Are you stuck with a bicycle injury? Whether you were sideswiped or had a collision, a bicycle accident can saddle you with a painful injury — and a financial burden. The last thing you want to do is walk away from an accident that’s not your fault without getting justice.
Read on to learn about the mistakes you want to avoid after a bicycle accident!
Putting Off Medical Assitance
After a bike accident, go to a hospital if you sustained any injuries. Not doing this only increases the chances that your injuries won’t heal properly. And on top of that, putting off medical care communicates to the insurance companies that your injuries are not significant.
You may think you only sprained an ankle, but the issue could be worse below the surface. Letting an injury fester could sideline you from riding your bike for longer than expected.
See a doctor and get their diagnosis and treatment plans in writing. And, of course, follow through on the recommended course of treatment. Doing all of this helps you heal and gives you the paperwork to get financial assistance.
Apologizing to the Other Party
It’s easy to lapse into an apologetic mindset after an accident. This is especially true if you’re generally a conflict-avoidant person. But this is exactly the kind of behavior you want to avoid after a bike injury.
The other party may try to blame you for their own errors. And they may try to fabricate the course of events. Your best tactic is to stay calm and stay true to what happened.
The other person may have swerved into the bike lane — or perhaps they were distracted while driving. Don’t accept blame for something that wasn’t your fault.
Not Getting Contact Info from the Other Party
Another big mistake is leaving the scene without getting information from the driver. It’s normal protocol to ask for contact info. You can start by jotting down the license plate number of the driver, especially if you have any concerns that they might leave the scene.
Ask the other person for their name, address, and phone number. Get auto insurance information, as well. A bicycle attorney will be able to use this information to contact insurance companies on your behalf.
Forgetting to Document the Scene of a Bicycle Injury
When you endure a bicycle accident, make sure that you get visual evidence before leaving the scene. Even though you’re feeling rattled by the situation, you’ll want to steady yourself and take pictures. Or you should ask someone else at the scene to do this for you.
Use your phone to grab some pictures of the bicycle and car. Also, take pictures of the injuries you’ve sustained. And capture some video to show the scope of the accident scene.
The pictures will reveal any weather or traffic conditions that could have factored into the accident. They’ll also add credibility to any claims you make during negotiations. When you’re trying to make your case to the insurance companies, these visuals can help.
Not Contacting the Police After the Bicycle Accident
When you are in a bicycle accident, be sure to contact law enforcement. It’s important to take this step for several reasons. Having them present also ensures that you’ll get the necessary information from the other party.
For starters, you’ll fill out a report with the police. They’ll document when and where the accident happened. They also can talk to any witnesses to create a more complete picture of what happened.
Filing a Lawsuit without Help from a Personal Injury Attorney
A serious bicycle accident can leave you with significant and sometimes lifelong injuries. Regardless of whether you’re a natural orator, you should plan on enlisting the help of a personal injury attorney. A bicycle accident lawyer will know how to navigate the legal system to get you the best result.
Not doing this will leave you with paperwork, phone calls, and court dates that will drain your time. When you’re trying to find the right attorney, ask about their experience and means of communication. And ask whether the same attorney who meets with you will handle the details of your case.
While you’re at it, ask about billing and payments. Ultimately, you want to choose a bicycle attorney who will help you get the most for your money. They’ll work for you to get financial compensation for the emotional and physical trauma you’ve sustained.
Trying to Negotiate with Insurance Companies Alone
While you might think you’re a great negotiator, you’ll be better off with a professional attorney speaking on your behalf. Insurance adjusters may try to take advantage of you if you go it alone. But with a good attorney, you may be able to arrive at a solution and avoid going to court.
In many instances, a good attorney can work with the other party’s insurance companies. They’ll do this to determine an appropriate settlement. This means you’ll get the money you need while avoiding a court date.
But in instances where an injury causes chronic issues, you may want to file a lawsuit. If you’re trying to figure out which route is right, get an attorney on your side.
Make the Right Moves After a Bicycle Accident
Sustaining a bicycle injury can sideline you for weeks, if not months. That’s why it’s critical to document the scene, get contact information, and work with a bicycle attorney. You’ll stand a better chance of getting the financial compensation you need to get back on your feet.
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