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Bike Laws: What to do if you are hit by a car while riding your bicycle


Every year, more than 130,000 cyclists are injured in collisions on American roads. Even worse, around 1,000 cyclists die in these collisions. 

If you’re cycling and a car collides with you, it can be a jarring and traumatic experience. It’s crucial to stay composed and undertake certain actions to guarantee your safety and safeguard your legal rights. You can learn about those actions and relevant bike laws below. 

Evaluate Injuries

Immediately following an accident, appraise your injuries. Try to shift to a secure location away from traffic. Scan your body for any visible signs of harm.


Are there cuts, bruises, scrapes, or fractures? Snap photographs of any visible injuries to document them.

Take note of any new pain or discomfort. Are you experiencing any discomfort in your neck, back, or head? Is your breathing impacted? Do you feel numbness or tingling in any part of your body?

Next, gauge your mental state. Do you feel disoriented or dizzy? Have you experienced any memory loss? Can you maintain focus?

Take into consideration any pre-existing medical conditions that may have been exacerbated by the accident. If you have any chronic conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, it’s important to check how the incident is affecting those.

Last, seek immediate medical attention. Summon emergency services by dialing 911 or requesting someone nearby to do so. Exchange contact and insurance details with the driver and procure contact information from any bystanders.

Even if you feel alright right after the accident, it’s essential to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Some injuries may not show up right away, and delayed treatment can exacerbate any damage.

Take Pictures

When a cyclist is hit by a car on the road, it is vital to document the scene and collect evidence. This photographic evidence can be instrumental in filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action. Photographs can be particularly helpful in providing a visual record of the incident. 

First, take photos of the bike from all angles, showing any visible damage or deformations. This will provide evidence of the force of the impact and help establish the severity of the bike accident.

Second, photograph the scene of the accident, including any road markings, traffic signs, or other visual cues that could be relevant to the case. Take wide-angle shots to give context to the location.

Third, take photos of the car that hit the cyclist, showing its license plate, make and model, and any damage or scratches on the vehicle. If the driver is present, take a photo of their license and insurance information.

Fourth, take photos of any visible injuries sustained by the cyclist, like any cuts, bruises, or scrapes. This can help document the severity of the injuries and may be used to support a claim for medical expenses.

Lastly, take photos of any witnesses and ask for their contact information. Witnesses can provide pivotal testimony in support of the cyclist’s claim.

These photographs need to be taken as soon as possible after an accident, as the scene may change or be cleared by authorities. The cyclist should also seek medical attention immediately and report the incident to the police.

An attorney experienced in handling bicycle accident cases can help evaluate the evidence and build a strong case for compensation. By documenting the scene with photographs, a cyclist can help ensure that their legal rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they deserve.

See a Doctor

A cyclist hit by a car on the road may sustain injuries that require medical attention. In addition to seeking medical care, a cyclist should also consider asking their doctor for help with their legal claims.

A doctor can provide valuable documentation of the injuries sustained in the accident, including the severity of the injuries, the type of medical treatment required, and the expected duration of recovery. This documentation can be used as evidence in a legal claim for compensation, demonstrating the extent of the cyclist’s injuries and the associated expenses.

The cyclist should ask their doctor to provide a detailed report of their injuries, which includes information on any diagnostic tests, such as x-rays or MRIs, and the results of those tests. The report should also include information on the treatment plan, including any surgeries, medications, physical therapy, or other types of therapy that the cyclist may require. Additionally, the report should provide an estimate of the time required for a cyclist to recover fully from their injuries.

Their doctor should be able to provide copies of their medical records related to the accident. These records can include medical bills, receipts, and any other documentation related to medical expenses incurred as a result of the accident.

Having documentation from a medical professional is crucial when pursuing legal action after a cycling accident. The medical report and records can help demonstrate the extent of the cyclist’s injuries and the impact of those injuries on their life. This information can be used to support a claim for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the accident.

Follow up with the doctor to track symptoms or injuries. It’s crucial to document all medical treatments and expenditures related to the accident.

Notify Your Insurance

People who have been hit by a car on a bike should be aware of the various types of insurance that can cover their injuries or property damage. Both parties in the cycling accident should exchange contact and insurance information. 

Car insurance policies can provide coverage in these situations. For instance, the driver’s liability insurance policy may cover the cyclist’s injuries and property damage. Liability insurance is designed to cover the damages caused by the driver’s actions. When a driver is found at fault for an accident, their liability insurance policy should cover the cyclist’s damages up to the policy limits.

