Getting into a bicycle accident can be horrendous. Not knowing what just happened. How did it happen? If you are injured and if you are – what do you do next? Can I file a bicycle accident claim? The following steps will help you in your personal journey and recovery.
When you have been in a bicycle accident with a car, it can be very traumatic and your first instinct may be to panic. Try to stay calm if you’ve been in an accident on your bicycle and a car was involved. Not always is a bike in an accident with a car, but it is also more common than you may think.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident involving an automobile, make sure you are taking actions right after the crash to ensure you are being ethical and following proper procedures. This will affect the outcome of any bicycle accident claim or lawsuit resulting from the accident you’ve been in.
If you leave the scene of an accident you may not ever be able to identify that you weren’t at fault and that the driver was at fault. Call the police if you are coherent and able to. If you aren’t, have someone else call the police. Do not do anything until the police have arrived on site. It is vital to do this so you are able to file a report immediately. Do this even if you think you don’t have any injuries. Often times after an accident people don’t know if they are suffering any injuries due to the fact your body is giving off of adrenaline.
Never try to negotiate with the driver by yourself. Many drivers will apologize and accept that they did something wrong, only to turn around and deny that they have any foul play in the accident when cops arrive. So the most important thing to do is wait until the police arrive to thoroughly check out the scene and get both sides of the story from both parties.It is also important to make sure the police get both sides of the story due to the fact that sometimes the police only get the drivers side and fail to get the cyclist report. Make sure that if you are the cyclist you tell the police your side of the story of what happened in the accident for your own documentation as well to help you in your case.
Some injuries may be minor but turn into something serious after the accident. Report all injuries. For even the smallest of injuries or simply feeling “off” – report it. Document what happened in the accident. Take as many mental notes and try to remember to help yourself. What happened? How did it happen? Where and when did the accident happen? Did the weather conditions play a role? All these things are vital due to the fact that this may make or break your case.
Additionally, going to the doctor will show that you sought out medical attention and advice. That will help prove that you in fact were injured and you’ll have those medical records to show the exact extent of those injuries and how serious they were.
Make sure to take photos of your injuries or keep an injury log. If you have a bruised knee directly after the accident, document it! Make sure you are watching to see if the bruise turns into swelling and swelling turns into something more serious like not being able to walk. Start writing down your symptoms and what you are experiencing every few days.
Keep all evidence, including parts to your bicycle. All of these steps after a bike accident are important, but keeping the evidence may show how your bicycle looked compared to the motor vehicle. Similar to how insurance companies inspect a damaged vehicle after a collision, inspecting the damage to the bicycle will be very telling. Leave the bike in the same exact condition it was after the accident. Don’t try and fix the bike as that is altering the state of the bike after the accident. Take photos or document the condition of your equipment and helmet. This will strengthen any bicycle accident claim you file after the incident.
Elements from these steps can also be applied to pedestrian injuries.
After you have followed the steps above, you may want to seek professional advice from an attorney. This part may seem like the most stressful but if there is available compensation, you deserve every bit of it. It is your right. Most accidents between bicycles and cars involve complex legal issues. Seek help from someone who knows the ins and outs of cycling and/or has a personal connection with these types of cases.
Things your attorney can help you with include advising you on how to continue with the process and negotiating with the insurance companies. Most insurance companies are out to protect themselves and an attorney can help you spot those behaviors from the insurance companies. The attorney can also represent you in your case.
While you are figuring out what additional steps to take, it is vital to not speak or communicate with any insurance company before speaking and consulting with a personal injury lawyer. Anything you say to any insurance company can be used against you if they don’t want to pay you for injuries, etc. It is safest to have a letter or have your attorney speak directly to the insurance company which may help resolve any issues and avoid all legal danger.
The majority of the time in injury cases, they are settled without ever going to trial. However, building and filing a personal injury case after an accident can be a complicated process. At The Cochran Firm New York, our team of personal injury lawyers is here to help you. With the years of acclaimed experience, let us help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today for a FREE no-obligation consultation at 1-800-THE-FIRM or chat with us now on our website.