Bicycle accidents can happen at any time, it is unfortunate, but even if cyclists are following the rules of the road, cyclists are at high risk when riding in traffic. Not only can a collision with a car or truck destroy a bicycle, but the rider can suffer serious and even fatal injuries. That is why it is very important to be smart and make the right decisions after an accident. What you do in the aftermath will have a big influence on how much you recover for your injuries and damages to your property. It will also affect the outcome of any lawsuits related to the accident.
We have created the following do’s and don’ts to help you protect your rights after a bicycle accident.
- What to do:
Wait for the police to arrive:
It is very important for you to wait for the police to arrive at the scene of the accident so the police can get your statement as well as the ones of the other’s involved. If you leave the accident scene, you may never be able to identify the at-fault driver, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian.
Seek medical attention.
Getting medical treatment is very important, even if you think you are not injured. Some cyclists don’t realize they’ve been injured until several hours or days after the accident. And sometimes seemingly minor injuries later develop into serious and permanent problems. If you wait too long to seek treatment, the insurance company may question the seriousness of your injuries.
Gather information and preserve evidence:
If you can write down all the information you can gather from the scene, this includes: what happened; how it happened; where it occurred; when it occurred; and road, traffic, and weather conditions, your loss of time at work, or other consequences from the accident that affect your well being. Have several photos taken of your injuries as soon as possible after the accident. Start a journal of your physical symptoms and make entries every few days wherever possible, get the name of the automobile driver, as well as his or her address, phone number, driver’s license number, vehicle license number, and insurance information.
- What not to do:
Don’t talk to the insurance company:
If the driver reports the crash to their insurance company, somebody will contact you as soon as possible. Remember that you are not obligated to talk to them. It is very possible that in one of these conversations you could unknowingly admit liability that could hurt your chances of getting fair compensation in the future. It’s also possible that you could communicate a settlement amount that is not actually commensurate with your damages.
Don’t sign any authorizations:
It is always important to have a professional assisting you in case you receive documents to sign. An attorney is trained to identify the implication of the fine print of a document.
Don’t try to settle the matter privately with the other driver:
Sometimes a driver will offer a cyclist money to repair the damaged bike or to even buy the cyclist a new bike, and sometimes a monetary offer will be given to a cyclist in exchange for settling the matter without insurance companies. The problem with this is that the extent of the injuries may not be clear in the moments right after an accident.
Whether you think your bicycle injury claim warrants the help of an attorney or not, it is important that you at least meet with an experienced lawyer to review your claim. If you or a loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident, contact Maidenberg law Group for a free consultation. Call us toll-free at (888) 520-9617, or contact The Maidenberg Law Group online.