As much as you try to be safe and follow the rules of the road when riding your bicycle, accidents do happen.
Bike accidents are especially scary because of the lack of protection you have around you while getting hit.
It’s important to know the four steps you should take if you are a cyclist hit by a car during your ride.
Before we get to the checklist, know that it’s always a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you are a cyclist who was hit by a car.
Your attorney can help you understand your options and support you through the process.
Read on for more tips that will be helpful if you have been in an accident on your bicycle.
What Should I Do If I Was A Cyclist Hit by a Car?
If a car hit you when you were riding your bike, there are several steps you should take as soon as possible.
1. Check for Injuries
The most important thing to do after a road bike accident is to make sure you get the medical attention you need. Check yourself for injuries and visit your doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
If you delay seeking medical attention, insurance companies may claim that your injuries are false or exaggerated. Or they may even try to claim that something other than the accident caused your injury.
2. Call the Police
In both Iowa and Illinois, you must report to the police any accident that causes injury, death, or more than $1,500 in property damages. It is always a good idea to contact the police for even minor accidents, but especially if you are a cyclist hit by a car.
The police will provide you with an accident report that may include:
- Witness statements and contact information
- Statements from the other party
- Insurance and contact information for parties involved in the accident
- Information about road and weather conditions
- Officers’ opinions about the cause of the accident
- Statements about whether anyone violated the law
- Records of citations issued
An accident report prepared by the police can be an important piece of evidence in your personal injury case.
3. Gather Information
Make sure to get the driver’s insurance and contact information. Try to identify witnesses at the scene and get them to provide a statement to the police.
4. Document the Accident
Take photographs of the scene of the accident showing:
- The location of vehicles and your bike
- Vehicle license plates
- Markings caused by the accident, such as skid marks
- Damage to your bicycle
- Debris at the scene
Make note of any details you remember about the accident.
However, try to avoid making any statement to the insurance company until you have talked to a personal injury lawyer.
Who Is at Fault When a Cyclist is Hit By a Car?
When you ride your bicycle on the street, you have to follow the same rules of the road as cars. If you got hit by a car on your bike, you may be able to recover compensation if the driver of the car was at fault.
Even if you were partially to blame for a biking accident, you can recover compensation for at least part of your injuries in both Illinois and Iowa as long as you were not more than 50% at fault for the accident.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the driver may even be subject to criminal penalties. Particularly if they were acting recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, criminal laws may apply. In this circumstance, you may be entitled to unusual remedies, such as punitive damages.
How Soon Do I Need to Act?
All states impose a statute of limitations on the time you can file a claim for personal injury.
In both Illinois and Iowa, the statute of limitations is two years in most cases. The law will bar you from recovering any compensation if you don’t file your claim within the limitations period.
It is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to ensure you have plenty of time to document, negotiate, and file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out.
How Can an Attorney Help If I Was Hit by a Car on My Bicycle?
Our highly rated firm is dedicated to helping members of our community who have suffered accident injuries.
We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for accident victims, and we would be honored to help you too.
The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.