About 49,000 bicyclists suffer injuries in collisions with cars every year. This number has increased for the past few years, as more people have taken up cycling for recreation and daily commutes.
The steps you take after a bicycle accident could save your life. When a vehicle strikes your unprotected body, you can suffer severe injuries.
These steps could also preserve your right to pursue the at-fault driver for compensation. The compensation you recover for your bike accident could provide you with treatment or therapy necessary for your recovery from your injuries.
What should I do if I get hit by a car on my bike? Find out in our comprehensive guide.
What You Should (and Should Not) Do After a Bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident can create physical injuries and cause distress. The trauma of the accident might muddy your thinking and lead you to make hasty decisions.
After a bicycle accident, you should try to remain calm. Most of the steps you should take and pitfalls you should avoid will arise from common sense.
What Should I Do if I Get Hit by a Car on My Bike?
After you calm yourself down, take stock of the situation. Try to determine the severity of your injuries and move to a safe location if you fell into traffic.
Always stop after a bike crash. Do not brush off a collision as an ordinary event. If you do not stop and get the at-fault driver’s information, you could lose the ability to claim compensation for your injuries.
Report the Accident
Drivers in California must report a collision that results in an injury or death to the local police department or the California Highway Patrol. Ask the driver to report the accident and call the police if the driver refuses or leaves the scene.
The police will respond to the accident scene to manage the situation. If you need an ambulance or the driver needs a tow truck, the responding officer can help to make the necessary arrangements. But the most important role of the responding officer is to investigate the accident and produce an accident report to assess fault.
Cooperate with the Police
You should cooperate with the investigation by telling the truth. Lying to the officer will expose you to possible criminal prosecution. It will also tarnish your credibility in an insurance investigation or lawsuit as you seek to recover damages for your injuries.
You will need to determine the driver’s name and auto insurance carrier. If you do not obtain this information from the driver, ask the responding officer to help you get it. Drivers must provide officers with insurance information at the scene of an accident.
You should also collect the names and contact information of any bystanders who witnessed the accident.
Get photographs of the scene, if possible. Taking a variety of pictures with your cell phone is an easy way to do this.
Make sure you take all of your belongings with you. The scrapes on your helmet can provide a jury with tangible evidence of the crash and your injuries.
Seek Medical Attention
If you need immediate medical attention, call an ambulance or ask the police to dispatch one. If you do not need immediate medical attention, go to an emergency room, a quick care clinic, or your doctor’s office as soon as you can.
Seeking medical attention will provide many benefits including:
- Documenting your injuries
- Identifying any hidden injuries
- Obtaining a treatment plan
You will need proof of your injuries and an estimate of your current and future medical expenses to file an injury claim.
Speak to a Lawyer
One of the most important answers to the question “what should I do if I get hit by a car on my bike?” is “see a lawyer.” Take advantage of the free consultation offered by most injury lawyers to determine whether you have a valid case. You can discuss the ways that the lawyer can help you at this time.
What Should I Avoid Doing if I Get Hit by a Car on My Bike?
After an accident, do not get upset. If the collision escalates into a confrontation with the driver, you could sustain more injuries or even end up in jail.
Do not admit fault. You might feel guilty or the driver might bully you into feeling responsible for the accident, but an admission of fault will only jeopardize your injury claim.
Do not talk to the driver’s insurer. The insurance company might suggest that it needs your statement to process your claim. But the insurer does not want your statement in order to help you. Instead, it will comb through your statement to find ways to deny or reduce your claim.
Bicycle accidents can have serious consequences. Taking these simple steps after a crash can help to protect your legal right to compensation.
Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side.
If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines