It is hard to think of anything more frightening than a bicyclist being struck by a vehicle. But it is important to do things to protect your safety and your rights after these car accidents with bicyclists.

Protecting safety

Safety first. If you can, get away from traffic and wait for assistance in a safe place. Do not move so your injuries are not aggravated. Take deep breaths, if you are able, and accept bystander assistance.

Do not refuse medical assistance from a paramedic or EMT. You may not recognize that you are injured because your adrenaline may be elevated after an accident.

If you must go to the hospital, leave your bicycle. Ask someone to lock it up nearby or call a friend to get it.

Protecting information

Call 9-1-1. Request that the police come to the accident site and prepare and file a report. Ask for a copy of the report or the procedure for obtaining it.

Obtain important information about the driver including their driver’s license, insurance, license plate and how to contact them. Also, get names and contact information of any witnesses. Do not admit error or apologize to anyone.

With your I-phone, you can photograph the accident scene, the people and vehicles in the crash, the license plate and bike damage.

Later

Police or prosecutors may contact you later if they file criminal charges against the driver for offenses such as impaired driving, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, or failure to provide aid.

Do not post anything about the crash on social media, except if you are trying to locate witnesses. Anything you say about the facts of the accident, your injuries or other matters may be used against you in a legal proceeding and complicate your civil suit.

Organize your accident documents in a file. In addition to information from the accident site, keep records of any medical treatment and bike repairs and documents for small things such as the purchase of aspirin, bandages, and co-pays.

If you were unable to get witness information earlier, return to the accident site around the time of the crash. See if business owners or residents remember anything.

You should also consult with an attorney before you speak to an insurance company that is not yours. A lawyer can also seek compensation and damages.