Crash Help & Legal Resources
Have you been involved in a crash with a car? Got a ticket? What resources do you have? Who can help? If you have been involved in a crash with a car or on your own, you have all the same rights as a motorist would.
What to do immediately after an accident:
- Take a deep breath and regain your calm. You’ll be full of adrenaline, but check yourself for injuries & seek medical help if you have any doubts.
- Call 911 to get the police to come.
- Tell the driver to stay. If they won’t, get a description of car and the license plate. Take pictures if you can.
- Get the name and contact information of witnesses. Ask them to stay until the police come if they can.
- Exercise your right against self-incrimination; don’t tell anyone the accident was your fault.
- Remain at the scene until police arrive and request the officer files a report and request a copy.
- Call an attorney – some are listed below.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page for tips on steps you can take now to protect yourself in case of a crash.
Here are some bicycle-friendly lawyers who can help:.!
Max Draitser, Southern California Bicycle Attorneys phone: 310-357-3645 email: max@bikelawLA.com
Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties:
SF Bay Area:
Law Office of Daniel H. Rose, Bay Area Bicycle Lawyers phone: 1-415-946-8900 email: email@example.com
Help the lawyers help you:
- Take good photos of your injuries and of your bike.
- Contact the witnesses and ask them to email you a description of what they saw while it’s fresh in their minds.
- Email yourself a description of what happened while it’s fresh in your mind.
BE PREPARED (DO THESE THINGS TODAY, BEFORE A CRASH)
Get uninsured motorist insurance.
Uninsured motorist coverage pays your medical bills, lost wages, out of pocket expenses, and pain and suffering. It is applied to losses in the past and into the future. If someone hits you and they have no insurance, too little insurance to cover your damages, or if they hit and run or the car is stolen, your uninsured motorist insurance covers you! It covers you on a bike, in a car, or on foot. It is indispensable.
Own a car? State law requires it to be insured. Look at your declaration page (it comes with the packet you get from your insurance company). There should be a section entitled Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist. This amount cannot be less than your liability amount (the amount that applies if you are at fault). UM only covers you if the other driver is at fault, so it is non-chargeable. That means it is not available to you if you are at fault. And your rates should not go up for invoking it.
Don’t have a car? Many insurance companies offer non-operators’ policies. That means you can have insurance, even if you do not own a car. Progressive sells a non-operator’s UM/UIM policy up to $100,000. State Farm up to $250,000. And AAA up to $500,000. This list is inclusive, not exclusive. There may be others as well. And it is no endorsement, but you cannot have too little insurance. If you can afford the $500,000, get it. If you own a home you likely have homeowners insurance. That makes you eligible for an umbrella policy. Ask your broker about a Combined Single Limit policy into which you can fold excess coverage from your UM/UIM policy. That may qualify you for even more coverage. You cannot be over-insured. $1,000,000 is not unreasonable. $2,000,000 is not unreasonable. $5,000,000 is not unreasonable. It helps.
Program your phone with your emergency contacts.
If you have a smartphone, ensure that your health ID information is set up and current. You can also make a photo for your lock screen that includes emergency contact info.
Add local emergency dispatch numbers to your phone for the cities or counties in which you regularly ride.
In some municipalities, using a cell phone to call 911 can route your call to the California Highway Patrol, which can add critical minutes to first responders’ arrival time. You can easily find the direct number for any municipality’s dispatch with a quick internet search.