Collisions between cars and bicycles are unavoidable to some extent. Unfortunately, such collisions almost always end up worse for the cyclist. Government data shows that 857 cyclists were killed nationwide in traffic accidents just in 2018 alone. Hundreds more suffered injuries but survived.
As a cyclist, here are five things to know should you ever be hit by a car while biking:
1. Insurance Companies Look to Control Costs
Insurance companies are businesses. They have an obligation to control their costs in order to keep profits as high as possible. As such, don’t expect the driver’s insurance provider to take the lead in settling claims quickly and generously. Be prepared for resistance. Such resistance is normal and expected.
2. Speak Only to the Police
In the moments following the crash, don’t talk to others about what happened. Be especially careful about discussing the accident with a driver who might be at fault. Anything you say could be looked at by insurance companies as a reason to not pay claims. The only one you should be speaking to in the immediate aftermath of the accident is the police officer dispatched to the scene.
3. You Can Get a Copy of the Accident Report
You have every right to obtain a copy of the official police report. Before you leave the scene, be sure to ask the police officer how and when your copy can be obtained. Get it as soon as it is made available. The official police report will be a big help to insurance companies and any attorney you decide to retain.
4. You Have the Right to Legal Representation
You have every right under the law to seek legal representation following an accident. As long as you don’t need emergency medical help, it is a good idea to contact an attorney as soon as you are finished wrapping things up with the police. Attorneys are at their best when they can get started working on accident cases right away.
5. Gathering Evidence Can Help Your Case
Regardless of who might be at fault for the accident, gathering evidence can only help your case. Use your smart phone to take pictures of the accident scene, including anything about the surrounding area that might have contributed to the accident. Take pictures of your bike and any damaged property. Take pictures of the car. If there any witnesses to the accident, ask for names and phone numbers in case your attorney needs to make future contact.
Being hit by a car while biking is serious business. If it ever happens to you, seek any necessary medical attention right away. Then contact an attorney and your insurance company in order to learn how to proceed.