According to the League of American Bicyclists, Colorado is one of the best places to bike in the United States. In fact, Boulder and Fort Collins are platinum-rated bicycle communities, while Breckenridge, Durango, Carbondale, Aspen, and Steamboat Springs are gold-rated. Riders from all over the world visit Colorado to take advantage of the plentiful bicycling opportunities.

However, with so much bike traffic, accidents are sometimes inevitable. According to data from the Denver Police Department, there have been over 2,400 bicycle accidents in the Denver area since 2013. Bicycle accidents with automobiles are more likely to result in serious injuries or death than other crashes. As such, the dangers of bicycle and motor vehicle accidents should be taken seriously.

If you were in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, you may be wondering what to do next. Understanding your rights and how to protect them is a good place to start. Calling an attorney for a personal injury case consultation may be the most beneficial course of action.

If you have been in an accident involving a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, we can help. To find out more, contact our top-rated personal injury practice for a consultation. In the meantime, you can read on to learn seven actions to take if you were in a bike accident with a vehicle.

What to Do if You are Hit by a Vehicle on Your Bike

Let’s set the scene. You are enjoying a beautiful July afternoon riding your bike. As you come around a turn in the bike lane, a Prius suddenly slams into you, sending you flying into the pavement. The next thing you know, you are lying on the ground surrounded by a small crowd of people asking if you are okay. What should you do next?

Every bike accident is different, and the steps you take next will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your specific accident. However, there are a few things that you can do to ensure the best possible outcome after a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle. This is especially true if you decide to pursue legal action or file claims later.

Your Health is the Top Priority

First and foremost, you should contact the police and seek medical attention. It may be helpful to point to someone who witnessed the accident and directly tell that person to call 9-1-1. This assigns responsibility to an individual, increasing the likelihood that they will follow through and help you. From there, you should remain still and wait for the first responders to arrive. After having your injuries treated, calling an attorney is a wise move.

With that being said, many cyclists are rendered unconscious after an accident with a motor vehicle. It may be that you wake up in the hospital unsure of what to do next. Your health and wellness are the top priority in a situation of this kind. Focus on recovering. Then, call a lawyer.

Every Situation is Unique. For Specific Legal Advice, Call Matlin Injury Law

Remember, every situation is different, and a blog isn’t necessarily the best place to find legal advice after a serious accident. If you have specific questions or need legal guidance, we encourage you to contact one of our top-rated personal injury attorneys at 720-464-3600. Bearing that in mind, here are seven actions to take after a bike accident.

1. Stay On the Scene

First of all, stay where you are and make sure that everyone is okay. You should never leave the scene of an accident until the police arrive. You would be surprised how many people leave the scene after being in an accident with a motor vehicle. It may be that you are only mildly injured and simply want to get home. While this makes sense, staying on the scene helps to ensure that the facts of your case are documented correctly.

Even if you can walk away from an accident, you shouldn’t. The police will be able to create an official report that can be referenced later. Moreover, staying on the scene helps keep you safe. After all, you could be suffering from internal injuries or a concussion. So, always stay on the scene of the accident. Then, call 911 right away.

2. Call 911

Calling 911 is incredibly important if you are hit by a vehicle. Even if you don’t feel like your accident is a big deal, it still constitutes an emergency. Sometimes, after a bike accident, you feel helpless and embarrassed. The narrative could be distorted and a power imbalance might take place. Be aware that you have a right to call for assistance from police and EMTs. Not only will the police create an official report and write down the facts of your accident, but they will be able to help you get medical attention. Moreover, if you decide to pursue legal action later, having a record of your accident on file with the police department is important.

Therefore, if you are hit by a car while riding your bike, always call 911 and make sure that the police create an accident report. If you are unable to call the police yourself, ask a witness to call 911 for you. Whether you are seriously injured or not, the police must be able to document what happened and hold the driver who hit you legally responsible.

3. Get Witness Information

If you were hit by an automobile while riding your bicycle, there is a good chance that many witnesses saw what happened. Gathering as much evidence as possible from any witnesses can be helpful if you end up pursuing legal action later. Moreover, witnesses may have seen things that you didn’t notice. For instance, a witness might be able to provide key information on the driver who hit you. They may have noticed that the driver was on their phone when they turned into the bicycle lane and caused your accident. Or, witnesses might have taken pictures of the license plate on the vehicle that hit you. This can be crucial if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.

Ask any witnesses for their first and last names, phone numbers, or email addresses so that you can contact them later. You can also ask witnesses of your accident to share their testimonies with the police directly. Additionally, be sure to get the name, license plate, and insurance information of the driver that hit you.

4. Document the Accident and Gather Evidence

You may be seriously hurt after a bicycle accident. Understandably, getting evidence might not always be possible. However, if you can, document the scene of the accident and take pictures. You should also write down everything that you can remember about your accident including the time and the location where it took place. Information on the weather and road conditions can also be important to document. If you have access to a camera or cell phone, take pictures of the scene of the crash as well as of any damage done to your bicycle or bicycling equipment.

Don’t throw away your damaged bike, gloves, clothing, or helmet. This equipment may serve as evidence later. If you are too injured to gather evidence yourself, consider calling someone you trust to go take pictures of the scene of the accident for you. If your case ends up in court, this evidence could be very important. Your lawyer will be able to tell you which evidence is most important and who to share it with.

5. Seek Medical Attention

Injuries after a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle can be severe. Even if your injuries seem minor, you should still be checked at the hospital. Only a licensed medical practitioner will be able to fully evaluate your physical state. Concussions and internal injuries can be difficult to identify without scans and professional medical equipment. The symptoms of internal injuries might not present right away. Moreover, concussions can become serious if left untreated or ignored.

