Even though laws and policies regarding bicyclists sharing the road with vehicles have become more strict over the years, bicycle accidents are still a serious concern. Statistics show that these types of accidents are on the rise, with many resulting in fatalities and even more insignificant injuries.
In fact, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, there were over 800 deaths due to bicycle and motor vehicle accidents in 2015 alone, a six percent increase since 2006 and a twelve percent increase since 2014.
Fatalities are a small part of the amount of bike/vehicle crashes, though. It was estimated that in 2015, bicyclist injuries numbered over 45,000, although this number is thought to be low as many of these are not recorded.
Why are there are so many incidents involving bike crashes making headlines today, and what should you do if you are the victim of one? Here are six frequently asked questions and their answers as explained by an attorney.
6 Questions and Answers About Bike/Motor Vehicle Accidents
- What should I do if I am in a bike accident? If you are on a bike and hit by a car, you should absolutely first take control of your health. Treat the accident like a regular motor vehicle crash and cal the authorities.
You may need an ambulance to take you to the hospital for emergency treatment. If your injuries are not quite that severe, be sure to follow up with a family physician as soon as possible. This is crucial as sometimes accident injuries can take up to weeks to first start showing symptoms.
- Do I need to file a police report if I am in an accident? You should definitely call the police and file a report, even if you feel partially responsible for the accident. This report will be important in the future if you are injured and end up filing a lawsuit against the car driver to help you pay for your medical treatment and other bills.
A police report will have crucial information such as the name and contact information of the driver, the location of the accident, and the contact info for any possible witnesses.
- Should I gather evidence myself? If you are not seriously injured, yes, you can always gather documentation to cover yourself should you need it. Take photographs of the scene, the car and any damage to it, and your bike. Also, take photos of any injuries you may have incurred such as scrapes and bruising.
- Doesn’t a bicyclist have the right of way? Actually, this is a very common misconception. Pedestrians always have the right of way, but bicyclists are responsible for following the laws and rules that a car must follow.
- Can I still file a lawsuit if the accident was partly my fault? Each state is different, but in most states, you can recover damages for injuries even if you are partially at fault. The damage amount is considered, as is the percentage of fault, and your compensation is generally reduced by the percentage of fault. If you were injured on a bicycle, seek the advice of an attorney before you make any decision as to filing a lawsuit.
- What is the time cut-off to file a claim after being in a bike accident? In most states, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim, but this can vary depending on the details of the accident and the parties involved. It is highly recommended that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible if you were injured in a bicycle accident.
Injured in a Bike Accident? Get Help Today
Thousands of people just like you are hurt every year in bike/motor vehicle crashes. You are not alone, even though you may feel like this stressful time is overwhelming.
Instead of going through this by yourself, call an expert attorney to help guide you through the steps you need to take to help you recover from your injuries, get your medical bills taken care of, and determine if you are entitled to other compensation.