A common story we hear when a bicyclist is struck by a car goes like this:
The last thing I remember I was riding my bike down the street, then I woke up in the hospital with my family around me.
When a bicyclist is struck by a car and they hit their head, it is common to experience some loss of memory around the time of the accident. In such a case it is important that you conduct a independent investigation to determine how the accident happened before you speak to the driver’s insurance company.
You should understand that some insurance companies will take advantage of your loss of memory. We see time and time again that negligent drivers are all too prepared to lie about the events of an accident because they are worried about their own liability or an increase in their insurance rates. The driver will give a statement to his insurance company that blames the bicyclist for the collision. If you can’t remember how the accident happened the insurance company will defend the case based on their insured’s version of the events. Your claim may be denied outright.
In my bike law practice in Iowa and Illinois, we have years of experience investigating collisions in which the bicyclist can’t remember what happened. We conduct our own investigation and do not depend on the police or driver statements for a determination of fault. It is always best if the client calls us before calling the insurance company in such an instance. It is also best if we get the case as soon as possible. Evidence starts to disappear or be destroyed the moment the accident occurs, so it’s best if we can start our investigation as soon as possible.