If you are in an accident, here is what you should do:
Always call the police
Most jurisdictions require a police report when there is an accident involving an injury. Drivers involved in a collision should also produce certain information, such as insurance and contact information.
Seek medical attention
Collisions and accidents are unplanned and inconvenient; and, it is often difficult to know immediately if you are injured. Oftentimes it takes a little while for the adrenaline to wear off and inflammation to set in. If injuries show up later, the driver may suggest that your injuries must have been caused somewhere else if you did not seek medical attention while at the scene of the accident.
Get witness and driver information
Do not depend on the police to get witness information for you. In almost every case that comes to me, the client will say: “There were lots of witnesses, but I didn’t get any information from them. It should be on the police report.” In some instances I get the police report and there are no witnesses listed. In a case where the question of fault depends on your word against the driver’s, an independent witness makes all the difference; so, be sure to get the phone numbers and addresses of any witnesses at the scene. You might want to ask someone else to collect this information for you if you are not able to at the time.
Your visible injuries, bicycle, clothing, helmet and anything else damaged in the crash is evidence and, as such, should be preserved and documented. Take pictures of any visible injuries, the scene and any damage to your bicycle or other vehicles involved.
This information was gathered from the League of Illinois Cyclists.
Get more information at activetrans.org/crashsupport or call the crash support hotline at 312.869.HELP (4357).
For more resources on bike safety, take the bike safety quiz or watch these videos on urban bike safety.