Every year, hundreds of people are hit by cars while riding bicycles.
Have you recently been involved in this kind of accident? If so, you might have questions like “What do you do when you get hit by a car while on a bike?” or “What are my rights after I’ve been hit while cycling?”
Whether you’ve been in an accident or if you just want to be prepared in case you’re in one in the future, keep reading. Explained below are answers to these and other important questions regarding bike-car accidents.
Get to a Safe Place
After you’ve been involved in an accident, the first thing to do is to get to a safe place. If you can stand up and move, get out of the street and over to the side of the road as quickly as possible.
At this point, check-in with yourself, too. Assess the damage and take note of any injuries you might have.
If you’re a cyclist hit by a car, the next thing to do after getting to a safe place is to call 911. Ask for the police and emergency medical services when you call, too.
While you wait for the police and EMS to arrive, avoid talking to anyone at the scene in detail about the crash. It’s especially important not to talk about who is at-fault for the accident.
Remember, any information that you share could be used against you later. For example, if you say that you didn’t see the car, the driver’s insurance company could twist that and frame the situation as you not paying attention and actually being responsible for the accident.
Collect Contact Information
What you can do while waiting for the police is to gather contact information from others who are at the scene. This includes the driver of the car that hit you, of course, but you also might want to get contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident.
If people have gathered around, ask if they’re willing to give you their name and phone number. That way, you have the ability to contact them later if you need someone to back you up and corroborate your story.
Ask for a Copy of the Accident Report
It’s not ideal to talk to the other driver about the accident. However, in situations where bikes are hit by cars, it’s still important to share your side of the story with the police.
When the police arrive, talk to them about what happened. This helps them identify the laws that the driver broke and will help them to create an accurate police report.
When you’ve finished talking to the police, ask them what you need to do to get a copy of the accident report, too. This will come in handy later and will help you to build a strong case for yourself and ensure you get compensated fairly for your injuries, as well as the damage to your bike.
Seek Medical Help
As soon as you’re able to leave the scene, seek out medical care. If your injuries are severe, you might be transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
Even if they’re not serious, though, it’s still important to take yourself to the doctor’s office or hospital and get checked out sooner rather than later. If you wait too long, it might be hard to prove that your injuries are the result of the accident. The insurance company might try to argue that they were caused by something else and that they’re not responsible for covering them.
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Retain All Records
Hang onto all records related to your accident. This includes the accident report and contact information from the driver and witnesses, of course. It also includes all of your medical records and anything that’s sent to you by the insurance company.
Keep all of these documents and store them in a folder or binder. That way, you’ll be able to reference them in the future. You also won’t have accidentally thrown out any important information that could support your case.
Hire an Attorney
As soon as you can, it’s a good idea to reach out to and hire an attorney.
If you’re hit by a car while riding your bike, Preszler Law’s Jeffery Preszler says you’re entitled to all the same rights and benefits as pedestrians who are hit. Some cyclists don’t realize this, though.
To ensure you get treated fairly and receive the compensation you deserve, hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in handling bike-car accidents like yours. Share all of the information you’ve gathered with them so they can build a strong case for you and provide you with appropriate representation.
Don’t Talk to the Insurance Company on Your Own
Avoid talking to the insurance company without your attorney present. Better yet, don’t talk to them at all and let your attorney handle the conversations for you.
Your attorney can provide guidance and take over negotiations with the insurance company. They’ll act on your behalf to minimize your stress and free you up to prioritize recovery. They’ll also make sure that you don’t accidentally say something that weakens your case or that the insurance company can use against you.
What Do You Do When You Get Hit By a Car While on a Bike?
After reading through this article, hopefully, it’s easier for you to answer questions like “What do you do when you get hit by a car while riding a bike?” Keep the information outlined above in mind and you’ll have no trouble getting the compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovering from your bike-car accident.
Do you want to learn more about handling legal issues like this one? If so, check out some of the other legal articles on our site today.