I Was Hit By A Car Riding My Bike. What Should I Do Next?

We don’t think of bike riding as a hazardous activity, but injuries to bikers are all too common, especially for those biking on city streets. If you rode a bike as a kid, you inevitably fell, skinned a knee, and fought back tears as your parents put Bactrim on it. But for adults commuting by bike in major cities, a skinned knee isn’t the only thing to worry about. Bicycle traffic fatalities are on the rise, and California really isn’t helping the issue. More bicycling fatalities happen in California than any other state in the union and San Francisco can be especially dangerous for bikers.

Keep Yourself Safe

If you’re riding a bike in an urban area, you’re at risk of major injury (or worse). Most bicycles weigh under 50 lbs while the lightest car on the road is still hovering at close to 2000 lbs. So it doesn’t matter how or where an accident happens, a car and bike colliding is going to do more damage to the bike and rider than the car and driver. This means that following the rules of the road is critical. Bikers should always ride with the flow of traffic and never against it. Be mindful of stop lights and signs and always signal if you’re making a turn onto a different road. In California, bicyclists should ride on the right side of the road and have reflectors on their bike at night.

Hurt On A Bike

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you’ll be entitled to the same damages as a car accident victim provided the driver was proved to be at fault. This works the same way as accidents involving two cars – the comparative fault is used to determine who is responsible. If the car driver blew a stop sign, but the biker did not signal their turn, both parties might receive some degree of blame (ie. the driver might be assigned 80% of the blame and the cyclist 20%).

If you’ve been hurt in a biking accident, call the police right away. Act like you would in a car accident situation and take the necessary steps.

Take photos of the accident, including the condition of the bike, car, and injuries to either party.

Call the police immediately.

Don’t move to the side of the road. Let the accident remain as is until the police arrive.

Get the name, license plate, and insurance company information from the driver.

Talk to any witness and ask them what they saw.

Bicycle injuries are unfortunately ever common in California, and you’ll want to have insurance, even if you just ride the bike 1 mile to work. California law only requires drivers to carry $15,000 in insurance coverage. Be prepared to cover yourself for a while, especially if the driver denies fault. If you’ve been injured in an accident like this, contact Rush Injury Law today and get the compensation for injuries that you deserve.

What Should I Do If I Was Involved in a Hit and Run?

A car accident is one of the scariest moments in any person’s life. And it’s not just injury and car damage that victims need to worry about – you’ll also be thrust into a tense situation with a total stranger. You don’t know this person or understand their current situation. Being forthright is critical when handling these incidents, but what if you don’t get a chance to handle it at all?

California is home to one of the country’s most unfortunate trends – accidents involving a driver who bolts the scene. According to the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County had 28,000 hit and run incidents in 2015, which accounted for an astonishing 50% of all traffic accidents. Most of these incidents involve only minor damage, like someone striking a car in a restaurant parking lot and just taking off without leaving a note. But plenty still causes bodily harm and some have even been fatal.

A driver is guilty of a hit and run if they leave the scene of an accident before police arrive without providing any of their information. A driver leaving the scene without giving contact or insurance is guilty of a misdemeanor if there was any damage to the other vehicle. And if the other driver was injured, a felony charge may result, especially in the state of California. But despite stiff penalties, hit and run accidents still happen and you need to know what to do if you’re the victim of one.

If You’re Unharmed, Stay Calm

Unless there’s a serious injury, it’s important to keep your composure after a driver hits you and takes off. Getting angry or emotional won’t make the other driver come back. Remember that cars are much, much easier to fix than bones. Keeping your wits will also help you better remember specifics of the accident, like the color or model of the hit and run driver’s car, or maybe even a partial license plate. The more information you can give the police, the easier it will be for them to find the perpetrator.

DO NOT Chase The Other Driver

Always remember what Jules Winnfield said in the diner in Pulp Fiction – we’re going to be cool here. Chasing down the car who hit you might feel like vindication, but this will only lead to more problems. Maybe the other driver isn’t licensed or insured, or maybe they have warrants out for arrest. That’s not something you want to find out in a one-on-one altercation. Leave the confrontation to the police, who you should immediately be calling anyway.

Call Your Insurance Company and Lawyer

Someone who hits you and leaves the scene is committing a crime. And if that accident caused injuries, it will likely be a felony. A hit and run victim’s first call should always the police, but then make sure to contact your insurance company and a lawyer. Rush Injury Law has experience getting car accident victims the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been victimized by a hit and run driver in the San Francisco Bay area, contact Rush Injury Law today.

Police Reports In Car Accidents Are Sometimes A Necessary Tool

Most drivers won’t readily admit fault in an automobile accident and insurance companies aren’t eager to pay out in “he said, she said” type claims. If you’ve been involved in a car crash that produces significant damage, it’s important to make sure the police are contacted and a report is made. A police report is often the only thing that will keep your claim from being denied.

Not all accidents require a cop to be on the scene. A scratched bumper, busted tail light, or any other small damages might not add up to your insurance deductible. A minor fender bender where there’s only $200 worth a damage is something you won’t file an insurance claim for. If no one is injured and the cars are both fine, drivers will usually share their information but rarely does a claim result.

So why is a police report so important? We like to think the world is full of honest, trustworthy people, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. A driver who smashes up the front of your car may offer to pay for repairs, but if you don’t file a police report and the driver denies fault, you might be looking at a long battle between two insurance companies who don’t want to pay up. A police report has specific information on it that insurance adjusters want to see before making their own individual reports.

What’s in a Police Report?

A police report will have information that a driver involved in an accident might not remember. Victims of an accident are often emotionally distraught and might have trouble remembering all the different aspects of their ordeal.

