According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, there were 45,000 bicyclist injuries due to car collisions in 2015. This number dropped from 50,000 from 2014.
If you get around on a bike or if you ride as a form of exercise, you need to know what to do if you are ever hit by a car. It can be an extremely scary and painful experience. In the event of a collision, there are crucial steps that need to be taken immediately afterward so that you can protect yourself medically, financially, and legally.
Remain Calm and Move off the Street
After you are hit, you should try to slowly move out of the street so that you aren’t hit again while you are down. After being hit, your adrenaline levels can rise and you might not feel any pain, even if you are injured.
This is why you should get out of the road but try to move as little as possible. If you try to move too fast, you can injure yourself even further.
Also, don’t yell at the driver. This was an accident and they didn’t hit you on purpose. You should also keep the driver at the scene. In most cases, the driver will feel terrible and will want to stay with you until help arrives.
If the driver tries to leave before the police arrive or if it was a hit-and-run, try to get the make and color of the car. Getting the license plate number will be even more helpful. You are going to need to hold someone responsible, and getting as much information about the car as possible is very important.
Call the Police
When you have moved out of the street, you should call the police. They are going to need to take your statement as well as a statement from the driver. If you need an ambulance, the police are going to need to be on site with them to handle the traffic.
Get the Driver’s Information and Take Photos
If you are able to sit up after you are hit, you should get the driver’s information. This includes their drivers license, their insurance information, and their license plate. Next, take as many photos as you can. Take photos of your bike, your injuries, and any traffic lights or street signs in the area. These photos can be useful when you file a claim.
Stay Away from Social Media
According to the League of American Bicyclists, you should avoid tweeting about your accident or posting photos of yourself on Facebook and other social media platforms. This can make it appear that you were negligent when you got hit by checking your phone. It can also look as though you weren’t hurt as seriously as you claim. This can greatly hurt your lawsuit.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
As mentioned, your higher than normal adrenaline level can mask the pain that you feel. Even if you don’t think that you are hurt, you will need to see a doctor. You should be fully checked for injuries as well as emotional distress. The hospital records are going to be very important when you file an insurance claim.
Contact a Lawyer
It is a good idea to contact a lawyer when you get to the hospital, such as the San Diego bicycle accident attorneys at the Kindley Firm, APC. While you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance on your own, you might not get the compensation you deserve.
Most insurance companies will offer you a settlement very soon after the accident that will often be less than what you deserve. In many cases, they will offer you a settlement before you know the extent of your injuries and your projected recuperation time If you hire a lawyer immediately, they can handle the negotiation process for you. If necessary, they will file a lawsuit. This will make things less stressful for you, and you can focus on getting better.
Being hit by a car can be very traumatic. If you know what to do after getting hit by a car while riding a bike, you should be able to get compensated for your injuries, your pain and suffering, and the damage to your bike.