The Chainlink

What To Do If You're Hit By A Car While Riding Your Bike

Some basic, good advice, just in case. Hope you never need it. Ride safe.

Did a CL search of the archives for this type of topic . . . I know I've read some advice somewhere here.

Source: Article by Greg Hanscom.

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Put Bicycle Law's Lawyer Jim's phone number on your cell phone. 


I agree with Mike, if you are in an accident, reach out to a lawyer specializing in bike law as soon as possible. Good to keep those numbers on you. The Active Trans Hotline isn't available 24/7 or has run in to technical difficulties. The Chainlink always has banner ads for the lawyers that specialize on the site so you can easily access their information.

Also, if you ride to work every day, consider getting a camera e.g. Go-Pro for bike or helmet to capture what happens. If you do get in an accident, if you are able to - take lots of pictures of the bike, your car, the position in the street, etc. 

Here is what Active Trans provides:

1. Seek medical attention

Never refuse paramedics’ help. You might not realize how injured you are

2. Call the police and file a report

  • Insist that police come to the scene of the crash and file a report
  • The officer will give you a copy of the report.
  • If your crash occurred in Chicago, you can get a copy of your report through the mail or by heading to Records Inquiry Division of the Chicago Police Department at 3510 S. Michigan on the first floor. 312.745.5198. For crashes in Illinois, a copy can be obtained from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

3. Get all the information

  • Drivers license information
  • Insurance card information
  • License plate (especially in a hit-and-run crash)
  • Witness name and contact information (if you can’t talk to anyone when the crash occurred, revisit the scene at the same time of the day and ask businesses owners or neighbors if they remember anything.
  • Document injuries and damage with photographs.
  • Keep all medical documents and receipts, even if they are for small amounts (aspirin, gauze, insurance co-pay for doctor visits, etc.)
  • An insurance company may call you to ask for a recorded statement about your crash. You do not have to give a statement. It is strongly advised that you seek legal advice prior to speaking with an insurance company.

See the full article:

All great tips.

Just wanted to add some clarification, if someone has called the Crash Support Hotline and not received a call back within 24hrs of leaving a message, that's a problem and they should please let me know personally at the contact info below.

But to be clear, at no time has the hotline program indicated that a live person will answer the line, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week.

Unfortunately this level of service is simply not realistic given the nature of the program, frequency of calls and staffing requirements. The Active Transportation Alliance Hotline is staffed by rotating volunteer who keeps a dedicated cell phone in their possession for a two week shift and are instructed to answer calls as they come in whenever possible, however this is not always possible for many reasons.

Volunteers are instructed to return all calls resulting in a voicemail within 24 hrs. The outgoing message callers hear also provides basic recommendations and asks callers to leave their contact info. Many calls to the hotline do not leave a voicemail and operators are instructed not to return calls to numbers for which no voicemail was left. 

If someone has called the hotline and left a message and not received a call back within 24hrs please have them contact me directly at the number or email below.


Jason Jenkins
Education Specialist/Crash Support Programs Manager

Thanks for clarification Jason! We've had a number of comments where people thought it was available after hours and it created some confusion so this is super helpful.

Call me, I'm here to help. Here's my contact info:

Attorney Mike Keating of the Illinois Bicycle Lawyers at Keating La...

Office: 312-239-6787 Cell: 312-208-7702


I've addressed this two different ways on (You can see our banner ad to the right). Being in a bike crash is a scary event and there is a lot to process physically, mentally and emotionally. I understand that talking to some lawyer is one of the last things you want to do. That's why all of our consultations are absolutely free of charge and with no commitment. I can explain to you your options and what I think is your best path to recovery. 

Here is what TO DO if you have been in a bike crash.

Here is what NOT TO DO if you have been in a bike crash.

And here is an Infographic we did on The 5 Steps To Follow After A Bike Crash.



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