Did your bicycle get hit by a car? Did you have injuries?
Getting hit by a car is a traumatic experience, but you may have a viable legal claim.
Bike accidents allow you to claim monetary compensation from the driver or the insurance company. However, you could lose your case if you don’t document the evidence accordingly. More importantly, you should have a legal professional by your side.
This article will highlight the necessary steps to take after a bicycle accident. Let’s explore.
Seek Medical Help
Before doing anything, call 911 to receive emergency care. You should see a medical professional to get a thorough checkup.
Also, seek medical care for minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises. Additionally, medical staff can help you document the injuries.
Keep all of your medical bills, as they’re crucial pieces of evidence in court or during insurance negotiations. Above all, you should see a medical professional to ensure you don’t have underlying injuries. In many cases, you may not feel the full effect of an injury until weeks or months later.
Collect Contact Information
After seeking medical assistance, collect the driver’s contact and insurance information. Then, verify the driver’s information.
If you need an attorney to help you verify the information, you should call one immediately because Preszler Law’s David Preszler says, “People will sometimes try to give you false information after an accident, so always request to see their driver’s licenses and insurance cards yourself.”
A responding officer will also gather the driver’s insurance and contact information. If you didn’t get the chance to collect the driver’s insurance info, refer to the police report.
- Note: Police don’t always file reports accurately. Also, the reports may not contain insurance information. Therefore, attempt to collect the driver’s insurance information yourself.
When obtaining the driver’s information, avoid discussing the accident. Above all, don’t admit fault. Talk to the officer on the scene, and give your version of events.
Gather Evidence and Witnesses
Don’t rely on an officer to gather evidence and find witnesses on your behalf. They could miss vital pieces of evidence that could enhance your case.
Gather as much evidence as you can by taking pictures and shooting videos. When documenting evidence, record the following:
- Property damage
- Personal injuries
- Pertinent scenes of the accident itself
If possible, try to record the scene before it becomes further tainted. Pictures and videos will bolster your case, making it harder for defense attorneys or insurance companies to refute your claims.
Additionally, search the neighborhood for anyone who witnessed the accident. Take notes as the witness speaks. You can also record them if they give permission.
More importantly, get their name and contact information. Witnesses will help you during insurance investigations or civil litigation. After collecting evidence and finding witnesses, discuss the matter with an attorney.
Find a Bike Accident Attorney
An attorney can help you navigate the insurance process and the legal process. You’ll need legal assistance as you wrangle with insurance companies.
All too often, insurance companies minimize payouts and settlements to save money. However, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf and help you get a larger settlement.
If the case goes to a civil trial, an attorney can craft a compelling case and communicate your plight in the courtroom. Overall, allow your attorney to handle the legal headaches.
An attorney will also be a crucial asset if you sustained serious injuries. You can focus on recovery instead of bureaucratic investigations.
Consider the following hallmarks of a good bicycle accident lawyer:
- An attorney with personal injury experience
- An attorney who has experience in biking injury cases
- An attorney whose firm handles personal injury cases routinely
- An attorney with a winning track record
If you’re strapped for cash, you may feel tempted to hire the cheapest attorney available. The problem is that cheap attorneys may have less experience than attorneys who charge more.
When it comes to cyclist accidents, you need a quality lawyer who can win you the right amount of compensation. You’ll need a substantial reward to contend with property damage, medical expenses, and pain and suffering (if applicable).
File an Insurance Claim
Your insurance carrier may cover the medical expenses you incurred from the bicycle crash. If you don’t have insurance, you can contact the driver’s insurance company, and note what happened. Don’t give an official statement to the insurance company without consulting your attorney.
Additionally, you may need to recover additional compensation in court if the driver’s policy doesn’t cover the damage fully. Talk to your attorney if the driver’s policy doesn’t cover the damages.
- Note: Throughout the insurance process, do not sign any release form that absolves the insurance company or the driver.
You’ll also need an attorney if complications arise. The insurance carrier may have trouble dealing with a cyclist who was hit by a car. In particular, adjusters could struggle to assess the value of a bicycle.
Adjusters normally deal with auto accident cases. Plus, insurance reps tend to dispute the value of carbon-fiber bicycles.
Insurance reps may have trouble determining whether to repair or replace the bike’s carbon fiber material. Regardless, a lawyer can help you through the insurance phase. If insurance negotiations fail, they can help you file a civil suit.
Bike Accidents: A Quick Rundown
If you dealt with a bicycle crash, seek medical care, collect insurance information, gather evidence, and contact an attorney. Bike accidents can be a complicated process, especially when insurance companies get involved. Therefore, seek legal counsel who knows how to traverse the turbulent waters of insurance claims and civil trials.
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