Call Choulos Choulos and Wyle as soon as you or a trusted friend or relative can call.
- First, stop. If you are not being taken to the emergency room, you are required to stop and to stay at the accident scene at least until you provide your contact information. If you are involved in a collision, especially if someone has been injured, and you fail to stop and to provide information to the other party or to the police, you may be prosecuted for felony for hit and run. If the other driver is leaving the scene try to get the license plate number or ask a witness to help stop them.
- Next, make sure that anyone who is injured in the collision receives immediate medical attention. Call 911 or ask a bystander to call right away. Do not move anyone who has suffered injuries or you may be making those injuries worse. If the ambulance attendant wants to take you to the emergency room, go with them. Do your best to report all of the areas of your body that are in pain, not just the worst injuries.
- Take photographs or video of your bicycle or your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the collision. Take more photographs showing the scene of the accident, the traffic control signals or stop signs or devices. Document any physical evidence at the scene, including your injuries. Take photographs of the point or area of impact as well as where the vehicles came to rest. If the other party has moved their vehicle, make sure that you advise the reporting police officer.
- When you talk to the other party, the witnesses or the responding police officer, do not admit fault for the accident. Do not commit yourself to a statement regarding your speed or any possible violation of the law you may have committed. If you are dizzy or in great pain or under the influence of pain medication, ask the officer if you can send in a written statement later. What you say to the reporting police officer will be used against you in every case, so make sure that you are thinking clearly when you provide the statement.
- Obtain the other driver's contact information including their name, address, telephone number, their driver's license number, license plate, vehicle registration information, insurance carrier, insurance agent, insurance policy number, and the telephone number for the insurance agent. A business card is not enough. Identify all vehicles involved.
- Obtain information regarding the passengers of all of the vehicles involved in the collision. Obtain the names and contact information of all witnesses. If no one saw the collision actually occur, however they did witness other crucial evidence such as debris on the roadway or skid marks or the offending driver smelling of alcohol, obtain those witnesses' contact information as well.
- If you are seriously injured and cannot preserve the evidence at the scene, ask someone you trust to go to the scene as soon as possible to take photographs. If you are hospitalized, have someone you trust take photographs of your injuries in the hospital.
- Preserve the clothing or riding gear you were wearing at the time of the collision.
- Preserve your vehicle in the same condition, without repair, until someone can document the damage in detail.
- If you were unable to tell your side of the story to the police, make a report at the police station. If the police report comes out against you, do not go back to the station to argue with the reporting officer. If you have additional information to give to the officer to change their mind, provide this. Additionally you are required by statute to file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles should your accident involve injury to a person or property damage of a significant amount (in excess of $500.00).
Contact an attorney at Choulos Choulos and Wyle as soon as possible.
Our attorney will be able to advise you of your options, and to plan what type of further investigation needs to be completed next. While many people who are injured do not want to speak to an attorney too soon, we provide a free consultation, and it is usually better to have an attorney speak for you to make sure your side of the story is told in the best way possible. If you contact our bicycle attorney soon after your collision, we will be able to take care of your claim and you will be able to concentrate on healing.