What should a cyclist do if hit by a car?
First of all, call 911 and ask for the police and EMS, even if you don’t think you need medical attention call 911 anyway, you can always decline their assistance.
Next, don’t talk to anyone about the crash, especially who could be at fault. When the crash happens anything you say might be evaluated by the driver’s insurance company for its potential as evidence against you.
If you said “the car must have moved into my lane to hit me” the insurance company hears “I wasn’t in my lane when the car hit me” .
If you said “I didn’t see the car before it hit me” the insurance company hears “I wasn’t paying attention”.
The moment the accident happened the driver’s insurance company became your adversary so please be very careful about what you say and who you say it to.
If a law enforcement officer is at the accident site asking questions about the crash, make sure you give the officer your version of what happened along with your name and address, and always ask for an accident report.
Get contact information of witnesses
If injured and you cannot get the names of witnesses ask someone to do it for you. Make sure that the police have the driver information before the driver leaves.
I witnessed a bicycle versus auto accident where the car driver admitted running a red light and causing the accident. I gave the bike rider my card and told her I was a witness and that she was riding through a green light. She didn’t want to take my card because the driver was being so nice and admitting fault, but I insisted.
An hour later the cop who took the accident report called me because the car driver and the cyclist stories were polar opposites. The car driver told the cop that the cyclist ran the red light. After I explained how the accident actually happened the car driver was cited for running a red light and causing the accident. ALWAYS find and document witnesses.
There are statutes (laws) in most states that require a driver to pass a cyclist at a safe distance as well as give warning and exercise care to avoid colliding with a cyclist. If the driver hit you with a car then the driver has violated these laws.
Tell the police that you are aware of the law regarding cyclists and motor vehicles and why the driver should be ticketed.
Consult with an attorney
After the crash, you may decide that you want to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company, however do not discuss the accident with the driver’s insurance company before speaking with an attorney. Insurance company claims adjusters are highly skilled at mitigating claims; so do not discuss the accident until you have consulted with an attorney.
- Call 911 and request police and EMS to the scene
- Gather witness information
- Ask the police to write the driver a ticket
- Take pictures of the car and bike
- Take pictures of the scene
- Get the car license plate number
- Do not make a statement to anyone except the police
- Consult with an attorney before you make a claim on the driver’s insurance company
Velosurance is a Sea Otter sponsor and we offer insurance for cyclists to protect against many types of losses, crashes, theft and a bunch of other things that can happen to your bicycle. The world is not a friendly place for a bicycle but with Velosurance you can be protected from the unexpected.