What to Do if You are Hit by a Car When Cycling
The last thing you want to deal with is a car hitting you when cycling. It can be shocking and disorienting in equal measure. It is a cyclist’s worse nightmare, and rightfully so. The best way to go through such a traumatic experience is to have some pointers in your arsenal. They will come in handy in navigating such a situation. It will help you keep your calm instead of giving in to your body’s natural adrenaline reaction of fight or flight. Here is what you need to do when a car hits you:
First, get out of the way of further harm
When a car hits you, the first thing you should do is situate yourself in a safer area if possible. Get off the road to avoid further harm. Check your body for any injuries that may make it hard to move and figure a way to manoeuvre away from the road. One car has hit you. It could be worse if you are still in the path of another. If you feel light-headed, bring yourself to a sitting position and try to breathe deeply.
Most people think they only need to call 911 if the accident seems fatal. Far from that, it is good practice to call 911 even if you do not have any notable severe injuries. The adrenaline rush in your system may be duping you into thinking that you are fine. You are never fully aware of the true nature of the injuries at the moment of the accident. Moreover, calling 911 helps create a legal record that would come in handy if you ever needed to seek potential claims in the future.
Try not to lose your composure
It is natural to feel pissed off when a car hits you. You may have been minding your business, and someone threatens your life with their vehicle. Try to hold your composure, regardless of how irritable you feel. Do not be tempted to retaliate with insulting words or physical fights. Violent actions could lead you into trouble with the law. Also, don’t be scared and admit fault for anything.
Gather all possible details
When a car hits you, get as many details as possible about it, the driver and the incident. Jot down the vehicle registration number. Note other identifiable features of the car like the make, colour and model. Also, get the driver’s insurance information, name, and address. An accident may render you unconscious, making you unable to get all the details at the scene. Note down all the details you remember before losing consciousness.
Photographs can save the day when you need some evidence. Take photos of the scene if you can. Use your phone to take pictures from different angles. The photo’s digital metadata can help give crucial information that can come in handy when filing claims in court.
Get eye witness records
Get contact details for anyone that saw the accident take place. Request them to give a formal account of what happened at the scene. You could ask them to stay around until the police come to provide an official statement. It could be necessary if the case proceeds to court.
Seek legal advice and support
Find a solicitor to give legal advice considering the incident. They will help you understand if you have a valid case if you decide to go to court. They will also assist you in pursuing a civil claim for the damage to you and your property. Your best bet is a bicycle accident lawyer who deals with cycling accidents. Refrain from discussing with the insurance company before talking to your attorney. Adjustors working for insurance companies may use poor evidence to dismiss your claims. You are safer with a legal savvy attorney, with your best interest in mind, in your corner.
Document all the expenses that you incurred from the accident. Keep receipts of medical bills, lost wages, etc. Take your bike to the garage for a price quote in writing. These documents are necessary since you bear the burden of proof when you file a civil claim.
An accident can be devastating regardless of whether it is near-fatal or less severe. Unfortunately, you may find yourself too confused to know what to do at the time of the incident. That will no longer be a problem because you now know what to do when a car hits you. It also helps a lot when other professionals like an experienced attorney root for you.