Bicycles provide cost-effective, environmentally friendly transportation and recreation for people of all ages. However, a bicycle lacks the enclosed protection of a car. So, bicyclists are at an elevated risk of severe injuries when they are involved in collisions with other vehicles.
Between 2009 to 2017, South Carolina reported an average of 508 injuries or fatal bicycle accidents per year. Over 90.7% of these accidents resulted in injury, and 3.2% were fatal. Some common injuries incurred by cyclists in crashes include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries, which often need ongoing medical care and expensive treatments.
If you have suffered injuries after being hit by a car while riding your bike, you need to contact our Charleston bicycle injury lawyers to help you file a claim for your best chance to get the compensation you deserve for your medical costs and lost earnings.
What Contributes to Bicycle-Car Accidents?
Most bicycle injuries on public roads happen between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Drivers commonly cause bicycle accidents due to several factors:
- Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way
- Distracted driving
- Disregarding traffic signs and signals
- Other driving errors
- Driving the wrong way or on the wrong side of the road
- Improper lane change
- Driving under the influence
Drivers that fail to yield the right-of-way are the top cause of bicycle crashes, accounting for more than a quarter of all crashes. Failure to yield frequently occurs when drivers make a left-hand turn into a bicyclist or when they cross a bike lane.
What to Do After Being Hit by a Car on Your Bike
To file a claim for compensation with the driver’s car insurance company, there needs to be proof that the bicyclist had physical contact with the car. A police report can help to establish that. Taking the steps below can guarantee that you assemble the proper evidence you need to file your insurance claim.
Call 9-1-1 immediately
Needless to say, if you or anyone else suffer severe injuries in the accident, contact the police and request a police report and an ambulance immediately. Get checked out by the paramedics when they arrive. The responding police officer can interview you and the driver, investigate the severity of the damage, and create a police report that your lawyer can review to understand the scale of the accident and later use as evidence when you file your claim.
Exchange information with the driver
If you are able, collect the driver’s full name, contact information, insurance company and policy number. You should also write down the car’s license plate number, make, and model. This information is vital for filing an injury claim against the individual that caused the wreck.
Gather evidence from the accident scene
If at all possible, get the contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Your lawyer can interview them for their testimonies. Photos and videos taken at the accident scene, capturing any damage to your bike, the vehicle that hit you, the road, and any injuries you have can also become vital evidence in your claim.
This evidence can support your insurance claim along with witness testimonies, medical records, and the police report.
Visit the hospital
Go to the hospital for a more thorough evaluation. The shock and adrenaline in your body after an accident may mask symptoms of severe injuries. For instance, whiplash symptoms may appear days after the injury, and once it starts, the discomfort can last for a long time.
Keep track of your medical records
Keep copies of all medical bills and records of where and when you receive treatment for the initial injuries and follow-up visits, as well as the people who provide your care. Also, keep records of any mental or physical therapy you require.
Don’t discuss your injuries with the at-fault driver’s insurance company until you have legal representation. The company can and will hold anything you say against you in the settlement process or civil court.
Contact a bike injury lawyer
Before you file a claim with the driver’s insurance company, consult a bike injury lawyer first. A lawyer can compile evidence, such as medical records, photos, and videos, to build a strong case and prove your injuries. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and handle settlement offers, helping you assess each offer so you can achieve a fair settlement.
Get Legal Representation After a Bike Accident
A bicycle accident can cause severe injuries that result in high medical bills and require filing a personal injury claim. You can trust the bicycle injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm to handle your case and pursue the financial compensation you need and deserve. To speak with an experienced bicycle accident attorney, contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation and discuss your legal options.