5 Things Cyclists Should Do When Hit by a Vehicle
1. Stay at the Scene and Call the Authorities
Do not leave the accident scene right away. Call the police immediately and wait for their arrival. While waiting for the police to come, you must make sure to get the other vehicle’s driver’s information and contact details. These will come in handy should the need for legal proceedings later on arise.
When the police arrive, give your version of the accident straightaway. As much as possible, document or at least make a mental note of all the events that have transpired and led to the accident.
Due to the trauma caused by the collision or due to the naturally occurring lapses in memory, you may forget specific and important details about the accident that could have been helpful and advantageous to your cause. This is one of the points of giving police statements. Also, do not clean up the scene until the police are able to finish their documentation of the accident in a police report.
2. Seek Medical Attention
It is in your best interests to seek medical help even if you think you have not sustained any major (or minor) injuries. Do not refuse medical help.
Some injuries do not manifest themselves immediately and some traumas are not visible to the naked eye just like internal bleeding. The sudden rush of adrenaline caused by the accident might give you the false impression that you are fine but in actual fact, you may not really be okay.
Refusing medical attention would not only put you and your health in a more vulnerable position but would also lessen your chances of being sufficiently reimbursed of medical expenses.
You could suffer from many different injuries, and you should don’t want to discover too late that you have an injury related to the accident. Depending on your injury or the facts surrounding the case, you should know what kind of doctor to consult after a car accident.
3. Seek Legal Counsel
Seeking immediate medical attention is not the only thing you must do in order to ensure that your interests are well-protected; seeking legal help from a legal counsel is also absolutely necessary.
If you want to be to be properly compensated, a lawyer is needed for you to be able to assert your legal rights and for you to maximize your chances of recovery. It is best to engage the services of lawyers as soon as possible to enable them to have an earlier thus deeper evaluation of the situation.
It would also be useful to be fully informed and to be fully aware of all the legal actions you may take against the erring driver and/or the latter’s insurance company. Different lawyers specialize in different fields of law so when choosing one, make sure to hire a lawyer experienced in the subject at hand.
4. Be Leery of Early Settlement Offers
Do not settle the claim until you have sought the legal advice of your attorney. It is more than typical for the insurance companies of at-fault drivers to offer settlements to victims right away. But most of the time these offers, although seemingly attractive, grossly undervalue your claims.
These companies will try to trivialize your injuries to be able to reduce your insurance claim against them and will not take into account all the possible disadvantages and impediments caused by the accident.
When talking to the insurance company of the vehicle owner, avoid giving out too much information. Simply tell them the contact number of your lawyer and your insurance company (if applicable).
5. Document Injuries and Related Expenses
Keeping a record of your medical expenses is vital for your compensation claims. Courts require reliable proofs of expenses when measuring and estimating the number of compensatory damages to be awarded to the plaintiff in a civil case. It is also important to preserve evidence like the torn and blood-stained clothing you wore or the damaged bicycle you used when the collision happened.