So, if you are offered an ambulance ride, accept it. There is a good chance that the insurance provider of the party who caused the accident will be responsible for the cost of your medical care. Document your diagnosis and keep records of your injuries. This will be important if you wind up filing claims later on down the road. Follow the advice of your doctor and attend any follow-up appointments as well.

You may need to see a specialist to diagnose things like whiplash or musculoskeletal problems. Physical therapy might also be necessary. Attending these appointments and seeking advice from specialists will help you speed up your recovery and manage your pain. Moreover, your medical providers will create official records of any injuries you sustained. These medical records can be used as a source of evidence for the damages you suffered.

6. Be Careful What You Say

A traumatic accident can be an emotional situation. However, it is important to be careful what you say at a time like this. Even if you are flooded with emotions, you need to take care with your words at the scene of the crash and elsewhere. Never apologize or suggest who may be at fault for causing the accident. Remember, any statements you make could be used against you later.

Moreover, avoid posting about your accident on social media or sharing the details of what happened with anyone that you don’t know well. Your attorney will be able to walk you through what to say and who to speak with after your accident. This includes the insurance claims adjusters of the at-fault party. These insurance agents are not likely to have your best interests at heart. Better to be safe than sorry. Calling an attorney can save you a lot of trouble in a situation of this nature.

7. Call a Lawyer

One of the biggest mistakes that victims of bicycle accidents make is trying to handle everything on their own. Bike and auto crashes can be complicated legally. There are many issues and technicalities surrounding causation and damages. These issues are best left to an experienced personal injury attorney. Speaking with a qualified lawyer before you report to your insurer or provide a statement to the insurance party of the other party is wise.

Your attorney will direct you as you move forward and file claims. If you aren’t sure how to answer a question or what to do next, simply ask your attorney. They will provide the qualified legal advice you need for the maximum settlement amount after your accident.

Top Reasons for Motor Vehicle Bike Crashes in Colorado

Bicycle accidents can occur for many reasons. Every situation is slightly different, and there may be various factors involved. However, there are a few situations that occur frequently with bike and auto crashes.

Common causes of bike accidents in Colorado include:

  • Drivers not giving bike riders enough time to cross
  • Drivers crowding bike lanes intentionally
  • Drivers veering into bicycle lanes accidently
  • Drivers losing control of their vehicles due to speeding
  • Poor visibility, ice, or poor weather
  • Drivers that fail to see bicycle riders because
  • A Driver that is distracted or using a mobile phone
  • Drowsy drivers
  • Drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to cyclists
  • Drivers operating under the influence of narcotics or alcohol
  • Bicycle riders crossing or entering oncoming traffic
  • Cyclists or drivers who simply fail to maintain a proper lookout
  • Ignoring traffic signals

Most Common Injuries After a Bike Accident With a Vehicle

Bicycle and automobile accidents can be incredibly damaging. Automobiles are much larger than bicycles. As such, serious injuries are common after motor vehicles collide with cyclists. Some injuries are more common than others. These include head injuries, neck injuries, spinal injuries, and musculoskeletal injuries. Head injuries can range from minor lacerations on the face or forehead to skull fractures that can cause permanent brain injuries or paralysis.

Most Common Injuries After Bike and Vehicle Collisions:

  • Head injuries
  • Spinal or neck injuries/ whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Facial injuries
  • Road rash
  • Lacerations, cuts, and bruises
  • Deep tissue bruises or muscle injuries
  • Bodily trauma
  • Back injuries
  • Death

Accessing Damages After a Motor Vehicle and Bicycle Accident

In most cases, the insurance company of the motor vehicle driver will be held liable for damages. Almost all insurance policies cover pedestrian medical expenses after an accident like this. In Colorado, drivers are legally obligated to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance. Therefore, the insurance provider of the at-fault driver will be responsible for things like medical expenses and property damage.

Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney if You are Hit by a Vehicle on Your Bike

If you were injured by a motor vehicle while cycling, you may wonder whether a lawyer is really necessary. Although every situation is unique, hiring a lawyer is almost always a wise course of action to take after an accident of this nature.

A personal injury attorney will be able to help you as you file claims, speak with insurance providers, and prove liability for damages. Moreover, your personal injury attorney can help you navigate an array of complicated legal issues such as determining fault. Most importantly, your attorney will handle the legalities of your case while you focus on what matters the most, recovering and healing.

Your lawyer can help with things such as:

  • Filing claims with the other party’s insurer
  • Proving liability
  • Speaking with claims adjusters
  • Providing evidence if your case goes to court
  • Getting you the largest possible settlement
  • Filing paperwork and structuring your case correctly
  • Giving you legal advice and guiding you through various technical processes

Need a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Colorado? Contact Matlin Injury Law for Help!

If you were hurt after being hit by a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, we are here to help. From filing claims to speaking with the other party’s insurance provider, we can give you the solid legal advice you need. The last thing you should worry about after being in a painful accident is a complicated legal case. Let our team walk you through every step of the claims process to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. At Matlin Injury Law, we fight hard for our clients. Our team will do everything we can to ensure the best possible outcome for your legal case or the largest settlement from insurance providers.

We encourage you to contact our firm by calling 720-464-3600 or emailing. From there, we can schedule a consultation with you risk-free. You can also use our website to fill out a free consultation form online! At Matlin Injury Law, we will always give you direct access to a qualified attorney, not just a case manager or office assistant. Our team works on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid when you do!