The cyclist’s own car insurance policy may also provide coverage. Cyclists that own a car may have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage (MedPay) as part of their policy. These coverages can provide medical payments and lost wages for the cyclist’s injuries, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage can also provide coverage. This offers additional protection if the driver who hit the cyclist does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages.

Some cyclists have an insurance policy specifically for their bike. Some homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies may provide coverage for the cyclist’s bike and any damages caused by the accident.

It is important to note that insurance coverage can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident and the policies involved. Cyclists who have been hit by cars should consult with an attorney who specializes in these types of cases to ensure they receive the compensation they are entitled to under the law.

Bike Laws for Drivers

When a car collides with a cyclist, the aftermath can be devastating, resulting in severe injuries or worse. In the United States, every state has its own set of bike laws that pertain to these types of collisions.

In general, drivers must take all necessary precautions to evade hitting cyclists. They need to give cyclists a minimum amount of space when overtaking, usually at least three feet. When turning, drivers must yield to cyclists just as they would to other vehicles.

If a driver hits a cyclist, they are typically deemed at fault, unless the cyclist was breaking a traffic law or cycling recklessly. In some cases, the driver may face criminal charges, such as reckless driving or vehicular homicide. Cyclists may be eligible for compensation for any injuries or damages sustained in the collision.

Drivers ought to take notice of bike lanes and bike paths, refraining from driving or parking in these areas. In some states, it’s unlawful to park in a bike lane or impede a bike path. When opening car doors, drivers must look out for approaching cyclists to prevent “dooring” incidents, which can result in severe harm.

It’s also crucial for drivers to be mindful of the speed limit in areas where cyclists are present. Speeding amplifies the likelihood of collision and can inflict grievous harm to cyclists.

It’s illicit to discriminate against cyclists on the road. Cyclists are permitted to use the road like any other vehicle, and drivers must respect their space and rights.

It’s essential for drivers to be cognizant of their obligations under bike laws and to share the road with cyclists. It’s imperative that vehicles on the road comply with bike laws to ensure the safety of cyclists. By being attentive of cyclists and adhering to traffic laws, drivers can curtail the risk of collision and ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

Bike Laws for Cyclists

Cyclists also have obligations under bike laws. They must abide by traffic laws, such as stopping at stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, and using hand signals when turning. Cyclists should also wear helmets and other safety gear to safeguard themselves in a collision.

Bike laws safeguard cyclists from harm on the road. These laws differ by state, but commonalities exist across the United States.

Cyclists must likewise comply with traffic laws, such as stopping at stop signs and red lights, cycling in the direction of traffic, and signaling when turning. Many states require cyclists to use bike lanes or dedicated bike paths.

Helmets are mandatory for cyclists under 18 in many states, and it is strongly recommended that all cyclists wear helmets to shield themselves in the event of a collision.

Cyclists should be conscious of their rights and obligations under bike laws. By adhering to traffic laws and donning safety gear, they can reduce their risk of injury or collision.

Consult an Attorney

If you’ve been struck by a car while cycling, consider enlisting the aid of an attorney. A lawyer can help you navigate the insurance claim process and negotiate with the driver’s insurance company. They can also assist you in pursuing legal action if necessary.

It’s wise to hire an attorney when the injuries are serious or necessitate hospitalization. They can evaluate your situation and help you determine whether or not to pursue legal action against the driver.

An attorney can be an invaluable asset for navigating the legal system when a driver denies responsibility or their insurance company denies proper compensation. Furthermore, an attorney can help you determine the amount of compensation you’re entitled to receive, which could include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If there are multiple parties involved in the accident, such as other vehicles or pedestrians, an attorney can help unravel the intricacies of the case and advocate for your interests. It’s worth noting that the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits varies from state to state, so it’s critical to seek an attorney’s counsel quickly to avoid missing the filing deadline.

An attorney will safeguard the interests of their client. Insurance companies and other entities may attempt to downplay their liability and minimize the compensation you receive. An attorney can assert your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to.

They can also help you deal with any medical expenses or bills associated with your injuries. They can advise you on how to handle medical bills and negotiate with healthcare providers on your behalf.

Your attorney can help you receive compensation for future costs related to your injuries. This may encompass continuing medical treatment, rehabilitation, or loss of future income.

You can find out more here about the role professional legal representation plays in bike accidents.

Hiring a Legal Representative

Getting hit by a car while cycling can be a traumatic experience, but it’s important to remain collected and execute these steps. They will help to ensure your safety and secure appropriate medical care and compensation for any damages or injuries. Make sure to implement measures to prevent future accidents, such as wearing a helmet and other safety gear, adhering to bike laws, and maintaining awareness of your surroundings while cycling.

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by Sushree Swagatika

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