Cohen Law Partners

Experts: If you crash is not the real question facing cyclists

Many cyclists wonder what they should do if they crash. If they get in an accident with a car, what are the next steps to take? Do they need to call the police? Should they get medical care no matter what? How expensive is it? Who has to pay? Do they need to look into compensation?

These are all important questions to ask, but they start from what some experts think is a flawed premise. Cyclists should not be worrying about what to do if they crash. They should be worrying about what to do when they crash.

"No one is immune," said one expert, who was himself an avid participant in the sport.

The key here is to understand that the risk always exists. You can have two decades of experience and still get into an accident when a driver cuts you off. You can be as safe and careful as anyone on two wheels and still get hit when a driver runs a red light. You can have the best bike and the most expensive safety gear on the market and still wind up in the hospital because nothing offers enough protection to guarantee you won't get hurt in a crash.

When you ride long enough, odds are that you will get involved in that accident. It may be major. It may be minor. But you cannot just assume that you'll avoid it because it has not happened yet. You have to understand the risks you face and the rights you may have to financial compensation after the incident, which can go toward medical bills and other costs.

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