Having a bike accident with a car and an at-fault driver can be terrifying. Even when you are wearing a helmet and being cautious, you can still experience serious injuries at the accident scene because a bike has little protection against a car.
Dealing with the driver’s insurance company after a bike accident can also be a daunting task, especially if there are medical bills involved. It is crucial to have an experienced bicycle accident lawyer on your side.
We are a law firm with over a decade of experience and have dealt with many bicycle accident scene cases. If you have participated in such an accident, this guide will help you take the right steps.
- After a car hits you, there are several steps to take, such as moving to a safe area, filing a report, maintaining evidence, and more.
- Don’t consult with the insurance company without talking to an experienced attorney.
- Don’t accept any settlement from the driver to pay for your medical bills for injuries in exchange for not reporting the accident.
What To Do If A Car Hits You While Riding Your Bicycle?
If a car hits you while riding your bicycle, these are the steps you should take:
1. Move To A Safe Area
If you are conscious after the accident and are able to move, move to the shoulder or sidewalk. It is crucial to avoid being in the path of another car.
2. Call The Police
File a police report on the bike accident immediately, even if you have seemingly minor injuries. Adrenaline can diminish your ability to feel an injury after a traffic accident.
Even if you think you don’t need medical attention, creating a police report creates a legal record of what happens so you can defend yourself in a potential personal injury claim with a personal injury attorney.
A police report with a police officer also ensures you can’t be accused of leaving the scene of the accident.
“Many times, a cyclist isn’t aware of the nature of their injuries until hours after an accident or even the next day,”
- Chuck Grzanka, President at Grzanka Grit McDonald
3. Stay Calm
Resist any urge to retaliate physically. In a legal situation, those actions could lead to disaster. It is also crucial that you don’t admit fault; even if the blame is obvious, don’t accept blame.
Don’t be bullied into doing anything that stops you from getting the police involved, seeking medical care, or collecting witness statements.
4. Gather All Information And Evidence
Gather as much detail as you can about the situation, such as the time of day, location, weather conditions, road conditions, car description and license plate, skid mark measurements, etc.
If the driver stops, collect any insurance information, cell phone number, address, driver’s license number, nearby traffic lights, if you were in the bike lane, and any other crucial information.
If you were unconscious or removed from the scene, write down any information that you remember. If you can access an eyewitness, ask them to provide details about what happened.
Get any information about the accident, such as insurance information, medical records, injury documentation from a medical professional, and more.
5. Know Your Rights
Regardless of police reports, there is no guarantee that law enforcement officers or responding officers from the police department will take the accident seriously or hold the driver accountable.
Collect the officer’s name and badge number and contact a bike accident attorney to ensure the law is being followed correctly.
6. Don’t Post On Social Media
Don’t post on social media about the accident or a plea to find the hit-and-run driver. The driver can threaten to sue you for defamation, harassment, and more. It is important to preserve evidence; however, keep all the photos you have taken to yourself and share them with your lawyer only.
7. Get Legal Support Before Filing Any Claim
Start documenting expenses you have dealt with from the accident, such as lost wages, mileage from doctors' appointments, or other expenses in the claims process.
Don’t discuss anything with insurance companies before talking to a lawyer.
Insurance companies are skilled at mitigating claims and injury cases and minimizing the driver’s negligence, and if you aren’t legally savvy, they can limit your claim and say you weren’t paying attention.
What Not To Do After A Bike Accident
Many cyclists can make mistakes after a bike accident that can negatively affect their ability to recover damages in a lawsuit.
Here are some things to avoid after an accident :
- Don’t refuse medical treatment during the immediate aftermath of the accident. Regardless of whether you feel like you are fine, not getting examined and later having serious symptoms can be more costly to you.
- Don’t tell the insurance company that the accident was your fault or you had minor injuries. Don’t tell the insurance company anything without speaking to a lawyer who understands bicycling accidents.
- Don’t negotiate with the driver after an accident. Don’t take them up on an offer to pay medical bills in exchange for not reporting the accident.
- Don’t sign a settlement offer from the insurance company. Have an experienced lawyer review it and see if you have a good chance of getting more money.
Who Is Typically At Fault In A Bicycle Car Accident?
The person typically at fault in a bicycle accident is the irresponsible party. This can be the cyclist if they take unsafe action, such as running at a red light, or it can be the other driver if they are doing similar actions.
Does An Insurance Company Cover Bike Damage?
Yes, an insurance company covers bike damage. The insurance policy covers any property damage and medical bills that you cause to another party in case of an accident.
What to Do If a Car Hits You?
It can be difficult to know what to do after you have been in a bike accident with a car. Follow the tips above and preserve as much evidence as possible when an accident occurs.
Take several photos and gather any additional witnesses, as well as assess your injuries and the conditions of the road and weather.
The most important thing to remember is to consult with an experienced bicycle attorney to help you navigate the claims process. The experienced bicycle accident lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help you navigate your accident and get you the money you deserve.
Contact us today for your free consultation if you have been injured in a crash.