Bicycle Accidents: What to Do if You are Hit on Your Bike This Summer
Summer is on the horizon and many cyclists are putting their bikes back together, checking the tires, and getting ready to hit the road. Whether you are biking for leisure or exercise or looking into returning to your bicycle commute, you know that sometimes bicycle accidents happen.
Bicycle accidents are common and often lead to injuries. Some bicycle accidents are caused by issues with your bike or the road. Some are caused by the actions of drivers, whether it is making an abrupt turn across your route, opening a car door without looking, or running a light or stop sign.
So, what should you do if you are hit?
Call the Police
Call the police. It’s particularly important to do so if the driver leaves the scene. Get the license plate number if you can (check with witnesses if needed).
Any accident should be reported to the police and as bicycle accidents are more likely to cause injury, it’s even more important to report. Many riders only realize they were injured later.
Stay on the scene until the police arrive and make a proper report. Don’t let the police focus on the driver and blow you off.
Get Information from the Driver
Assuming the driver sticks around, then you should get their contact and insurance details at the scene. Also, get contact information from any witnesses. If the driver is cooperative, you may be able to work together on this.
However, do not admit fault and do not say it was nothing or that you weren’t hurt. This might be used against you later when you try to make a claim. The same goes for any damage to your bike. If it’s their fault then you should be able to get the money to fix (or replace) your bike. There is absolutely no reason to minimize damage or blow off the incident. Don’t negotiate with the driver.
Have Yourself Checked Out
Have yourself checked out even if you are feeling fine. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t be afraid to go to the emergency room or an urgent care clinic. Otherwise, go to your doctor as soon as you can get an appointment.
Document all medical expenses and make sure to get any injuries recorded in writing. You will need this if you make a claim.
Have Your Bike Checked Out
Do not ride your bike until it has been fully inspected. One cyclist thought his bike was fine, got back on, and then weeks later the fork legs snapped. Take photos of your damaged equipment. Don’t repair it until it’s been looked at by the adjuster (and don’t ship it to them). You will need this as evidence. Many lawyers even recommend that you don’t wash the clothing you were wearing as the pattern of dirt on it can also be evidence. Get a loaner or rental bike if you need it to commute. You should be able to get this paid for.
If you were wearing a helmet, save it as evidence, but do not wear it again. Buy a new helmet. A helmet that has been in a crash should be assumed to be compromised even if it looks undamaged, and should not be used. Keep the old helmet until the case is settled, then dispose of it in a way that makes sure it will not be picked up and used again.
Hit by a car while riding your bike? You will need a personal injury attorney to help make sure that you get the compensation you deserve. A good lawyer can make sure that the responsible party pays for your medical bills and the damage to your bike and equipment. Contact Combs & Brown Law Firm to get an initial consultation and find out how we can help you after a crash.