If you are a bicyclist, you have probably experienced lots of unfair treatment. Cars may follow you too closely or not slow down to pass you, and drivers may even insult you to your face. So, if a vehicle has struck and injured you, it is natural to wonder whether you can get fair treatment from doctors, insurance companies and the legal system–the same kind of treatment you would receive if you were in a car instead of on a bicycle when hit.
Unfortunately, in many cases, you will have to do more than is fair since you were on a bicycle.
Police can be more likely to ticket you
First up, police officers may be more likely to ticket you because you were on a bicycle, and they may even jump right to the assumption that you were responsible for the crash. This is not fair at all, but it is unwise to get emotional and challenge an officer in the heat of the moment. Instead, have your lawyer address the issue later. Many police officers have no idea about the nuances of bicycle law and traffic law and mistakenly ticket cyclists, so your chances are better at that later time.
Do not admit fault
You may be used to apologizing constantly to drivers to keep things peaceful, but avoid admitting fault to the driver of the car. Do this even if you think the collision was actually your fault. The facts are not in, so reserve judgment.
Go the extra step to gather information
Another police misstep at the scene of a car-bicycle crash is that officers can forget to gather driver information, insurance information and the like. They just do not take it as seriously as a two-vehicle crash, so go the extra step to gather that data along with other information such as witness contacts.
Negotiate a fair settlement
Insurance companies may try to take advantage of you too. If it looks like you have a good case, negotiate with the insurer until you have a settlement offer that you deem fair, or turn to litigation to ensure you do not miss out on the compensation you should receive.