1 Get a Police Report
If you are hit by a car, call the police. It is that simple. Even if it was a minor incident and you think you may be okay, call the police anyway. A police report, called a ‘traffic collision report’, helps memorialize the event and serves as proof that it happened. The police report will contain the information you need to advance your claim.
2 Get Information on the Driver and Witnesses
The police report should contain the contact information of the driver as well as any witnesses, but why leave it to chance. If you’re able to get this information yourself, do it. If you’re badly injured but riding with a friend, make sure they get this information. Third party witnesses don’t always stick around for the police to arrive, they may be late to work or hesitant to speak with the police. Getting witness contact information can help you have someone to back your story.
3 Document Everything
Take photos, then take photos, then take more photos. When it comes to an insurance claim, photographs are the best evidence. Take pictures of your bike, of the collision scene, of the driver’s car, your injuries, the police officer’s business card. If any information is missed by the police, you will have it for later. And if the driver tries to contest how the collision took place, photographs can help an accident reconstruction expert establish that the science is on your side.
4 Don’t Speak to the Insurance Company
The insurance company of the driver who hit you is in the business of paying you as little as possible for your injuries. Don’t talk to them until you speak with a lawyer. The insurers are experts at getting you to say the wrong thing and using it against you. If the insurance company reaches out with a settlement offer right away, you can be certain that it is in their best interest, not yours. Talk to an attorney first to learn about your rights. Even if you don’t hire an attorney, consultations are free.
5 Seek Medical Attention Right Away
If you are severely injured, call 9-1-1 immediately and seek medical attention. If you’re seriously injured, but unsure if you need an ambulance, make sure to get to the emergency room straight away. An ambulance may be expensive, but you are entitled to repayment of your medical costs by the driver who is at fault. If you delay in your treatment, the insurance company can allege that you were not truly injured. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health, and even in minor situations, a trip to urgent care is worth every penny.