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Incidents can range from verbal harassment by a driver to a crash that causes serious injury or death. If police are called, they will determine whether to report an incident or a crash. Under Maine and New Hampshire laws, reportable crashes are incidents that involve a vehicle and either cause personal injury or death or at least $1,000 worth of property damage.

If you are involved in a bike crash or incident, here are some important steps to follow.

All bike incidents

·       Try to get the license plate number and a description of the vehicle involved

·       Call the local police to report the incident

Bike crashes

·       Make sure you are safe and out of the way of other vehicles

·       Stay calm, signal for assistance, and ask for help blocking traffic

·       Ensure appropriate calls are placed to 911 and the police

·       Report all injuries to first responders, regardless of whether they may initially seem minor (especially true of head injuries)

·       If it’s recommended, accept emergency medical treatment and/or transport

·       Collect and preserve evidence

·       Ask anyone involved in the incident, as well as witnesses, to stay at the scene until police arrive

·       Collect (or ask someone else to) information from the responsible driver, including name, license plate number, state of issue, and insurance information

·       Photograph (or ask someone else to) everything:

o   Scene of the crash, road conditions, and weather conditions

o   Vehicle involved, including damage to vehicle, license plate, inspection sticker, registration information, headlights, and tires

o   Your bicycle, clothing, helmet, accessories, and other damage

o   Physical injuries and keep track of your medical treatment

·       Make sure your bicycle is stored in a safe place if you can’t take it with you

Protect your rights

·       Get the responding officer’s name and badge number

·       Confirm the police will file a crash report

·       If relevant, suggest the police issue a traffic citation and/or criminal summons

·       Ask the officer to inspect driver’s cell phone

·       Later, ask an attorney about your case, rights, and potential legal remedies

·       Report your case to relevant insurance companies after checking with your attorney about giving statements

·       Document lost wages and opportunity costs

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