Bicycles are an efficient and fun form of transportation, letting you get in a workout as you commute to work. However, many cyclists and drivers don’t understand the rules of bikes on the road. This leaves cyclists vulnerable and can lead to preventable accidents, injuries, and even death.
We believe everyone should be able to enjoy Oklahoma’s roads without confusion or fear. In this blog, the injury lawyers at Atkins & Markoff outline what to do if you’ve been hurt in a crash with a car while biking and offer next steps if you find yourself in this tough situation.
Bike Crashes Are a Serious Problem in Oklahoma
Bicycles are legally considered vehicles in Oklahoma. When the laws meant to protect bikers are ignored, cyclists’ lives and well-being are placed at risk. In fact, according to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, cyclist fatalities are on the rise over the last five years. In 2017 alone, there were 332 bicycle and automobile crashes in our state — which we believe is 332 too many.
What to Do After an Oklahoma Bicycle Crash
The moments following a crash are filled with intense emotions, confusion, and pain. Knowing what to do ahead of time can help protect you after the crash and help ensure that you receive the justice and closure you deserve after an accident.
Call the Police and Get a Police Report
After a bicycle crash, there’s no guarantee that the driver who hurt you will be honest, take responsibility for their actions, or even stick around. If you can, call the police and make sure to get a police report.
This report is a powerful tool that protects you after a crash when you are not at fault, especially when the other driver is cited as at-fault and given a ticket. However, many responding officers don’t ask the cyclist for their version of events after a crash, so make sure you share your perspective with the officers on the scene and that your statement is included in the report.
Go to the Doctor
Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured (or injured badly) following a bicycle crash with an automobile, you should receive immediate medical attention. We often see victims who have slow-to-develop injuries — including dangerous internal damage from the impact of the crash — that could be diagnosed before further complications. Further, establishing a medical record of your injuries as a result of the bicycle crash will serve as valuable evidence if you decide to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Preserve the Evidence
After a bicycle crash, it’s natural to want to move on and recover. However, preserving critical evidence could have a major impact if you decide to pursue legal action.
Useful evidence includes:
- A damaged bicycle frame or tires
- A destroyed helmet
- Stained or bloody clothing
- Other damaged property, including any contents of your backpack or pannier
Take pictures of these artifacts in addition to saving them. If you have injuries, it’s a good idea to photograph them as well.
Get Legal Advice
When you’ve been hurt in a bicycle crash through no fault of your own, it can be hard to know what to do moving forward. You need to recover and move on, but the stress of missing work, accumulating medical bills, and limited mobility can be difficult to deal with. Consulting with an experienced and compassionate bicycle accident attorney can help.
RELATED ARTICLE: Why Witnesses Matter After a Bike Accident
After a devastating bicycle crash, getting back on two wheels can be a challenge, but it’s one you don’t have to go through alone. At Atkins & Markoff, we’re proud to represent victims of bicycle accidents and will fight to get you the justice, compensation, and peace of mind you deserve.
Atkins & Markoff: Fighting to Make Oklahoma Roads Safer for All
At Atkins & Markoff, we believe everyone should feel safe on Oklahoma roads — whether you’re riding two wheels or four. If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident in Oklahoma, please schedule your free, no-risk consultation today. During our discussion, we’ll get to get to know you, learn the details of your case, and provide sound legal advice on how to proceed.
(2019, January). 2017 Oklahoma Crash Facts. Oklahoma Highway Safety Office. Retrieved from http://ohso.ok.gov/Websites/ohso/images/CrashBooks/2017/2017FB_S1_SummaryBackground.pdf
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.