I Was Hit By A Car While Riding My Bike
What to do if you are hit by a car while riding your bike. We have all had our close calls out on the road. For the daily commuter or weekend warrior, it can feel like getting struck by a car is an inevitability. But what do you do when it happens? Having a plan before disaster strikes is vital. Much like practicing fire escapes at school as a child, you need to have your plan ingrained. It needs to be second-nature, because you most likely will not be in a sound state of mind after a bike accident.
Hit by a Car? Stay at the Scene and Report the Accident
Motor-vehicle collisions can be particularly terrifying for a cyclist, and the fear and pain of the collision can put you in a state of shock and irrationality. After getting hit, many cyclists, if they are able to, pick themselves up quickly, tell the driver that they are OK, and leave the scene as fast as possible or tell the driver that it is OK for them to leave. Many bike-car collisions go unreported for this reason.
When we are attacked, injured, or feel threatened, our natural instinct is to flee. But your instincts will do you no good in this situation. The adrenaline and endorphins pumping through your body mask painful injuries. You need to suppress the urge to flee or tell the driver to leave. If you or the driver leaves, there is no way to seek retribution once you get home and realize that your hand is broken or your bike frame is cracked. You also owe it to other cyclist to report every collision because more information and a better understanding of bike crashes could help laws and road infrastructure better serve cyclists in the future.
Take Action to Gather Evidence Quickly
As a cyclist in California, you have many of the same rights to the road as cars do, and this certainly applies to collisions. You and the other party should never leave the scene before the authorities arrive. You should document the collision by taking pictures of your injuries, the damage to your equipment, and the scene of the crash. If witnesses stopped, enlist their help by having them describe their accounts of the collision to the authorities. It is also vital to gather their contact information in the case that their statements aren’t used in the official traffic accident report. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on the police to put all the necessary statements in their report. It is not necessary to discuss the events of the collision with the other party, and a prolonged argument with the authorities will not necessarily do you any good.
If your injuries are so severe that you need immediate transportation to the hospital, you can file your account of events at a later time. The sooner you give your side of the story to the police, the better chances it will have of being admitted to the accident report.
If Hit by a Car, Seek Legal Counsel as Soon as Possible
Finally, in most cases it is in your best interest to seek the legal advice of a personal injury lawyer, specifically one with intensive bike law knowledge and experience in similar cases. The greater your injury, the more crucial it is to have a competent attorney. Taking on the monumental amount of legal paperwork or taking a settlement offer on your own will likely mean a dramatic cut from what you would receive with proper legal guidance. To learn more, call the experienced accident attorneys at Beck Law P.C. today.