Hitting a bicyclist is a traumatic event for both the driver and the bicyclist. Bicycle accidents frequently result in painful injuries for the bicyclist. A driver can be tempted to leave the accident scene to avoid being charged with the accident.
However, leaving the accident scene results in steep fines and possible jail time in New Jersey. It can also result in losing your right to operate a motor vehicle for at least six months. As a New Jersey bicycle accident attorney, there are some legal options as a motorist if you hit a bike rider while in your car.
What Should You Do Immediately After Hitting a Bicyclist?
Your first step after hitting a bicyclist is always stopping at that accident scene, calling 911, and waiting for emergency dispatch to arrive. You should check on the bicyclist to see if they need immediate aid during this time. Be wise as to what you say. Your concern about the bicyclist’s condition might prompt you to apologize and be perceived as admitting fault.
Avoid All Discussions About the Accident
Stay away from discussing the accident and keep your conversation bare minimum. Anyone you speak to could wind up being a witness against you if you say too much. Once the police arrive, concentrate on stating the facts about how the accident happened. Keep side conversations at a minimum as well with the police.
Protect Your Legal Rights
While waiting for the police to arrive, you can protect your legal rights. Document the accident scene by taking pictures and a video with your cell phone. Collect phone numbers and information from bystanders, if there are any.
Don’t Forget to Seek Medical Attention for Yourself
Once you have documented what happened and spoken to the police, it is a good idea that you seek medical help. If you have any injuries, you need to document them to protect your health. But also in case you were not wholly at fault and could seek compensation for your injuries as well.
Bicycle Accident Tips for Drivers
As the warm weather approaches, more cyclists will be on the roads, so it is essential to follow these tips to avoid collisions:
- Be careful when turning
- Share the road
- Look twice before opening your door
- Know who has the right of way
- Know what to do if you hit a cyclist with your car and
- Check your insurance policy
Using these tips as a driver, you can hopefully avoid any incidents with a bicyclist and stay safe on the road.
Contact Your Attorney
Because you could be financially responsible for the bicyclist’s injuries and damages, you may want to speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney. Seeking advice from one of the members of our law firm is one of the best ways to protect yourself. Contact us today and see how we can help you.