What To Do After A Bike Accident

The steps you take following a bicycle accident are essential to your recovery and your legal right to seek compensation. Know what to do next.
A man riding a bike on its side and about to have an accident

What You Should Do Next After a Bicycle Accident

You are likely considering your next move after being injured in a bicycle accident. Of course, your well-being should be your priority, and then, depending on the severity of your injury, you may need time away from work. Plus, you will have medical expenses, travel costs, physiotherapy, and rehab bills, which can all add up.

As a regular cyclist, you’ll know that riding on the road and navigating in traffic can be dangerous. Even if you practice safe cycling, a bicycle crash can still happen because you can’t control the behaviour of negligent motorists and unpredictable motor vehicles.

So, it’s best to read our step-by-step guide on protecting yourself from a bike accident. It provides the necessary information in case medical or legal issues arise or you decide to claim compensation.

But first, let’s review the number of people in Australia who suffer personal injuries from bike crashes each year.

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Australian Bicycle Accident Injuries: The Facts!

Regarding bike accident injuries, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics, approximately 12,000 cyclists are admitted to hospitals annually, which is 20% of injury hospitalisations from land-based transport collisions.

Furthermore, road death records from the Australian Road Deaths Database (ARDD) show that, on average, 40 bike riders are killed on Australian roads annually. You are more likely to die in a bicycle collision if you are a male between 40 and 64 years old, travelling on a weekday in peak periods, on a road with a speed limit of less than 50 km.

These statistics demonstrate that if you regularly ride a pushbike, you must be aware of your surroundings and expect the unexpected. But, if the unexpected happens and you are harmed, read on to learn the seven steps to follow after a bicycle accident.

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Seven Steps to Follow After a Bicycle Accident

1. Move to a safe location.

The first step if you’ve been in a cycling accident is to avoid further danger by moving to a safe location. Get yourself and your bike off the road immediately and into a secure space. It’s also good to ask someone for help, particularly when injured. If, however, you’ve had a head or neck, spine or back injury and lost feeling in a part of your body, it’s best not to move and wait for medical assistance or the arrival of first responders.

2. Contact someone for help.

The second step after a bike accident is to contact someone for help. Even if you and your bicycle seem okay, call your family or a friend to tell them your story. You could suffer from shock or concussion, and the adrenalin rush makes you feel like everything is fine. Please know that some harm, like whiplash injuries and emotional distress, takes time to become evident.

So take precautions and have a clear-headed person assist you. Making sound decisions following an accident, like whether you should get back on your bike to ride home, is essential.

3. Call first responders like police officers and ambulance

The third recommended step after a bicycle collision is to call 000 to have an ambulance and police attend the accident scene. There are two main reasons for taking this action:

A}  A police accident report helps establish who is to blame for your incident. Knowing who is at fault is essential when making a personal injury claim for negligent driving. If the incident involves an impact with a car, severe injury, a hit-and-run, traffic obstruction, or anything else that is serious, it’s best to request police support.

B}  If you’re injured or feel shaken up, call an ambulance so that someone qualified can give you the medical attention you need. First responders will confirm if you have minor injuries or significant damage like bone fractures or internal bleeding. If you are admitted to the hospital, scans and X-rays will determine the extent of your damage.

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4. Exchange contact details with other parties

Once you are in a safe place and have called for help, the fourth step following a bicycle accident is to get the contact details of other parties to the traffic crash. These details include their name, address, motor vehicle registration number, and insurance company’s name.

Additionally, please also seek witness statements from people who saw your accident. These documents help verify what happened, particularly when the other party disputes failing their duty of care.

5. Seek medical treatment

It may seem obvious, but the next recommended step is to seek medical treatment. Even if you think you are injury free, please visit your local GP or hospital for a medical evaluation and advice on the next steps. In the absence of symptoms, getting the all-clear from a doctor is still a good idea, especially if the accident is significant. Remember, you could suffer from shock or concussion, which can have severe outcomes if left untreated.

Also, there may be a delayed onset of injuries where symptoms won’t show for many hours or days after your accident. Symptoms from whiplash or brain injury often do not occur immediately, so consult a medical professional if you start to experience neck pain, headaches, nausea, dizziness, numbness, or anything else unusual.

Frequently, people who survive a bicycle crash also experience a psychological reactions like emotional trauma, PTSD, depression, or anxiety. In this circumstance, you should consult with a mental health professional who will document your psychological disorder and assist with recovery.

6. Check that your bike is safe to ride.

The sixth step after a bike collision or fall is to ensure your bike is road-worthy before you start riding again. We recommend you inspect the following:

  • Your wheels and tyres for damage, ensuring both wheels are rotating correctly.
  • That the quick-release skewers haven’t been loosened.
  • Check your rear derailleur isn’t damaged or bent.
  • Test the changing of your gears and ensure that the front and rear brakes still function.
  • Inspect the frame, forks and handlebars to ensure no cracks or bends compromise the structural integrity of your bike.

Ideally, have a professional bike mechanic at a reputable bike shop do a thorough inspection. Be sure to let them know you’ve had an accident so they are more diligent.

7. Pursuing a personal injury claim? Get informed legal advice

The seventh recommended step is to get legal advice for your personal injury claim.

Hopefully, if you’re ever involved in a bike accident, you’ll walk away without an injury or medical bills to pay. The reality, however, is that you’re more vulnerable as a cyclist, and often you won’t leave the situation unscathed. In that situation, our experienced bicycle injury lawyers can assist.

Fortunately, cyclists in Queensland have legal protection and can file a claim with third-party insurers to receive compensation for their injuries. If you decide to lodge a personal injury claim for your loss, the CTP insurer of the negligent party will fund your lump-sum payout. When successful, you will receive funds for lost wages, medical costs, travel expenses, and pain and suffering.

If you cannot identify the other vehicle, e.g., a hit-and-run accident, police could locate the driver using CCTV footage. Generally, you can still be compensated even when the other road user is unknown or uninsured. Your litigation claim is against the nominal defendant in this situation. This type of case has a strict and shorter time limit, so please seek legal advice immediately.

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Top Tips for Getting Back on the Road After a Bicycle Accident

Once you have taken the time to recover mentally and physically from your bicycle accident, you will consider getting back on the road. Before getting back in the saddle, here are several tips to avoid another incident and ensure your safety:

  1. Be sure to wear protective apparel like padded clothing and a helmet.
  2. Greater visibility helps avoid collisions, so wear Fluoro and bright biking gear.
  3. Have brilliant lights fitted on your bike, front and back.

Following these three simple tips, you avoid future traffic accidents and build a stronger accident compensation claim. If a motorist hits you on Queensland roads, they can argue you were partially liable for the accident because you failed to wear a helmet and wore dark clothing. In this situation, you would have contributory negligence, and the insurer would reduce your payout accordingly. Of course, our skilled road accident lawyers would seek to reduce your level of liability or remove it entirely. However, it is wise to be proactive when ensuring you are protected when cycling.

Queensland Personal Injury Lawyers for Cyclists

If you decide to lodge an accident insurance claim, you must get advice from an experienced Queensland personal injury lawyer with expertise in cycling injury compensation. They understand all your entitlements and help make the CTP claim process easy and stress-free.

With Splatt Lawyers, it’s free to know if you have a valid claim and its value. Furthermore, we are a 100% no-win, no-fee Queensland law firm, which means you owe nothing until we win your case, and nothing if we lose. Get effective legal representation by contacting our bicycle accident lawyers at 1800 700 125.

Bike Accident Lawyers Near You

It’s good to know there is an expert bike accident lawyer near you when something goes wrong on Queensland roads. Choose your Splatt Lawyers location now.

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