Feb 03, 2020
Although riding a bicycle can be a great way to commute, exercise, and is environmentally friendly, sharing the roadways with motorists can be dangerous. Statistics kept by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration show that 857 cyclists died after getting hit by cars or trucks during 2018. The federal agency further noted that this statistic grew by 6 percent from 2017. In addition to the unfortunate deaths, thousands of other bike riders who were struck by cars also suffered significant injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, other catastrophic injuries, herniated and bulged discs, broken bones and other injuries.
These trends make knowing what to do if you are hit by a car in Ohio while riding a bicycle more important than ever. If you have been hit by a car, the following steps will help provide you guidance:
Regardless of whether you ultimately pursue a personal injury matter, ensuring your safety should be your primary focus. Unfortunately, few bike riders who have a collision with a motor vehicle escape without suffering one or several, serious injuries. Calling 911 will allow for emergency medical personnel to arrive on the scene to assist you.
Calling 911 also will ensure that the police arrive on scene, who can then perform an investigation and create a police report. Police reports often include the identity of the parties involved, contact information for any witnesses to the collision, and facts that help establish liability of the at-fault party, which all can prove helpful in personal injury matters.
As discussed above, your recovery should be your primary focus. Often, what is thought to be a soft tissue injury or general soreness can often be a more significant injury, such as a concussion or head injury, SLAP tear, torn rotator cuff, torn ACL, or spinal injury. These can be significant and can require immediate treatment. Failure to treat these issues sometimes may cause injuries to be permanent. Therefore, cyclists should take precaution in treating to ensure their recovery.
Take photographs immediately of the area around the collision, the vehicles involved, and anything else that you feel may be relevant to your collision. Photographs can help recreate the scene of the accident, such as defining where the vehicle and bicycles were at the time of the collision, the nature of the area where the collision occurred, the weather and traffic conditions on that day, and other important factors.
Take photographs also of your injuries when they were caused and through the healing process. Although your testimony can help describe your fractures, broken bones, scars, or other injuries, photographs are often a better representation.
While liability sometimes can be established through the cyclist’s testimony or the information that was gathered by police officers, having independent witnesses also can help describe the facts leading up to, during, and after the collision.
Working with an insurance company on your own, prior to speaking with a bicycle accident attorney, may be to your detriment. You may not obtain full value for your case, your recorded statement may jeopardize your claims or case value, you may feel pressured to accept a settlement, or you may be settling prematurely. Consulting with an experienced, trusted Ohio personal injury attorney can ensure that your claims are being properly managed and that you are receiving full value for your injuries and losses.
Call Brian G. Miller Co., L.P.A. at (614) 221-4035 or connect with us online to see if our trusted and skilled car accident attorneys can help you with your bike accident injury case. The initial consultation is free.