Vehicles and bicyclists share New York streets. But they travel on unequal terms because bicyclists have practically no protection when they are involved in motor vehicle accidents. Even though the time after a collision is frightening and confusing, bicyclists should take steps to prevent risking their health or losing legal rights.

Accidents

The first most common accident is the left-hand turn where a vehicle turns right in front of a bicyclist traveling in the opposite direction. Usually the driver does not see the cyclist until the crash.

Another common accident is the right hook. This occurs when a vehicle passes a bicyclist traveling in the bike lane or right shoulder in the same direction and makes an immediate right turn into the bicyclist’s path.

Take immediate action

Call the police even if you think the accident is minor. They can prepare an accident report based on the information immediately provided at the scene to support an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Like all other accidents, it is important to get the motorist’s insurance information, address, phone number and license plate number. Obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses. Use your I-phone to photograph the accident scene, the vehicle, and your bicycle.

Never admit any fault or apologize. Do not minimize the seriousness of your injuries or the damage to your bike.

Be cautious and do not underestimate the extent of your injuries Your adrenaline may hide physical pain. Go to an emergency room if you do not feel right. You may also visit a physician later to assure that there were no injuries.

Take your bike to a reputable shop for a thorough inspection. This can provide an accurate assessment of its condition, find any hidden damage, and determine whether the bicycle is safe to ride. Obtain documentation describing its damage and its replacement cost.

The cause of these accidents may be confusing. An attorney can help gather evidence and seek compensation for bicyclists injured by a reckless or negligent motorist.