While bike riding is fun and has numerous health and planet benefits, it can be dangerous, especially on busy roadways. It is not uncommon for reckless drivers to hit cyclists, leaving them with severe injuries and damaging property. Fortunately, most traffic laws protect bicyclists and hold drivers at fault in bicycle accidents. Also, working with a bicycle accident law firm increases the odds of fair compensation for damages. Learn three crucial things to do when hit by a car when riding a bicycle.
Call the Police
After being hit by a car, call 911. Then, wait for the police to get to the accident scene to file an official report. Many cyclists make the mistake of negotiating with the at-fault driver before the police arrive. It is best not to do this to avoid problems later. Some drivers may admit fault for the accident and later deny even being at the accident scene when they understand the consequences of their negligence. Others give inaccurate personal information, insurance coverage, and vehicle ownership.
At the scene, the police not only write an official report but also serve as an independent third party at the scene. They ensure the driver provides accurate information on their identity, registration, and insurance. Also, the police record the driver’s statement and witness accounts. They also take photos and diagram the accident scene to offer insights into how the accident occurred.
If possible, give your version of how to accident happened so it’s included in the report. Even with the police gathering accident details, it is best practice to ask for the driver’s details and witness contact information.
Seek Medical Attention
Most people associate an injury with pain. Hence, they assume they are okay if they don’t feel any pain after an accident. Never assume you are okay and let a doctor examine you and provide a clean bill of health. Some injuries do not materialize immediately after an accident and become apparent hours or days later.
Prompt medical evaluation and treatment ensure injuries are caught and treated early before they escalate. It also establishes and documents any injuries, which helps file claims. Common injuries sustained in bicycle accidents include fractures, spinal cord injuries, head, neck, and back injuries, lacerations, internal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. CDC reports that more than 130,000 bicyclists sustain injuries in crashes every year.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If a negligent motorist caused your bicycle accident, you can hold them legally responsible and require them to pay for any damages, such as medical expenses and losses. However, insurance claims processes are often complicated and time-consuming.
Luckily, a bicycle accident lawyer has the expertise and experience to handle such claims and can help you in several ways. First, they take over the laborious claim process on your behalf, so you concentrate on recovery. Second, they gather evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and accident reconstruction, to support allegations and demands.
Third, they negotiate appropriate settlements with liable parties and their insurance providers. Lastly, bicycle accident lawyers secure a fair payout for you based on the injuries and losses incurred. As such, you don’t have to worry about recurring medical expenses, property damage, missed work, and pain and suffering from the accident.
Whether a car hit you while reversing, opened doors in your path, or ignored traffic signs, the driver can be held legally responsible for their mistakes. After a crash, call the police to document the accident, seek medical attention to identify and treat injuries, and contact a lawyer to file a claim. A bicycle accident lawyer holds responsible parties liable for the accident and the resulting physical, physiological, and financial harm.