Bicycle commuting is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Not only is riding a bike good for your health, it is also good for the environment. According to Statista, the number of bicyclists has increased dramatically in recent years, from 51 million bike riders in 2012 to more than 66 million bike riders in 2017.
With more bicycle commuters, that also means more potential for bicycle accidents. Below are eight things to do if a car hits you while you are on a bicycle.
Get out of the road.
Your most immediate concern should be moving yourself out of harm’s way. If you are on a busy road, you certainly do not want to get hit again. Do yourself a favor and pull you and your bike off to the side of the road.
You may not feel like you are hurt badly, and that might be the case. You should at least contact the police right away. An officer can interview you and any witnesses and examine the scene. The police officer might also decide to ticket the driver, which could help your case if you need to file an insurance claim.
Photograph the scene.
If you are able, take pictures of the accident scene. Even though you have moved your bike out of the road, take photos of the condition of the bike, as well as the car that hit you. You might also want to photograph any injuries you have.
Do not negotiate with the driver that hit you.
The driver will likely apologize and may even accept blame. However, the driver could change his or her mind later. Get their contact and insurance information, and let the police assess the situation. If you are injured and cannot do so, ask someone nearby to record the information for you.
Talk to witnesses.
If there are other people that saw the accident occur, get their contact information. You might need them to corroborate how the accident unfolded later.
Think about going to the hospital.
Maybe you decided your injuries are not severe, so you did not feel the need to call an ambulance. Even if you do not look injured, you could have sustained internal injuries that could worsen later. To prevent possible further damage, you should consider visiting your doctor to get examined.
Do not get your bike fixed immediately.
This will be hard for bicycle commuters. However, if you are pursuing a claim with insurance, you want to wait until the accident has been completely resolved before you repair the bike. It may need to be examined as evidence.
Consider contacting an attorney.
If you were seriously injured after being hit by a car, you may want to reach out to a personal injury attorney. You will not necessarily have to go to trial. An attorney can work as a liaison between you and the insurance company or you and the driver. He or she can help ensure you receive the compensation needed to recover from your injuries.