I attended my local CAPS tonight and learned that after an automobile collision, if the damage is less than $1500, both vehicles are driveable, and no one is injured, you are expected to go to the station to file a report, not have a squad car come. (Of course, how you know if you've hit the $1500 threshold after a collision, I don't know.)
So...how exactly does this apply if you as a cyclist are involved with a collision with a motor vehicle?
On the one hand, I feel like it makes it harder to get attention if you are doored, knocked over, etc. if you are not injured. The police won't take it seriously.
On the other hand, happy to have the police do police work and not become insurance adjustors.
If you're not injured, the best thing is to take lots of pictures at the scene and get contact info from any witnesses FAST before they disappear.
If you ARE injured, be insistent about having police respond to the scene. Also take lots of pictures at the scene (or get someone else to do it if you are too injured to do so). Get contact info from any witnesses FAST before they disappear. Getting witness info is VERY important.
...and KEEP A VIDEO CAMERA MOUNTED ON YOUR BIKE. I cannot emphasize that enough. You don't need one of those ultra-expensive GoPro thingies, either.
A few years back a motorist rear-ended my car. The damage was minimal, so we agreed to file a report at the police station later. Long story short the driver denied he had hit me, claiming he had no idea who I was, and I wound up having to sue him in small claims court.
My advice would be to get a police report on the scene.
The problem is quite literally getting the CPD to show up. I was hit by someone without insurance, and the damage was minimal but still was clearly not my fault, so I called the police. Even with an uninsured driver (who was being pretty uncooperative), I was instructed to simply exchange information, and was told CPD would not respond to the scene. Of course, when I followed up with the driver to get the under $1000 bill paid for, he denied any responsibility and refused to pay. It's a ridiculous policy.
If going to the Police dept. exchange information before the trip to the station. If the other involved refuses to exchange info document car make, plate# and color and a description of the driver, and any damage to the automobile. Also, as has been mentioned pictures and witnesses.
"If going to the Police dept. exchange information before the trip to the station."
Boy, did I ever learn that the hard way a few years back. I was rear-ended while on Cicero near 65th. Called 911 and was advised to go to nearest police station. No problem, as the damage wasn't too bad. Told the other driver I'd meet him there and he said okay. Yeeeeeeah, that was the last time I saw him. Shame on me for not getting all needed information before getting back in my car. Lesson learned!!
Repainting a body panel is 700-1000. Two body panels and you are over 1500. Any injury, even just feeling sore, should be a report and seen by an MD.
If you're hurt at all, even if it doesn't feel that bad at the crash scene, DO exchange information with the driver. Get a report on scene if you can, otherwise do one at a police station as soon as possible.
Pain usually doesn't kick in right away. I've definitely learned that from experience.
Depending on the type of injury, the worst may take as long as a day or two to hit. It's definitely worth getting checked out by a doctor as soon as possible. If it doesn't appear to be a serious injury, immediate care can be a lot easier and less expensive than an ER visit. If the immediate care doctor thinks it looks bad, they may refer you to an ER.
Agree with Anne. I was actually hit by a car while walking in a mall parking lot the other day. I was pretty sure I was fine--she really just bumped me--but I got a police report just in case. (And I was fine, luckily.)
Was the person/driver not paying attention? Good thing you're ok.