While no one plans on getting hit by a car while biking, statistics show that it happens too often. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 112 people have been killed and over 8,000 people have been seriously injured in Colorado while biking since 2010. Boulder Vision Zero has reported that there were 255 serious cyclist injuries in Boulder alone from 2009-2019. While there are prevention techniques, such as knowing how to Share the Road, it is still important to be prepared and know what to do if a car hits you while cycling. If you have been involved in a bicycle crash, a dedicated attorney could help you pursue legal action.
What to Do After a Bike Accident
One of the most important things a cyclist can do after a bike accident is to seek medical attention. In some cases, medical attention will be immediately necessary. In other cases, injuries may seem less severe, only to find out hours, days, or weeks later, that they were quite serious, and the cyclist discovers that medical attention should have been sought promptly after the accident. Even if your injuries seem minor, call the police and get a police report after the bicycle crash.
If possible, immediately make notes about the bicycle crash. This can include taking video or photos of the scene. These photos and videos can be used to show the severity of the crash. Take photos of the bike and the car, as well as any visible injuries that were sustained.
Try to collect as much information from the driver as possible. This includes:
- The driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information
- If there are witnesses, collect their contact information
- Record details about the car, such as its license plate number, make, model, color, and year
It is extremely important that you talk to a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in handling bicycle accidents, like the attorneys at Debbie Taussig Law. Debbie and her team will discuss your case with you and talk to the insurance companies on your behalf. The insurance companies will try to devalue your claim and offer you much less than you deserve.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents
Most biking accidents occur because a car collides with a bike. Typically, this happens because the driver was distracted and failed to look for the cyclist. The driver may have also misjudged their proximity to the cyclists, striking them.
There are situations when a cyclist will collide with a stationary car. In these scenarios, the cyclists may be riding by a car, and at the exact moment the cyclist is parallel to the car, a car door is flung open, injuring the cyclists. This phenomenon is so common that it has a name, dooring.
While cyclists must always yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal to the pedestrian before they pass, pedestrians may still cause a bike accident. In these cases, the pedestrian may be distracted by looking at their phone or unable to hear because external noises are blocked by headphones or earbuds. Because they are unaware of the approaching cyclist, they may step in front of the cyclist, causing injury.
What Happens if the Cyclist is Partially At Fault?
Do not admit guilt to police officers, witnesses, or insurance companies. While insurance companies may like you to believe that if you were partially at fault for the accident, you will not receive any form of compensation, this is a misconception.
In Colorado, modified comparative negligence rules are followed. This means that if the cyclist is hit by a speeding car, and it is determined that the cyclist wasn’t following all of the rules of the road, the cyclist can still be compensated for their injuries….but the amount of money awarded to the cyclist will be reduced by the percentage of fault they had in the accident—up to 49%. If the cyclist is more than 49% at fault, they will not receive compensation.
For example, if the cyclists did not follow one of Boulder’s bike laws, which required the bike to have a red reflector on its tail end, and the driver was speeding when they hit the cyclists, the cyclist may still receive monetary compensation, just less than if they had been following all of Boulder’s bike laws. If the cyclist is found to be 10% at fault, then the amount they are rewarded will be reduced by 10%.
Important Next Steps
Whether your bicycle accident was caused by a negligent driver, a carelessly opened door, or an unaware pedestrian, contact Debbie Taussig Law at 303-442-0176 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We will evaluate your personal injury claim for free, help you get fair compensation, and take on your burden so you can heal. Let us deal with the insurance companies and get you the compensation you deserve.