What to do after a bike car accident, bicycle crash or what to do when a car hits you is important as it can repay for personal and material damages. A bicycle and car collision accident can happen to anyone and can be scary — regardless of rider experience, age, and bicycle safety precautions. Unfortunately, it can be life-threatening as well. Which is vital to know the appropriate steps to take after a bicycle accident to protect your interests, equipment, and more importantly health.
What to Do After A Bicycle Accident
Staying calm is the first step of many of what to do when a car hits you. The cyclist should avoid negative conflict with the driver of the vehicle as any reaction can be used against the rider in court and affect the outcome of any lawsuits resulting from the incident. Getting into a bike accident can be frightening, but it’s important to remain levelheaded and proceed with the following tips.
Keeping An Eye On the Driver
Keeping an eye on the driver, reduces the chance of a Hit and Run accident. In other words, causing an accident whether the driver is at fault or not, and leaving the scene right away.
Call the Police
Calling the police soon after the incident occurs is vital, so the officer(s) can file a police report on the collision accident. Even if the rider senses to be in good health, even minor injuries can develop into bruising, losing mobility around the area, and possibly serious and permanent problems.
Before the Police Arrives
- Take photos of your body injuries
- Take photos of the accident i.e. bicycle, car, vehicle license plate (VIN is optional), and the driver.
- Don’t attempt to negotiate with the driver or any passengers inside the vehicle. (At times, the police officer may hand out a ticket to the driver, which many be used in court and help settle the case for the cyclist.)
- It’s best to not apologize or accept blame at all.
- Collect Driver’s Information i.e. auto insurance, driver’s license, license plate number, personal phone number.
- Try to collect names and contact info of all witnesses *If the rider is too injured, it is common to ask a bystander (someone else) to do the work for you.
- Document injuries and preserve evidence.
- Find a personal bike injury lawyer or bike injury attorney to potentially call.
Once the Police Arrives
- State your side of the story to the officer so that it becomes recorded in the police report. *Can be common for the officer to refuse your statement. If this is the case, it’s best to have the report amended.
- Report all injuries, no matter how minor they feel or believe they are.
Document Injuries & Seek Medical Attention
Document all injuries and seeking medical attention is important as it will serve as proof that the cyclist was injured (which is another form of evidence and recordings to use in court). Take all necessary photos of bodily injuries i.e. scrapes, cuts, bruises, abrasions, road rash, etc. Record all this data on a piece of paper or journal with the location, time and date of incident.
Insurance Claim the Incident
Call the driver’s auto insurance and file a claim. It is important to only give basic information i.e. location, date, time, your full name, and drivers full name. This step can also be done by a professional injury attorney (preferable a local or statewide dedicated bicycle accident law firm).
Seek Advice from a Professional Injury Law Firm
This step is important as such attorney’s can advise on how to proceed, negotiate with the insurance companies or represent the cyclist case in a lawsuit. According to Bike Guardians of Scottsdale, it is not uncommon for injury cases to be settled without ever going to trial, as insurance companies would rather try to nip it in the bud before it gets potentially worse for the driver at fault and the overall settlement. Either way, seeking advice from a personal injury law firm can fight for your maximum settlement.
A Vehicle Collision Bicycle Accident
It’s vital to leave the bicycle, and other damaged items i.e. clothes, helmet, jewelry, bicycle accessories (GoPro, GPS, Flashlight, etc), bicycle parts in the same state as after the bike accident. Do not fix, clean or have anything repaired or inspected as everything is evidence to the car bicycle accident.
Remember these easy steps on what to do after a car collision bicycle accident (or what to do when a car hits you): stay calm, record personal damages and driver/vehicle information, report incident with police offer, seek medical treatment, preserve items, and seek advice with an attorney. The legal advice (preferable one from a personal injury law firm specializing in bicycle accidents and cycling law in your state) is important so that the cyclist can be educated on helpful next-steps after a crash.
*Bike riding accidents dealing with at fault drivers needs to be considered as a bike crash or bike collision crash.