide their information to the police if possible.
Check out “Witness” for how you can help the outcome of a crash as a witness.
Ensure police reports are written
Wait for the police at the scene and request they make a police report; if the police do not show up at the scene, report the crash to the police as soon as you are able to preferably within 24 hours to document that the crash occurred.
If there is an injury, regardless of if there is contact, a traffic report has to be completed. If there is no injury (regardless of contact) there is no report. Depending on your situation, check within 48 hours if the police report was actually filed.
To obtain a copy of a traffic report you need to provide the following:
- Location and party(ies) involved in the collision
- The date and location of occurrence
- The vehicle license number, when applicable
- The insurance policy number of the party(ies) involved
- A report (DR) number that is given to you at the scene of the collision
Call a lawyer
Contact an experienced personal injury/bike attorney – there is typically no charge for a consultation.
Check out “Bike Attorney Network” for a list of lawyers that can consult you.