Drivers are often a threat to cyclists on Smyrna roads. This is because motorists often don’t understand how much space bicycles need or that they have every right to be on the road as cars, trucks, and other vehicles. If you’re a cyclist involved in a bicycle accident, this could leave you vulnerable unless you know your rights and what you’re likely entitled to recover for the accident. It’s time to speak with a Smyrna bicycle accident lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process.
Our attorneys have over two decades of helping bicycle accident victims win the money they deserve and fight the common biases around cyclists on the road. We want to help you pursue the settlement you need to cover costs and move on. For a FREE consultation with one of our lawyers, call us at 404-341-6555 or complete the form to your right to get started today.
4 Steps to Take If You’re Hit By a Car on Your Bike
The moments following a bicycle accident with a car are crucial for the cyclist. There are several situations that could leave you vulnerable unless action is taken. If you were hit by a car while riding your bike, here are the top four things you should do:
- Call Local Police
Even if the driver doesn’t want to, you should always alert local law enforcement about the accident. Police should file a police report about the accident, including any injuries or property damage involved (and that includes any damage to your bicycle). If you believe the driver was driving drunk, trying to hide any evidence, or acting aggressively, let them know. Be as detailed as possible when telling officers what happened, as the information in this report will be used when a settlement is discussed. Remind them that cyclists have the same right to be on the road as cars.
- Get Medical Attention
If you have serious injuries from a car accident on your bike, which can be common in bike-related incidents, get the medical help you need. Some injuries can get much worse over time, even if they seem okay now. Plus, seeing a doctor will create a record of your injury and show that you required treatment as a result of the accident.
- Exchange information with the Driver
That includes first and last names, insurance information, phone numbers, addresses, and the driver’s license plate. Use your phone to take pictures of the scene, any injuries you suffered (even minor ones), and damage to your bike.
You’ll also want to speak with anyone who was a witness to the accident and ask them for their contact information. Your lawyer may reach out to them for more information when they’re investigating your case.
- Speak with Your Attorney
Besides calling police, your first call should be to a bicycle accident lawyer. Cyclists are, unfortunately, not often taken as seriously on the ride as motorists, which means the driver or their insurance company could try to place blame on you. Don’t talk to the insurance company, even if they call you, or say too much to the other driver until you’ve called your attorney. Insurance companies may try to start a conversation with you to get information that can be used against you—or they may try offering you money upfront that’s usually nowhere near what you need to cover your damages. Don’t answer their calls or simply tell them to speak with your attorney, and give his or her their number.
Who is at fault when a car hits a bicycle?
Fault is determined by who caused the bicycle and car accident by being negligent, or careless. Car accidents involving a bicycle are almost never real accidents, and usually they could have been prevented—meaning someone is at fault.
The ways someone can be at fault includes:
- Driving intoxicated and causing a drunk driving accident
- Driving distracted
- Breaking a traffic law
Even if a driver wasn’t breaking a law, however, they can still be negligent in the accident. Because this can be complicated to prove, assigning fault in a bicycle accident is not always black and white. However, it’s important for you as cyclist to never accept blame that isn’t yours and not blame yourself for the accident—even if the driver or their insurance company tries to blame you.
In most cases, if the driver is determined to be at fault, the insurance company will make a settlement payment to the victim. But if the case isn’t easily resolved, a lawsuit will be filed and if the lawsuit goes to trial, a judge or jury will decide who is at fault after listening to the evidence, including the police report, evidence of damage to the car or bicycle, witness testimonies, and more.
What if the driver who hit me didn’t stop?
If a car driver hits a bicyclist and drives away, this is considered a “hit and run.” If you’re dealing with a hit and run, don’t panic. Here’s what you can do:
- Take pictures of what you can. Document your injuries, your bike, the scene of the accident, and any witness statements and information. If you’re able to get a picture of the driver’s car and/or license plate before they get away, do it. Or if you remember any of their license plate number, their details about their identity, or characteristics of their vehicle, write those down and report them to police.
- Always contact police and have them file a report, just like you would otherwise.
- Get medical attention so you can still create a medical record of any injuries following the accident.
- Contact your attorney. Just like with an accident involving a driver who stayed on the scene, you should document as much information as you can and seek legal help for how to proceed.
You might feel hopeless if your bicycle accident was a hit and run, but the driver can still be held accountable if identified. A hit and run accident can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges, and you may even be able to seek financial recovery for losses associated with the hit and run.
Talk to a Smyrna Bicycle Lawyer for Free
Our attorneys know how to work bicycle accident cases, and we’re always on your side. Let us give you a FREE consultation to discuss your case. Call us today at 404-341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get started.