If you are hit by a car and you are riding a bike, you should take the following steps to ensure that you are adequately protected:

A. The first thing you should do is call 911 and speak to witnesses at the scene of the accident. This should be done right after the accident occurs. When you are speaking with witnesses, try your best to stay relaxed until medical personnel arrive. You should also exchange contact information with witnesses at the accident scene, this allows the police contact them at a later time when completing an accident report. Also, it is important to make sure that the driver remains at the collision scene so that the driver can provide their insurance information to the police.

B. Next, you should find out the names of the officers who responded to the accident and obtain their contact information if possible. Ask the officers if you can obtain a copy of the accident report or find out how you can receive a copy of it. If the officers tell you that the report is unavailable the day of the accident, then you have to report to your local police precinct to obtain a copy of it. If this is the case, then get the accident report number by contacting the precinct before you go. Make sure you specifically ask for the accident report “key” because if you don’t, then the report is not effective.

C. After you obtain this information from the police, it is extremely important that you go to the hospital, even if you do not think you have serious injuries because the injuries can be internal, making them go undetected. Under these circumstances, if you go to the hospital, your hospital visit will be covered under New York State’s “No-Fault” law, which compensates lost earning potential (which is lost working time) that in most cases, provides up to $2,000 per month and medical expenses related to treatment you receive for your injuries at the hospital (which is the hospital bill).

D. Once you are treated at the hospital and feeling a little better, you should contact the driver’s insurance company. Do this by finding out what the driver’s insurance code is, which is included in the accident report, to learn what insurance company the driver uses. After finding this out, you must write a certified letter to the driver’s insurance company that you were involved in an accident with the driver and that you intend to file a claim. In the letter, you must also include the driver’s name and policy number, as well as your phone number and email address. Most importantly, make sure that you send the letter within 30 days of the accident or else the insurance company might try disputing your claim.

E. Once you submit this letter, make sure that your medical bills and treatment are covered. When the driver’s insurance company receives your letter, they will either call or email you to provide you with a claim number. Once you have the claim number, you can start completing the medical bills that you will be forwarding to the driver’s insurance company, which through “no-fault” insurance, will most likely not challenge the medical bills. These medical bills must be submitted to the insurer within 45 days of treatment or services provided, which might only be a few days after you receive your medical bills for treatment.

F. After you make sure that the driver’s insurance covers bills for your medical treatment and services, you must then make sure that the driver’s insurance company also compensates you for property damage or loss. This is probably the most difficult part of the process because a property damage claim is usually based on fault and the insurance company might try to get you to admit that you were at fault over the phone especially because they record the phone conversation. To avoid this, try preparing of list of things in advance that you plan on saying so that the insurance company does not trick you into admitting that you were responsible. Also, make sure to have receipts with you as evidence that your property was damaged during the accident. In the event the insurance company denies your property damage claim, make sure that you do not sign any documents the insurance company will try providing you with, such as a release from all liability for personal injuries. If you sign a release from liability document, you will also lose your personal injury claim.

G. Finally, if you feel that you were severely injured and that the compensation you will receive for your injuries is insufficient for your losses, then consult an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options with you on how to proceed. The attorneys at The Licatesi Law Group, LLP have over 40 years of experience advocating for accident victims. If you want to learn more about how we zealously represent our clients, then call 516-227-2662 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation.