Every year, over 130,000 cyclists are injured in crashes on American roads. No matter how safe you are while biking, the fact remains that you’re a smaller entity that can easily be hit or crushed by vehicles.
Depending on where you live, this means that bicycle accidents are almost inevitable. So if you’ve never been in one, count yourself lucky.
The best thing you can do now is educate yourself on what to do should be a biker hit by a car. That way, you’ll know exactly what to do, which makes it an easier process.
Read on to find out what you should do if your bike is hit by a car.
Assess Your Condition
Immediately after the collision, assess your condition. Check yourself for any injuries, and if there are any, determine the severity.
If you or anyone else is seriously injured, then dial 911 immediately. Don’t try to move seriously injured people (including yourself), as they may have a spinal cord injury that can be worsened with movement.
Otherwise, move everyone to a safer location if you’re able to without worsening injuries. You should also move your bike away to avoid further accidents or injuries.
Should the accident not be very serious and/or seem to have any resulting injuries, you should still call 911. In fact, in some states, it’s required by law if there are severe injuries or property damage.
In any case, calling 911 means the police will arrive on the scene, and they’ll carefully document the crash on an official report. They may take some time to arrive though, so proceed with the next steps while you wait.
Now exchange information with the driver. They may try to lie about their information to get away scot-free, especially since drivers are almost always at fault for auto-on-bike collisions. So try to get hard evidence and see their actual documents.
Ideally, you’ll get their full name, phone number, driver’s license, license plate number, and insurance details. You’ll want to jot down the vehicle details too, such as the color, make, model, and any noticeable features (after-market parts, stickers, scratches, dents, etc.).
If there are any witnesses, you’ll want their details too. This information will come in handy later on when you need evidence to back your case.
During this period, it’s vital that you say as little as possible. Never tell anyone that you feel ok, including the police when they arrive later.
Anything you say can be used against you to weaken your claims later. For example, if you say you feel fine but then suffer from a sprained or broken bone later on, the other party may say you’re faking it.
Document the Scene
You’ll want to gather as much evidence as you can from the scene before anything’s changed or people have left.
Take pictures and videos of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicle and your bike, any car or bicycle damage, everyone’s injuries, and any relevant road conditions if applicable. Don’t be afraid to gather too much evidence, as you never know what may help your claim.
Take this moment to also write down what happened since it’s fresh in your mind. You can open your smartphone’s note-taking app to type it all down and save it safely.
Help With the Police Report
When the authorities arrive, give them accurate details about what happened. They will use that data to create an official report, which you’ll need for insurance claims and/or legal proceedings. Make sure to get a copy for these purposes.
You should also ask the officers for their names and badge numbers. The more details you have, the better, as it’ll keep you organized; you’ll know who to contact if you need to do so in the future.
Get Medical Attention
This step is perhaps the most important one, and we can’t stress it enough. Even if you feel fine, it’s essential that you receive a thorough exam from a doctor.
First of all, you might still be riding on the shock and adrenaline that pumped through your body during and after the accident. This can mask pain, and when it wears off later, you’ll realize you have more injuries than you thought.
Secondly, having official records that you sought immediate medical attention will help your case. It’ll show that you were responsible and that the collision affected you enough for you to see a doctor.
Thirdly, if you have any injuries, prompt action can prevent them from getting worse. In the worst-case scenario, some can affect you for a lifetime, so you want to mitigate as many symptoms as possible.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Give your insurance company the details of your accident. The agent will ask you a series of questions, then give you instructions for paperwork and the claims process.
Make sure you follow their instructions to a T. Any deviations can lead to delayed or invalid claims.
Seek a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have bad injuries and/or property damage to your bike, then it’s wise to consult with a bike accident lawyer such as Alpha Accident Lawyers. They’ll know the law like the back of their hands, making your bicycle injury claim a smoother process to deal with.
They can help protect your rights, guide you through the legal process, and assist in seeking compensation if applicable. They’ll ensure that no one takes advantage of you during this difficult time.
Are You a Biker Hit by a Car? Know What to Do
As a biker hit by a car, it can be terrifying to get back on the road again. Not to mention, you may have nasty injuries and a broken bike to deal with.
However, if you know the steps to take in these emergencies, you’ll have much better outcomes. This is especially true if you act promptly and also seek the assistance of an experienced attorney.
If you’ve got other questions on your mind, then keep browsing our blog page for answers.