OK, so you’ve gotten into a crash with another vehicle. It was NOT an accident. Someone or something caused it. What should you do now? Here are the steps you need to take:
- Memorize (or photograph!) the license plate number of the other vehicle.
- Call 911 to report the crash. DO wait for the police.
- Get information about the other driver: vehicle information (you should already have the license plate number in case the other driver decides to leave the scene), the driver’s name, vehicle owner’s name, names and contact information for any witnesses, and insurance company info.
- Take pictures. Virtually all phones can do this – photograph the crash scene, the other vehicle, your bike, the road, the sky…anything and everything that could be used to document what happened.
- Contact the other driver’s insurance company. Give them notice of claim, but DO NOT volunteer a lot of information. They will use anything you say that might exonerate their customer or minimize their payment responsibility.
- If the condition of the road had a bearing on the crash, file a claim with the municipality.
- PRESERVE ALL EVIDENCE!!! Your helmet, your torn-up bike clothes, again, anything and everything that could be used to document what happened.
- Do not give a statement to anyone other than a police officer. Anything you say will come back to haunt you…
To help collect all this information, I found a cool app. It’s called Bike Crash Kit and is available for Apple and Android. It’s free, and looks to be an excellent app. Look for it in the App Store or Google Play.