Living in the Seattle area, we’re more than used to seeing bicyclists alongside cars on the road. However, sharing the road is still a concept that drivers and bicyclists alike are getting used to and mastering the art of. As a result, there are accidents. So what do you do if you’re the victim of a bicycle accident? There are several steps you should take if you are injured. Even if you don’t feel like you are initially, you could be wrong. A few months ago, I was driving through downtown Seattle when I witnessed a bicyclist get sideswiped by a car. He didn’t seem to be badly injured, but his bike was pretty mangled. He walked off with his bike in a fury. That is not something you should do if you are in an accident.
Even if you think you only have minor injuries as the result of an accident, you should go see a doctor, and do so immediately. While some injuries are more obvious – abrasions, fractures – others can go unnoticed for a while, even days later. And sometimes these are the most serious kinds of injuries. You would be well advised to see your physician as soon as you can.
It is important that you actually see your doctor in person. It is not possible for them to fully document and evaluate your injuries if you do not do so. Follow any advice that they give you closely, and take any actions that they tell you to. Often, physical therapy will be recommended. Do not put it off, it is very important to your recovery. Failure to address your injuries and treatments for them can lead to further complications and pain.
You could be the most obedient and experienced bicyclist out on the streets, but you still cannot predict how the cars and drivers around you will act and move. Always be prepared to deal with an accident. Know your rights and protect them!