Imagine you are riding your bike on the streets of Sacramento when suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see a driver next to you making a right-hand turn directly into your path. Though it may feel as if you're watching things in slow motion, you collide with the vehicle in only a matter of seconds.
Dazed and confused, you quickly try to process what has just happened. You may be wondering, "What do I do now?" If you've kept in mind the steps below, you'll know exactly what to do and how to seek compensation too.
Step 1: Assess the situation. It's not uncommon to feel disoriented after a crash so once you get your bearings, assess the situation. If you're in the street, make your way to a safe location out of harm's way. Then check for injuries. Keep in mind, you may have injuries you can't see so don't assume you're okay to go home right away.
Step 2: Call 911. Whether you have visible injuries or suspect you may have an internal trauma, it's a good idea to call 911 or have someone do so for you. This will alert police and paramedics to your situation, allowing you to get proper medical attention.
Step 3: Get contact and insurance information from the driver. Just like after a vehicle collision, it's a good idea to get contact information from the driver who hit you, including their insurance information. The driver's insurance may pay for some or all of the damages you suffered, including damage to your person and bike.
Step 4: Explain the facts. When a police officer arrives on the scene, make sure to tell them the facts. Tell them what happened. Don't tell the officer or the other driver that the accident was your fault. This could factor into comparative negligence and hurt your chances of recovering damages.
Step 5: Consider contacting an attorney. If you suffered injuries in a collision with a vehicle, you may be owed compensation. It's not uncommon, though, to receive push back from the other driver or their insurance company. In situations like this, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to obtain fair compensation. This process can be challenging, however, so keep in mind your right to seek legal counsel and talk to a qualified injury lawyer sooner rather than later.