If a car hits you when you’re riding your bike, take these steps to protect your legal rights.
In a perfect world, cars and bikes would share the road safely, with each party respecting the rights of the other. In reality, many drivers of cars and trucks simply do not pay attention to the rights of cyclists on the road — which can lead to accidents.
A careful biker can avoid many accidents by taking basic safety precautions. This may include wearing reflective clothing, staying in bike lanes when possible, and never weaving in and out of lanes. However, there are times when even the most safety-minded biker can be hit by a car — with devastating results. Given the difference in size between a vehicle and a bike — and how little protection a biker has compared with a driver — it isn’t surprising that accidents between cyclists and vehicles can result in very serious injuries or even fatalities.
After an accident, it may be difficult to know how to respond — particularly if you have been hurt. But whenever possible, if you can keep calm, you may be able to maximize your chances of recovery in a claim or lawsuit against the driver of the car. Of course, if you have been seriously hurt, your first priority should be getting medical care and attention. However, if you are able to, follow these steps to protect your legal rights.
Get Contact Information and Take Pictures
If you have your phone with you, do whatever possible to document the scene of the accident. Take pictures of the car and your bike (ideally before they are moved!) and the intersection where the accident occurred. Ask the driver for his or her contact information, driver’s license, and proof of insurance. Make a note of all of this information, and then get contact information from all witnesses at the scene. If possible, take a video of the scene to document the situation as fully as possible.
Limit Your Contact With The Driver
After an accident, it is natural to feel a range of emotion — from shock to anger to even guilt. It may be natural for some people to say that they’re sorry even if they didn’t cause the accident — which can then be treated as an admission of guilt! The best course of action after an accident is to limit the amount of talking that you do with the driver, his or her insurance company, and anyone else. Exchange basic information, and then let your lawyer take over all communications.
Call the Police
If someone else has not called 911, contact law enforcement as soon as possible. They will want to fully investigate the accident, including interviewing both you and the other driver, along with witnesses. Having a police report can be incredibly helpful to your case. Just be sure to limit what you say to the police to the facts and to never admit fault. Always tell the truth, and stick to saying just what happened rather than how you feel.
Write Down What Happened
As time passes, our memories fade. That is why it is important that you prepare a written statement of what happened as soon as you can after the accident for your lawyer. It does not have to be anything formal; simply write down all that you can remember. This may include the time that everything happened, what the driver said to you, his or her appearance, and the type of car that he or she drove. Write down whatever details you can remember, and give the statement to your attorney for use later.
Bike accidents can be devastating, but there is hope. By hiring an experienced bike accident attorney, you can increase your chances of fully recovering for your injuries. At the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have handled hundreds of personal injury cases and have recovered substantial awards and settlements on behalf of our clients. We will fight for your right to compensation — and we will never charge you a fee unless we get money for you. Contact us today at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to schedule a free consultation.