As a cyclist, you do your best to safely navigate the busy streets in the suburbs around the Washington, D.C., area. You always wear a helmet, signal your turn and stay cautious during your ride. Unfortunately, when you share the road with heavier cars and trucks, you may still find yourself involved in an accident.

Being in an accident while biking can be a jarring experience. You may suffer severe injuries that require medical treatment and a long recovery. Collecting the proper information after the accident can help you with your insurance claim. Here are a few tips for what to do:

  • Call 911 – If you have severe injuries, you need to have emergency responders treat you right away. You will also need to speak with a police officer to make a report. Try to stay calm and report the accident exactly as you remember it.
  • Get insurance information – Don’t try to negotiate any terms with the driver. Just get his or her insurance information and license plate number. Write down the numbers on a piece of paper or take pictures with your phone.
  • Take pictures – Try to get pictures of the whole scene. Include photos of your bicycle and any damage to the vehicle. If you have obvious injuries, try to get photos of those as well.
  • Talk with witnesses – If there are any bystanders, ask them for their contact information. You may need them to tell their side of the story to the police.
  • Seek medical attention – Even if you don’t feel injured, you still need to go to the hospital as soon as possible. Some head injuries can take a while to appear, so make sure you go back to the doctor if anything changes.
  • Don’t fix your bike – After you file your claim, keep your damaged bicycle. You may need it as evidence of the crash.

After an accident on your bike, you should be able to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. However, they may hesitate to pay for your injuries and deny you.

Gathering all the necessary information may help you get an approval. A police report, photos and witness statements can all help to fight an insurance denial.