Cyclists: What to Do if You are Hit by a Car
Cyclists and motorists both have a duty of care to keep each other safe on the road. They also both have the right to use the road to get from point A to point B. As much as both parties may do their best to prevent collisions, they can still happen, with one or both being the negligent party. If you are a cyclist hit by a car and have never been involved in an accident before, consider following these steps.
Step 1: Request Medical Attention
Each year, thousands of people are injured as a result of a collision between a car and a bicycle. Out of the parties to receive injuries, cyclists are the most likely. Once a collision has happened, dial 911 for emergency services to visit the scene. Police can put together a report that outlines what likely happened, while ambulance officers can tend to the wounded. Even if you do not believe your injuries are severe enough to visit a hospital, it may be in your best interest to do so. A medical report can strengthen a bike accident claim, and medical professionals can rule out serious injuries.
Step 2: Gather Evidence
You may not be sure whether you will file a bike accident lawsuit just yet, but gathering evidence can be a worthwhile thing to do. Ask witnesses for their contact information, and take down their statement. If you can, capture photos and footage of the scene, damage, and injuries. All of this information may be crucial if your chosen attorney believes you are eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation.
Step 3: Contact Your Attorney
Contacting a bike accident lawyer can be an important step to take in those early days after a car vs. bike collision. You may have suffered serious injuries in the accident that have affected your way of life now and into the future. You may have even had to take time off work or purchase a new bike.
An attorney can not only calculate how much your accident has cost you, but they can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Their goal is to make sure you are adequately compensated for an accident that was not your fault.
Step 4: File a Claim
After working through evidence relating to the collision, your chosen lawyer may believe you have a strong case to present to the defendant or jury. At this point, they can draft a demand letter that sets the wheels in motion for a claim to be filed. The negotiation process can then begin.
Step 5: Reach Settlement
Included in the demand letter to the defendant is a compensation figure calculated from damages – both physical and mental. The settlement process can involve both the plaintiff and defendant establishing a fair figure. This may be less than your initial proposed figure but more or the same as what you are willing to accept. The lawyers on both sides will do their best to provide an outcome that suits both parties. However, if one cannot be reached, your case may be taken to trial for a jury or judge to decide.
If you are a cyclist hit by a car, you do not have to manage the next steps on your own. Request a free consultation from an Orange County bike accident lawyer to learn more about your eligibility for compensation.