Do You Know What To Do After A D.C. Bike-Sharing Accident?
Do you bike-share? Capital Bikeshare allows D.C. residents and tourists the convenience of traveling D.C. by bicycle without the hassle of storing and maintaining a bike. Bike lots are located throughout the D.C. metro area. You simply unlock the bike and ride it to the bike dock nearest to your destination. The bikes are comfortable and easy to handle; best of all, you don’t have to wait for traffic.
Although D.C.’s bike-share program has an excellent safety record, accidents still happen. On Thursday, May 1, 2014, a Bikeshare user sustained serious injuries when he was struck by a car traveling east on the 200 block of H Street NE, near Union Station. Accidents can happen at any time, so bike-share users should know what to do after an accident.
Eight Steps To Take After A Bike-Share Crash
- Alert first responders. Call 911 and report the accident.
- Take care of your injuries. If you have a serious injury, let the 911 dispatcher know that you need an ambulance. Otherwise, make a same-day appointment with your personal physician or visit an urgent care center.
- If possible, collect information about the crash. Get the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle that hit you. Ask the driver for his insurance and contact information.
- Get contact information for any witnesses.
- Use your smart phone to take pictures of the accident scene, the vehicle, the bike, your injuries, and any conditions that contributed to your accident. You may need these pictures later on.
- Save any evidence. Save your helmet and any other protective gear that you were using during the accident.
- Report the accident to Capital Bikeshare within 24 hours of the crash. Call 1-877-430-BIKE to request a bike crash report and arrange to return the bike. You are responsible for the bicycle until it is has been returned.
- Be careful when talking to the insurance company about the accident. Give the insurance claims adjuster the date, time and location and avoid providing any additional information. The insurance company representative may seem friendly, but he’s looking for reasons to deny your claim.
If you have questions about liability for your accident, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney who works with D.C. bicyclists. The attorney will be able to advise you about your rights and help you resolve any conflicts with the insurance company or Capital Bikeshare. Lewis & Tompkins offers free consultations to seriously injured bicyclists. Call us at 202-296-0666 to schedule an appointment.