Biking is an environmentally friendly and healthy way to exercise, commute, or simply enjoy the outdoors.
But it’s also potentially dangerous. Of all vehicle crash deaths each year, about 2% of those deaths are bicyclists. In 2018, there were 857 bicyclist deaths caused by traffic crashes. Bicyclists who survive getting hit by a car have a high risk of head injuries.
Knowing what to do after you get hit by a car can make a difference in your recovery. It can also affect the payout you get from the driver’s insurance company.
Keep reading to learn what to do after a car-bike accident.
Evaluate Your Injuries and Damages
Your first priority should be your personal health and safety. Do a quick check to evaluate the severity of your injuries. If you’re injured, call 911 immediately so you can get medical help.
Avoid talking to the driver, and never admit any fault in the accident. Focus on keeping yourself safe and calm until the police or paramedics arrive.
Always call the police to the scene if you’re hit by a car, and remain there until they arrive unless you’re taken to the hospital for injuries. You might not think you’re injured, but many issues don’t show up until later. The adrenaline rush after the accident can mask some of your symptoms.
Having the police create an accident report establishes your evidence trail. The report can show who was to blame for the accident. It can help prove your case when you seek compensation from the insurance company.
If you’re able to, collect evidence at the scene. Taking photos of your bike, the involved vehicles, and other circumstances helps preserve the scene. Getting contact information from witnesses can also help your case.
Seek Medical Treatment
Even if you walked away from the accident with no apparent injuries, a trip to the doctor is a good idea. You might not notice signs of injury right away, but your doctor might notice potential injuries.
Waiting to see a doctor could make even minor injuries worse. The insurance company can say you made the injury worse by not getting it checked out immediately.
Get Fair Compensation
You can work with the driver’s insurance company directly, but remember that their goal is to pay you as little as possible. The first offer will likely be lower than you deserve, and the company will push you into signing documents that prevent you from going back for more money.
A bicycle accident lawyer can advocate for you with the insurance company. They can calculate what you deserve, including compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Attorneys often don’t charge upfront. Instead, they use a contingency fee structure where they receive a portion of your compensation, which will often be higher than you can get on your own. Finding out more information on accident attorneys can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Know What to Do If You’re Hit by a Car
If you get hit by a car, it can be confusing, overwhelming, and scary. Knowing how to handle the aftermath can make a difference in whether or not you get fairly compensated for your injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering.
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