Reporting an incident

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

  • Item 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:
    • Scene of the crash, road conditions, and weather conditions
    • Vehicle involved, including damage to vehicle, license plate, inspection sticker, registration information, headlights, and tires
    • Your bicycle, clothing, helmet, accessories, and other damage
    • 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