I Was Hit on My Bicycle by a Motor Vehicle in Los Angeles – What Should I Do?
Bicyclists are not second class citizens. Under California state law, cyclists have a clear right to the road. Sadly, far too many motorists still fail to safely share our public roadways with bicyclists. Bike accidents are a serious public safety hazard. According to the most recent data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 850 bike riders are killed in traffic collisions each year. Many thousands more suffer devastating injuries.
As a bicyclist, you need to know how to protect yourself and your rights after a crash. You deserve justice and financial compensation for the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Unfortunately, even a small mistake can undermine your personal injury claim. Here, our Los Angeles bicycle accident attorneys highlight four steps that you should take if you were hit by a motor vehicle while riding a bike in Southern California.
Exchange Information, Document the Collision, and Report the Bicycle Accident
In California, all motorists have a legal responsibility to stop their vehicle and exchange information after a collision—including collisions with other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. If anyone was hurt in the crash, the accident should be reported to the police. As bicyclists are vulnerable road users, it is no surprise that they often sustain the brunt of any collision. In the immediate aftermath of a collision with a motor vehicle, you should try to secure as much relevant information as possible. Among other things, this includes:
- The name and license number of the driver(s);
- The vehicle make/model and license plate number;
- Contact information for any eyewitnesses; and
- Photographs of the crash damage and wider seen.
Seek Professional Medical Attention for Any Injuries
You should seek immediate medical attention after being hit by a car on your bicycle. All injuries require a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed and qualified physician. Of course, nothing is more important than your health and safety.
You need to get yourself the proper and necessary care. Often, bicyclists feel a spike in adrenaline immediately after a bike accident. This can temporarily mask the pain. You may be more seriously injured than you initially feel.
From a legal perspective, it is also important to clarify that you can only bring a personal injury claim if you see a doctor. Without official medical records, you will not be able to hold a negligent driver liable for a bike accident.
Do Not Give a Statement to the Driver’s Insurance Company
Bicycle-motor vehicle accident cases are generally defended by insurance companies. You might receive a phone call from the driver’s insurance carrier in the days or weeks after the crash. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the insurance adjuster is not on your side. No matter how nice or how friendly they come across on the phone, their goal is to protect the interests of the insurance company.
Bicycle accident claims are fault-based legal cases. You can only hold another driver liable for your crash if you have evidence that proves fault. Insurance companies are looking for anything that they can find to undermine your personal injury case. They want you to give a recorded statement so that they find a way to use your words against you.
Get Help from an Experienced California Bike Accident Attorney
Personal injury law is complicated, but you are not alone in the bicycle accident injury claims process. Before you give any statement to an insurance company, schedule a free, fully confidential initial case evaluation with an experienced Los Angeles bike accident attorney. During your consultation, a lawyer will be able to review your case, answer specific questions, and provide a step-by-step explanation about what you need to do next to protect your rights and maximize your financial recovery. Insurance companies are staffed by trained professionals. You need a top-rated legal professional on your side.
Schedule a Free Bike Accident Injury Consultation in Los Angeles, CA
At Fisher & Talwar, our Los Angele bicycle accident attorneys are aggressive, effective advocates for victims and their families. Were you or your loved one hit by a car while on a bike? We are more than ready to get started on your case. Contact us today for free legal guidance and support. We represent bicycle accident victims throughout Los Angeles County, including in Los Angeles, Torrance, West Covina, Santa Clara, Pasadena, Pomona, Norwalk, Palmdale, El Monte, and Downey.