Each year, almost 300,000 US cyclists are injured in car crashes. Most people don’t know what to do when they’ve been hit, which can make it extremely difficult to get the justice you deserve.
To help you navigate the aftermath of a bike crash, we’ve put together this guide explaining what to do when your bike is hit by a car.
Step 1: Get Out of the Road
Even if you’re seriously injured, getting out of immediate danger should be your first priority. Move to the shoulder or the sidewalk if you’re able. If your injuries are especially severe or you’re unable to move, call for emergency services ASAP.
Step 2: Check for Injuries
Once you’re out of harm’s way, you need to check for immediate injuries. If you see blood or sense the twinge of a broken bone, call 911 immediately. If you think you injured your head, you need to get medical treatment as soon as possible; a significant percentage of bike fatalities directly result from a head injury.
Step 3: Get the Driver’s Information
When you’re struck by a car, you deserve justice. That starts by collecting the driver’s insurance information. This is the same information you would collect in a car crash, including the driver’s:
License Plate Number
Insurance Policy Number
If the driver asks for your information, give them your name, phone number, and address. You have no obligation to give them your auto insurance information since you were not driving a car at the time of the crash.
Get pictures of the crash if you’re able. You should get a picture of your bike, all four sides of the driver’s vehicle, and your own injuries.
Step 4: File a Police Report
If your injuries do not warrant a trip to the emergency room, you should call the police non-emergency line and request a police report. A police report is a critical piece of evidence; it verifies the information of everyone involved in the crash, puts proof of the crash into the public record, and serves as an unbiased report of the circumstances and injuries. In most cases, a police report is the first thing your attorney will ask for when you enter their office.
Step 5: Go to the Doctor
Whether you need an ambulance or you wait for the police, you should go to a doctor immediately after any car crash. A doctor can conduct a physical exam that will document your injuries and potentially find “invisible” injuries, like hairline fractures or internal bleeding.
The sooner you go to a doctor, the better. If you wait to go to the doctor, the insurance company might argue that your injuries weren’t severe enough to warrant immediate medical attention. In some circumstances, they might even argue that there’s no proof your injuries were caused by the car crash. Thankfully, the combined coverage of the police report and the doctor’s examination can demonstrate that a crash occurred and that your injuries were the result of that crash.
Step 6: Contact an Attorney
Once you have all your evidence, you should speak to an attorney. An experienced bike accident attorney can handle your case from start to finish while you rest and recover. Not only that, but injured people who hire an attorney typically earn a larger settlement than those who try to handle the insurance companies by themselves.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a cycling accident, we are here for you. If you’d like an experienced Grand Junction personal injury lawyer from Doehling Law to evaluate your case, please call (970) 292-7171 or send us an email.