Cars hit hundreds of people on bikes each day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that cars kill over 800 cyclists each year in the United States, and an additional 45,000 cyclists sustain injuries.
As people are trying to become more sustainable, bike travel is becoming increasingly more common. It is important to know the appropriate steps to take when a motor vehicle hits you while riding.
1. Call the police
You will probably be in a state of shock right after the car hits you. It is important to make sure you are not seriously injured before trying to walk. If you feel okay to move around, get yourself off the road and call the police. Even if you do not feel injured or the driver who hit you does not want to call the police, it is important that you do. Police can document the accident, so the driver cannot change the story later on.
2. Get driver's and witness's information
While you wait for the police, get contact information from the driver and anyone who saw the accident. Make sure to get their name, phone number, address and description of the accident. Try to verify this information with a driver's license and insurance card. That way, if the police fail to get any information, you already have everything you need.
3. Take pictures of the scene, your bike and yourself
Pictures can be important evidence for an insurance claim and if you decide to file a lawsuit against the driver. Try to take pictures that detail how the accident occurred, as well as any damage to your bike and bruises or cuts on your body. Even pictures of a street sign or traffic light can be beneficial to have later on. If the accident causes damage to your cell phone, ask someone nearby to help you take pictures and make sure to get that person's contact information as well.
4. Seek medical attention
Most cyclists involved in a car accident do not notice their injuries right away. However, it is extremely important that you go to a doctor after you finish talking to the police. These accidents can cause internal bleeding that can be fatal if left untreated. Additionally, medical documentation of your injuries can be helpful to have in future claims.
Cyclists tend to feel embarrassed when they get hit by a car, which causes many of them to flee the scene without taking the necessary steps. It is important to remember that the accident is likely not your fault. If you have questions about an insurance or legal claim after a bicycle accident, speak with a trusted personal injury attorney today.