Las Vegas is a great city for recreational sports, especially cycling, and as the weather begins to clear up and the days become warmer, the number of cyclists outside preparing for centuries and double-centuries will surely increase as well. The climate may even attract many casual riders out enjoying the weather.
Las Vegas has become a cyclist friendly city with hundreds of bike-lanes around the city, which means more bicycles sharing the road with automobiles. Cycling related injuries are far too common and not always avoidable. Even a collision at a low speed could cause the rider severe injuries.
Common Causes of Injuries
With vehicles and bicycles sharing the roads more frequently, there is an increase of cyclists getting injured. Here are some common reasons that cyclists end up injured:
- Drivers and passengers opening doors without looking for cyclists
- Vehicles driving too closely to cyclists and side swiping them
- Rear ending cyclists due to not paying attention or following too closely
- Drivers crossing in front of cyclists when turning in either direction
- Weather related accidents and skidding/sliding
- Drunk driving
- Failure to follow traffic signals and stop signs
Preventing Injuries and Accidents
While not every accident can be avoided with 100% certainty, you can do your part as a cyclist to limit the amount of risk on your end. Follow these safety tips and laws to ensure that you are are always playing it safe:
- Wear the right equipment! Wearing a helmet can make a difference if you ever fall from your bicycle.
- Follow traffic signals such as stop signs, cross walks, and traffic lights.
- Always signal your turns (left and right!) to drivers to avoid a collision caused by confusion!
When an Accident Occurs
Contact Emergency Services
The very first thing you should do when you have been hit is to contact emergency services. Request an officer to come to the scene in order to file an accident report and to mediate any possible conflicts with others who were involved. Also request medical attention immediately. Denying medical assistance on scene can potentially be used against you later in your case, and your health and safety should always take priority.
Tell Your Story
When the authorities arrive, make a complete report of what happened prior to, during, and after the accident. However, ensure that they are the only ones you talk to. Casual chatter with the others involved, or those who witnessed the accident, can cause your words to be taken out of context and can hurt your case in the long run. Talk to the officers and the medical professionals so you can be taken care of appropriately. Be sure to give the officers your full name, address, and other contact details, and request a copy of the official accident report as well.
Survey & Photograph the Scene
If you are injured, this may be hard to do, but you can ask someone else at the scene to look everything over, as well as take photographs of everything and everyone involved in the accident. This includes the positioning of vehicle and bicycle before they are moved, the license plate of the car involved, the state of the vehicle and the bicycle after the collision, and more. Taking photos of everything while on the scene can help progress your case should you choose to file one.
Get Witness Information
Immediately after giving your report to the authorities, or while you are waiting for them to arrive, either you or someone with you should talk to the witnesses of the accident. Without getting into details of your side of the story, gather their unbiased accounts, as well as contact information. This could be extremely useful later on if the others involved in the accident give differing opinions on how it happened.
Verify Info & Gather Report
Once you have given your statement, passed along the witness information, and received medical treatment on scene, ask the officer if you can review the report. Ensure that everything they have made a note of is correct, and that they have all your current contact information should there be any follow up needed. Also ask if it is possible to obtain a copy of the accident report. This official report will be extremely useful should you decide to file a case against the driver, as it proves your claims, as well as the fact that authorities were involved and medical treatment was given.
Get an Attorney
Last, but certainly not least, you should contact an attorney should you decide to file a case. The attorney will have more working knowledge of the current bicycle and vehicle accident laws, and will know what to do with the information that you have gathered. If you have been involved in a bicycle accident and need an attorney to represent you, contact our experts today.