A Cyclist’s Quick Guide: What to do if you’re hit by a motor vehicle

You set out for your regular bike ride, and the weather is perfect. Traffic is denser than usual, but you’re an experienced cyclist and pride yourself in knowing traffic laws. You feel secure when you ride, but are attentive to your surroundings. And then…a neglectful vehicle runs into you. You crash, and are injured. This same scenario plays out in towns and cities across the U.S. each day. In fact, on average, two cyclists are killed every day after being struck by a motor vehicle, and many more are injured.* If you find yourself in similar circumstances, follow these tips for the best possible outcome:

Analyze the situation:

If you’re well enough, stay at the scene until law enforcement arrive. Take photos of everything including the scene of the incident, or if you’re not able, have a friend or family member do so for you. After discussing the incident with police and acquiring the driver’s contact and insurance information, have a medical professional examine your injuries. While they may seem minor in the adrenaline-packed moments after a crash, some injuries can have a longterm impact on your quality of life. As soon as you can, document your version of the events in detail. Note your location, traffic patterns, other pedestrians, weather and road conditions.

The best way to prepare for meeting with a lawyer:

Keep a detailed list of all your fees, payments and charges, including the cost of medical attention. Avoid repairing your bike or tossing any of your damaged equipment as these items can be used as evidence to build your case. You can, however, obtain estimates for the cost of repairing your bike and equipment. You should also have a police report outlining the events and potential witnesses’ claims. Keep all of this information as organized as possible with dates and notations.

Bicycle wrecks can be complex, and laws surrounding cyclists vary from state to state. Pursuing legal counsel is important to securing fair compensation for your injuries.

If you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, always consult with an attorney to learn more about your options. For questions contact Cook, Barkett, Ponder & Wolz for a free case consultation, 1 (877) 337-6651.

*2014 data from the U.S Dept. of Transportation

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