If you have been hit by a car, it can cause serious injuries or property damage. As such, it‘s pretty important that you know what to do in the aftermath of an accident. Beyond understanding the warranties available on our bikes, you’ll want to know matters of insurance, liability, and so on.
The following information can help you preserve your rights and obtain a favorable outcome in court or during settlement talks.
How to React to Being Hit by a Car While Riding a Bike
The first thing that you should do after being hit by a car is to determine if you are injured. Ideally, you will stay on the ground or otherwise limit your movement until you're certain no damage was done. If you feel any pain or soreness at all, ask for an ambulance to be called. Alternatively, you can ask a friend or relative for a ride to the hospital.
Don’t get too upset; that won’t help your situation that much. Instead, as CityLab recommends, “breathe and try to control your (very understandable) emotions. When police arrive on the scene, you will look more sympathetic. You’ll also be better able to communicate with the driver.”
Try to remember as many details about the accident as possible. For instance, it can be helpful to remember where the crash occurred and what you were doing just before it happened. If you are hit by a car and the driver is at fault, then you need to gather as much information as possible to prove that he or she is liable for damages. According to Eric Harron, "The police are well trained in interrogation and are not required to remind you of the right to remain silent unless you are in custody. Anything you say can hurt you later. Having a lawyer present during this process will protect you and help you avoid implicating yourself or harming your case."
The driver of the car that caused the crash should provide you with his or her insurance and contact information. It may also be possible for the police to take that information and include as part of the police report.
Filing an Insurance Claim Versus a Personal Injury Claim
Typically, you can get reimbursed for medical bills and other costs incurred in an accident through your insurance company. In some cases, the insurance company may attempt to be reimbursed by the driver's insurance company.
These personal injury lawyers suggest “if you were struck by a vehicle and the driver is at fault, then you can file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. You will need to prove that the driver was at fault, and then you can negotiate fair payment for your injuries and losses with the insurer.”
If damages exceed your policy limits, it may be a good idea to pursue additional compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. It may also be worth filing a personal injury case if you think that you are entitled to more than what the insurance company is offering to pay.
What Does the Law Say?
Choosing between settling a case out of court and pursuing a lawsuit may depend on the strength of your case. This means having a good understanding of the law and how it applies to your situation. Generally speaking, you aren't allowed to cross a street unless you have an arrow or some other indication that it is safe to do so.
You could also be partially liable for the collision if you were riding while distracted or took other dangerous actions. The driver could be liable for causing the accident if he or she was impaired or distracted when it took place. That person could also be liable for making an illegal turn at a red light or otherwise not providing you with enough room to safely ride on a street or sidewalk.
While getting hit by a car can have severe consequences, it may be possible to be reimbursed for current and future damages. If you have any questions about how to proceed with your case, it may be a good idea to talk with an attorney.