If you were injured in a car accident while biking, you are probably wondering if you can file a lawsuit against the driver, how you can proceed in doing so, and what evidence you will need to indict them. Typically there are two kinds of accidents that involve a bike and a vehicle. A right hook the most common type, where a car veers into the bike lane when making a right turn, hitting the bicyclist. Left-hand turn accidents occur when a car turns left as a bicyclist is making their way across a crosswalk, and hits them. Left-hand turn accidents occur mostly at night, when it is virtually impossible to see a cyclist unless they have reflectors on. Less common car and bike accidents are when a driver opens their door into a bicyclist’s path, or rear ends the bicyclist.
Regardless of the severity, you should immediately contact police after a vehicle/bike accident. A police report will be filed after an officer arrives and gathers information left at the scene, as well as your story and the other individual’s story. Before the police arrive, however, you should obtain the driver of the car’s information. This includes a picture of their driver’s license, their car insurance, and their license plate and phone numbers. If you see any witnesses around or if any individuals have pulled over to help, obtain their numbers and names as well. If you can, try and get them to write down their testimony, sign, and date it. Remember to never admit fault (as with car on car accidents) and do not minimize your bike damage or injuries by saying you are fine and that your bike looks okay.
You will want to go to a doctor as soon as you can after the accident to begin documenting your injuries. Being overcautious about your injuries is a good idea because sometimes the shock you are in after an accident masks the pain until your body has had time to settle down and evaluate what happened. If you live in an at-fault state like Washington, you could be covered by the car driver’s personal injury protection coverage and have your medical bills covered. You will also want to take your bike to a shop to get it inspected thoroughly soon after the accident. Many bicyclists involved in car/bike accidents do not realize there is damage done until weeks later when forks break off or brakes fail.
Contact an Attorney
Consider contacting a personal injury attorney such as the personal injury lawyer Minneapolis MN locals trust to assess the damage and help you win a fair amount of money that can include your bike getting fixed, medical expenses, and pain and suffering compensation.
Thanks to authors at Johnston Martineau PLLP for their insight into Personal Injury Law.