At the scene of an accident, cops will record lots of details that drivers might miss. Time and date, weather conditions, the address of the accidents, names of witnesses, and the contact information of everyone involved will be included on these reports, so insurance companies want to see copies of them.

Police also have the authority to assign fault in car accidents and hand out citations. Getting the other driver to admit fault to a police officer is usually a good sign for your claim.

How Do I Obtain a Police Report?

Getting a copy of a police report is a relatively easy task. The responding officer will usually give everyone his card with a phone number for the station. If you aren’t offered one, be sure to ask before everyone leaves the scene.

Call the station and ask for the officer who responded to your accident. You’ll usually need to leave a message, so don’t be long-winded and use some information about the accident to identify yourself. Sometimes you won’t even need to talk to the officer; the station receptionist often has access to police reports of this nature.

If you can’t get anywhere with the station, contact the local courthouse or insurance company of the other driver(s). And be sure to contact Rush Injury Law to discuss your options if you’ve been in a car accident in the San Francisco area.

Personal Injury Cases: Preparing to Meet with Your Attorney

People like to think they’re in total control of their destinies, but based on the number of personal injury cases filed each year, this is clearly not the case. People fall, cars collide, and injuries happen – it’s a part of life. Luckily, there are laws are in place to protect people in these types of incidents. If you’ve been hurt in a fall or accident, you have legal recourse if you believe your injury happened due to someone else’s negligence. But the process is tedious, both physically and mentally. You’ll be preparing for your court case while doing rehab for your injury and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to make your first meeting with an attorney less stressful.

Write Down Everything

A detailed notation is often the key to victory in an injury case. When we say write down everything, we mean everything – the time, the actions that occurred before and after the accident, who was there, how bad your injuries are, etc. Anything you feel is important in accurately relating the incident should be recorded. Both Apple and Android smartphones have a notation app, which is very useful for traffic or outdoor accidents where pen and paper aren’t readily available. Smartphones also have built-in cameras, so take photos of any damaged property or injuries you’ve suffered.

Collect Police Reports

You should always contact police if you’ve been injured or had property damaged in an accident. A police report contains vital information regarding what happened to you. Cops record the names of witnesses, weather conditions, and whether any legal violations were committed. For example, if a police officer notes that one driver in an accident blew a stop sign before colliding with the other driver, that’s a crucial piece of information that can often lead to a settlement before the start of a court case. Make sure you get the name and department of the officer making the report so you can ask for a copy to show your attorney. A police report isn’t a golden ticket to compensation, but it’s one of the most official records a lawyer can use for leverage.

Obtain Medical Records

Documenting any health-related costs you’ve experienced during recovery from an accident is another critical piece of the puzzle in personal injury cases. Keep notes on the names and specialties of any doctors or therapists you see and be in contact with your insurance company to get copies of bills for any treatments or procedures. You should also meticulously track any pain or suffering you experience during your recovery. Write down how you feel, what level your pain is at, and how your injuries are keeping you from performing daily tasks. This isn’t something you can get a detailed doctor’s note for, so record what you’re experiencing with pinpoint precision.

Rush Injury Law has been helping injury victims receive the compensation they deserve for over 15 years. If you’ve been injured in the San Francisco Bay area and need to consult with a lawyer about your options, visit our website or call 415-897-4801.

Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents

The perils we face when behind the wheel are well-known to drivers of all vehicle types. Whether you’re in a sports car, pickup truck, or motorcycle, the rules of the road (and common sense) must be followed to avoid accidents. Operating a vehicle is dangerous. Despite efforts to improve safety in cars and regulations to keep drivers more attentive, motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. The number of automobile fatalities has risen every year since 2014. Fatalities per 100,000 settled to its lowest ever in 2014 at 10.28, but reached 11.59 in 2016. In addition, three million people are hurt in motor vehicle accidents every year, with over 90 deaths per day. Accident injury cases may vary depending on the vehicle involved, so it’s important to know the facts about different types of automobiles.

Car Accidents

Accidents in normal, boring sedans are by far the most common types of accidents. Fortunately, they often also involve the least amount of pain, suffering, and property damage. Still, a car accident shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure to get a police report on any accidents and photograph any damages or injuries. Take a trip to the doctor just in case too, you might have injuries that aren’t visible or painful yet.

Truck Accidents

Trucks are bigger and heavier than cars or motorcycles, which is great for hauling construction materials or other massive industrial projects. There’s a downside to the size of trucks however as their size usually means more catastrophic damage or injury to people hit by them. Commercial trucks are even larger, like big-rigs or trash trucks. While they have industrial utility, they also take longer to slow down, have larger blind spots, and generally don’t perform as well as cars. Be wary when driving near large trucks; always stay out of their blind spots and give them a wide berth.

Motorcycle Accidents

Driving a motorcycle is a unique experience you just can’t get if you’re driving a car or truck. There’s a feeling of freedom and excitement that comes from the wind blowing past you and the landscape visible on all sides. Unfortunately, while motorcycle drivers have a clear, unobstructed view of the road, motorcycles are sometimes hard to see for drivers in cars or trucks. Motorcycles are simply more dangerous than other vehicles – the death rate is higher and the coordination and skill required to operate one proficiently is much more taxing than a car. In addition, some riders are resistant to helmet laws, which makes them 11 times more likely to die in an accident. Wear your helmet! Failure to wear a helmet not only increases the chance of death, but it might limit the amount of compensation you can receive in an accident case.

No matter what type of vehicle was involved in your accident, contact Rush Injury Law for a consultation. Accident victims are often entitled to compensation and you don’t want to miss out on a windfall to pay bills and expenses.