No matter how careful you are, you cannot control the actions of the drivers that are sharing the road with you when you bike in Pennsylvania. Our team of Pittsburgh car accident lawyers understand that unfortunately, drivers are prone to mistakes and bad decision-making behind the wheel that cause hundreds of bicycle accidents each year. If you get hit by a car while riding your bicycle in Pittsburgh, try to remain calm and remember the following steps to take to protect your rights.
Limit Your Movements
Resist the urge to immediately jump back on your feet after getting hit by a car. You may have serious injuries that could be exacerbated with sudden movements, such as a spinal cord injury. Stay where you are and do a mental check of yourself from head to toe to see if you are experiencing any pain or notice any bruising, bleeding or swelling.
Move yourself and your bicycle out of the road if you can, for safety reasons, but limit your movements as much as possible until paramedics arrive. Don’t tell the driver of the vehicle that you are uninjured, even if you feel fine initially. Your adrenaline will most likely be pumping from the accident; this can act as a temporary painkiller.
Don’t Admit Fault
Another mistake is to instantly apologize to the driver or admit fault for the bicycle accident, such as by saying that you should have been paying more attention or weren’t sure whether you had the right-of-way. Confessing to causing the bicycle accident can take away your ability to recover financial compensation from the driver’s insurance company – even if the driver is at fault. Instead, wait for investigators to determine the cause of the bicycle accident.
Get the Driver’s Information
Write down the driver’s name, address and insurance information. Give this information to the other driver, as well, if requested. Look around to see if there were any witnesses. If people saw the bicycle accident take place, ask for their names and phone numbers so you can collect statements later.
Call 911 to report the bike accident as soon as possible. Give them the exact location of the crash and request a paramedic, if necessary. Give your side of the story to the responding police officer. Do not leave the scene of the accident until the police have completed their investigation. Ask for your police report number before you go.
If you can, take pictures of the scene of the bike accident. Include all relevant details, such as close-up shots of the driver’s damaged vehicle, your bicycle and the road. Capture a few wide-lens photos of the crash site as a whole, as well. Keeping evidence of the accident can be useful for your case when working with a Pittsburgh personal injury lawyer.
Go to a Hospital
See a doctor near you immediately after a bicycle accident. Most car insurance companies list prompt medical care as an eligibility requirement for medical bill coverage. Even if you think you only have minor injuries, see a doctor and explain what happened. Follow your recommended treatment plan and keep copies of your medical records.
Call the Driver’s Insurance Company
Although Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, this car insurance rule does not apply to bicycle accidents. This means you have the right to file a claim with the insurance provider of the driver who hit you. Do this as soon as you can after a crash to avoid missing an important deadline.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Pittsburgh Before Accepting a Settlement
The driver’s car insurance company will want to minimize its liability – and your payout. Before accepting a settlement offer, contact a bicycle accident attorney in Pittsburgh for legal advice. Your lawyer can help you negotiate for fair and full compensation to pay for your medical bills, bicycle repairs and other losses. Contact a Pittsburgh bicycle accident lawyer who can take over your case at any stage, regardless of whether or not you completed all of these steps. Call Dallas W. Hartman, P.C., today for a free case review at (800) 777-4081.