The greatest danger bike riders face are cars on the road. When a car hits a bike, the bicyclist will bear the brunt of the damage. The car hood may be dented, but the rider is likely to end up in the hospital. This is why you must know what you should do in case you’re a victim and understand the law in your jurisdiction. If you’re a victim of a bike accident in Massachusetts, here are three important things you need to know.
Treat It Like a Car Accident
If you’ve been hit by a car, know that you need to treat the situation just as you would a typical car accident. Call 911 if anyone needs medical assistance. Try to document the names of drivers and any witnesses, along with their contact information.
Record their driver’s license numbers and take a picture of their insurance card. Get license plate numbers of the vehicles involved. If possible, take pictures of the vehicles involved.
Document road conditions and where everyone was when the accident occurred. If the police decide to do their investigation, cooperate with them but avoid giving your personal opinion. If the police don’t come out, you will need to fill out an accident report with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.
You should see a doctor to assess your injuries, even if it didn’t warrant an ambulance ride to the hospital. Keep copies of your medical bills because you can seek compensation for them from the other person’s insurance company. Then have your bike checked out by a good mechanic. Don’t forget to document the cost of hiring a ride back home if your bike isn’t usable and any other costs you’ve incurred due to the accident.
The Treatment of Uninsured Motorists
The state of Massachusetts requires all auto insurance policies to carry uninsured coverage. However, this coverage is available to you even if you weren’t the driver. For example, a bicyclist hit by a driver could seek compensation from their own insurance policy under the uninsured motorist coverage. Unlike bodily injury coverage, this type of coverage is optional and only available if you already have the policy in place at the time of the accident.
The Role of Personal Injury Attorneys
It is not uncommon for medical bills to exceed the $20,000 minimum payout under various insurance policies. Know that this doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the bills that insurance won’t cover or when insurers refuse to pay out. Attorneys like Jason Stone injury lawyers Natick MA for instance, are well versed in personal injury law. They can help you file a claim with every insurance company involved in the case. Lawyers like these will be ready to assist you when it is necessary to sue a driver for the damages they’ve caused above and beyond what their insurance policy covers. You should also consult with an attorney before you fill out the accident report if one wasn’t created by the police at the scene.
Massachusetts law extends many of the same protections and rules to cyclists as they do car drivers in an accident. This includes the right to sue for damages or force an insurance company to pay what they owe you, so make sure that you get the proper representation if you want to get properly compensated.