1. Report the Accident and Be Factual
Never let the driver convince you that they will handle it without reporting it to the police or their insurance company. Injuries and damages to your bike may not be apparent at the scene. Having a police investigation provides independent confirmation of what occurred.
2. Obtain the Driver's Identifying Information
Some drivers will stop momentarily and then leave without warning. Some fail to stop. In those situations, a description of the vehicle and a tag number may be all you have. When the driver stops and remains at the scene, get their driver's license information and any other identifying information they give you.
3. Identify Any Witnesses
It is quite common for witnesses to fail to stop and identify themselves. Obtaining independent witness identification can make an enormous difference in proving the fault of the other driver. Any witness information you or someone else obtains should be given to the police but keep a copy for yourself, as well.
4. Document the Scene
The exact location of the point of impact, the direction and movement of any vehicle involved, as well as any physical debris or marks on the roadway or surrounding surfaces can be critically important evidence. Have someone make note of such information, diagram it for yourself, make sure the police are aware of it and take any photos you can. Use your cell phone camera, if necessary.
5. Seek Needed Medical Treatment
The failure to do this is one of the most common mistakes which will hurt an otherwise valid claim. Make sure you describe to any doctor or medical provider how you were injured and the fact that you were hit on your bike by a car. Describe all of your injuries. Many times initial doctor reports are inaccurate. These inaccuracies can hurt a valid claim.
6. Report the Accident to Each Insurance Company
Do not assume the other driver will report the accident to their insurance company. They frequently do not, even in serious accidents. In Florida, your medical bills can be paid by your automobile insurance company under your No-Fault (PIP) coverage. You will need a claim number from your insurance company to give to medical providers. If you do not own a motor vehicle or have No-Fault coverage available to you, the No-Fault coverage on the car that hit you will be available for your bills instead. In this situation, you will need their claim number.
7. Preserve Evidence
Damage to your bike needs to be documented by a repair shop and photographed in order to preserve evidence of it. You should consult with your lawyer whether the damaged bicycle should be repaired or preserved as evidence. Save all damaged items you were wearing such as, helmet, gloves, clothing or anything else (i.e. backpacks, etc.) Make sure evidence is well photographed and preserved.
8. Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you've been injured, never forget that the claims adjuster's goal is to pay you as little as possible to settle any bodily claim. Some may even tell you that you don't need a lawyer. They know dealing with them, without a lawyer, is not a level playing field! Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before you speak with an adjuster or sign any forms.