Bicycling is an enjoyable Minnesota pastime. However, biking can quickly become dangerous for cyclists due to lack of proper safety equipment or the negligence of drivers on the road. In fact, nearly 130,000 cyclists are injured from being struck by a car every year. After a bike accident, cyclists may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. However, there are several necessary steps to take after getting struck by a car in order to successfully go to court and win your case.
If you are biking and get hit by a car, take these actions immediately to ensure you are protected and can receive the compensation you deserve.
1. Do Not Discuss the Accident
You may be tempted to immediately talk to the driver of the vehicle that struck you after your bike accident. Even if they seem reasonable and kind, it is important that you do not speak to them about the incident. More critical than simply discussing the incident is avoiding accepting or pushing blame.
It is common for drivers to jump out of their car and immediately apologize and take the blame. Alternatively, they may start blaming you for the incident. No matter the case, keep to yourself and quietly assess the situation. Get out of the road and avoid any other oncoming vehicles. Check for damages to your bike and any injuries you may have sustained after getting hit by a car. You can begin the process of getting insurance involved, as some auto insurances cover bicycle incidents as well. Avoid conversing with the driver until a third party is present to properly create a record of the conversation.
2. Call the Police
The next step to take after getting struck by a car is to call the police. While you wait for the police to arrive, stay near your bicycle and assess damages and injuries. When the police arrive, they will be able to start a formal record of the bicycle incident. This way, anything you or the other party says to the officer will be documented for the future.
Police on the scene will work to get the name, contact information and story of both parties. Make sure to get your information and story documented, as some officers may focus more on the driver of the vehicle. When speaking with the officer, stay calm and professional. Document everything with them, including the direction you were going, what you experienced and what damages and injuries you have sustained. By creating a comprehensive record with the police, your case will be stronger when you go to court.
3. Document Everything
Finally, after you have spoken to the police about your bicycle incident, document everything on your own, as well. If you have a smartphone, take pictures of the area, your bicycle and your injuries. These photos can be used as evidence in court if needed. Keep in mind that when you get in a serious bicycle accident, you can sustain long-term injuries that are not immediately noticeable.
Do not tamper with anything on the scene until after police have documented it. Avoid touching what could be used as evidence, and keep a running document in your phone or in a notebook about everything you remember from the incident.
Work With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finally, one of the most vital steps to take after getting struck by a car is to work with a personal injury lawyer near you. A personal injury lawyer can help you receive compensation for the injuries and trauma you sustained after getting hit by a car. Share everything you have documented with your lawyer to ensure they are well-informed.
The attorneys at Nelson Personal Injury know that receiving compensation after a bicycle accident can help you on the road to recovery. For almost 40 years, we have helped bicyclists who have been struck by vehicles receive compensation and closure in the aftermath of these traumatic events. For expert representation and assistance with your case, contact Nelson Personal Injury.