When bikes collide with vehicles, the result can be disastrous – and oftentimes, fatal. If you’re hit while riding your bicycle, it’s important to remain calm. The actions you take immediately following the accident may impact your financial recovery for damage to your bike and injuries.
Follow these steps if you’re hit on a bicycle.
Get Medical Attention
First and foremost, get medical attention if you’re seriously injured. Your health should be your top priority, and getting medical care as soon as possible is the only way to be sure you have documentation of your injuries.
Contact the Police
The second most important step is to contact the police, and make sure that you wait for them to arrive at the scene. File a police report even if you don’t think you’re injured. In many cases, cyclists don’t even realize they’re injured until several hours after the accident occurs. Injuries that appear to be minor at first can progress into serious – sometimes permanent – injuries.
Also, remember that if you leave the scene before the police arrive, you may not be able to identify the at-fault driver.
Don’t try to negotiate with the driver or accept any blame. Just wait for police to arrive, so the accident can be documented properly in the police report. The police may also issue the driver a ticket, which can be beneficial when trying to settle your case with the insurance company.
When the police arrive, make sure that they get your side of the story. Sometimes, police will get a statement from the driver, but will never even bother talking to the cyclist. Do everything you can to make sure that your version of events is included in the police report.
Obtain Witness and Driver Contact Information
If you can, get the contact information of the driver and any nearby witnesses. Try to get the driver’s insurance information, license plate number, first and last name, driver’s license number, phone number and address.
Write Down What Happened
At the scene, take mental notes of the accident and the events leading up to it. Make note of how the accident happened, where it occurred, when it happened, and the weather, road and traffic conditions. Write all of this information down as soon as you possibly can while it’s still fresh in your mind.
Having a written account of what happened can help support your case later on down the road.
Document Your Injuries
Even if your injuries are minor, it’s important seek out medical attention as soon as possible. Be sure to document your injuries, so you have evidence that supports your personal injury claim.
Contact a Lawyer
Accidents of this nature can be very complex. Consult with a personal injury lawyer who has dealt with bike accident cases. A lawyer will represent your rights and best interests to help you obtain the maximum compensation you’re entitled to receive.