Bicycling can be a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors, stay fit, and commute in Massachusetts. However, accidents can happen, and being involved in a collision with a car while riding a bicycle can be a traumatic experience. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s crucial to understand the legal process that follows. This blog post will outline the key steps involved in seeking legal recourse after being hit by a car while cycling in Massachusetts.

  1. Ensure Your Safety:

Immediately after the accident, prioritize your safety. Move to a safe location away from traffic if possible and check yourself for any injuries. If necessary, call emergency services for medical assistance. Your well-being should always be the top priority.

  1. Contact the Authorities:

Call 911 to report the accident and inform them about your location. It is important to have an official record of the incident, particularly if there are injuries or significant property damage. The police will arrive at the scene, gather information, and document the details of the accident in an official report.

  1. Gather Information:

Exchange information with the driver involved in the accident. Obtain their name, contact details, driver’s license number, and insurance information. Additionally, collect information from any witnesses present at the scene. Their statements may provide crucial support for your case later on.

  1. Document the Accident Scene:

If you are able to do so safely, take photographs of the accident scene, including the positions of the vehicles involved, damage to the bicycle and car, any visible injuries, road conditions, and any relevant traffic signs or signals. These photographs can serve as valuable evidence to support your claim.

  1. Seek Medical Attention:

Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is essential to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical professional can provide a thorough evaluation. Additionally, keeping records of your medical treatment will be crucial for any legal proceedings or insurance claims.

  1. Report the Accident to Insurance Companies:

Notify the at-fault driver’s insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Do not rely on them to report the accident.  Many times they do not. Provide them with accurate details. As a cyclist, you are treated as a pedestrian and should be able to immediately access the no-fault PIP benefits associated with the car that hit you to pay for things like initial medical expenses and lost wages.  This is in addition to any claims you may have against the driver that hit you for your injuries.

  1. Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney:

Consider seeking the guidance of a personal injury attorney who specializes in bicycle accidents. They will review the details of your case, evaluate your legal options, and provide expert advice. An attorney can help protect your rights, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.

How to Get Compensated when Hit by a Car:

  1. PIP Claim:

Bicyclists are considered pedestrians for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and other purposes.  All drivers in Massachusetts must have PIP insurance.  You will access the PIP insurance of the driver that hit you.  Therefore, as the bicyclist you are able to have at least $2,000.00 of your immediate medical expenses covered.  If you do not have health insurance or are on Medicare or Medicaid, PIP will cover up to a total of $8,000.00.  In addition, PIP will cover 75% of your lost wages caused by the accident, up to the same $8,000.00 limit. Although less common, replacement services for household chores and services can also be part of a PIP claim. Learn more about PIP Insurance here.

  1. Third Party Liability Claim:

If your injuries exceed the $2,000.00 in PIP, resulted in death, serious scarring / disfigurement, or a fracture, then you may seek compensation from the driver’s liability insurance. Massachusetts follows a fault-based system, which means the at-fault party’s insurance should cover your damages. This may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other applicable damages. Consult with a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and navigate the process of filing a claim.

Being hit by a car while cycling in Massachusetts can have serious physical, emotional, and financial consequences. Understanding the legal process that follows such an incident is crucial for protecting your rights and seeking fair compensation. By following the steps outlined above and seeking the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you can navigate the legal process with greater confidence and increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.