With warmer weather finally hitting the Ottawa area, many residents will be cycling again. Besides, choosing two wheels over four is a great way to get some fresh air after months spent in lockdown. The unfortunate truth however is that bicycling carries significant personal injury risks.
Cyclists have the responsibility to protect themselves and others around them, but high-speed collisions with other road users can prove to be extremely costly. Following traffic signs and using designated biking lanes will help ensure everyone stays safe this cycling season. Should you or a loved one experience any sort of cycling accident, these 10 steps will prove invaluable to navigating the entire experience
10 steps every bicycle accident victim should take
Firstly, cycling accidents are more common than you might think. Busy streets, distracted drivers, or even other pedestrians can lead to a serious bicycle accident that could leave you or others injured for the rest of their lives.
Collisions with other cars, dooring incidents, or unsuspecting pedestrians will likely require emergency services, and in extreme cases, result in dismemberment or death. This is why it is so important to understand what you should do when serious bicycle accidents take place.
Clear the area
When serious bicycle accidents occur, do your best to clear the immediate area and move to the side of the road. Where possible, attempt to move to an area that is easily accessible by police or ambulances.
Call 911 in the unfortunate event you or someone else experiences serious injury. First responders can offer guidance and timeframes for their arrival while collecting important information over the phone.
Is everyone ok?
Speak with all parties involved and communicate their needs to emergency services over the phone. Do not attempt to move other parties involved in the accident, and do not risk your own safety for the safety of another. Stay put and follow instructions provided by first responders.
Speak with police
Once first responders have arrived, communicate your needs and what exactly happened on the scene. This information will be important to documenting the accident itself. Collect names of all parties involved.
Document the incident
Write down exactly what happened in great detail and add a date and time to your notes. Complete a full account of what happened and provide these details to the police.
File an official police report
Follow officers’ guidance and file an official police report. Police officers can guide you through the process and provide any required paperwork.
Request insurance and contact information of the other party involved including emails and cell phone numbers.
If you can, take pictures of the scene of the accident, the immediate surroundings, and any such damages.
Should the other party attempt to contact you, refuse to speak to them until you have sorted out your own legal representation.
Hire legal representation
Seek out qualified legal representation like the kind MG Law provides. You’ll be guided through the complicated nature of bicycle accident claims. Your legal representatives can ensure your best interests are met following the incident.
Bicycle accident statistics for the greater Ottawa area
Ottawa is unique with its wide city streets and beautiful parliament buildings that are almost perfect for cycling. The spring and summer months are expected to bring out many pedestrians and cyclists who have spent time cooped up during lockdown.
In 2019, Ottawa experienced the joint most bicycle accident deaths (4) in eight years. With there set to be a pent-up demand for outdoor activity following the COVID-19 pandemic, Ottawans cyclists should remain on high alert to stay safe. Be prepared for any such collision by following traffic signs, wearing properly fitting helmets, and sticking to designated biking lanes. Your own due diligence can help protect you and others from an unfortunate accident this season.
Navigate bicycle accident claims in Ottawa with MG Law
When a bicycling accident does occur, proper legal representation is integral to protecting yourself against costly claims from a third party. Prepare yourself with MG Law. Our team can assist and guide you through every part of the claim process.
Protect what is entitled to you and find comfort knowing that you have qualified legal representation by your side. There is no need for you to be alone during the legal proceedings. Experienced legal representation is the safest bet to help get you through the process.