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Did you survive a bike accident? Preserve your rights

If you get in a collision on a bicycle with a vehicle, you are lucky to survive it. If you are able to get up and walk away from it, you may be so overwhelmed that you brush off the need for police and/or ambulances.

Don't be that guy (or gal). One attorney who is based out of Seattle but provides advice to cycling enthusiasts from all over offers you some tips to preserve your rights.

At the scene of the accident, insist on calling police and making an official report. Police reports establish basic facts -- the time of day, weather conditions, the state of the driver. It contains names, addresses and insurance information you may later need to file a claim.

Additionally, cyclists should never admit fault or minimize their injuries or the damage to their bicycles.

It's also important to obtain immediate medical evaluation and treatment. Even if you feel okay after the wreck, consider that could be due to the adrenaline coursing through your veins after surviving what could have been a fatal accident. That alone can mask injury symptoms.

At the very least, your bike probably was damaged and needs to be professionally inspected and repaired. Major structural damage might not be immediately visible yet still present.

A reputable bike shop repairman can declare your bicycle to be a total loss. You can then submit that statement to the insurance adjuster representing the insured driver who hit you. Providing the adjuster with the fair market value of your bike is a good idea. Check out Craigslist and eBay for comparables.

If, however, your loved one was killed in a auto-bicycle collision, you will likely need to retain a Manassass personal injury attorney to file a lawsuit for your loved one's wrongful death in the accident.

Source: Active.com, "How to Handle a Bike Accident With a Vehicle," Ryan Wood, accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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