Your bicycle can be a fantastic method of getting around town, but if you’re not careful, the risk of injury can be high. This article will provide some helpful tips that can help you avoid severe injury or minimize damage. In addition, you will learn in which cases hiring an attorney might be warranted.
Assess The Severity Of The Accident
After an accident of this nature, the first thing that you should do is to assess how severe it is. By doing this, you will be able to understand the next steps. For example, you will ascertain if you need hospital treatment or if you need to call emergency services like the police, etc. While there are numerous things to do after a bicycle accident, this should be your first step. Some things to look out for include seeing what injuries you have sustained and if it was someone else’s fault. If it was the latter, you might even need to collect witness statements and their contact details if they are willing to provide them. Furthermore, if your accident was due to a vehicle, you may need to wait for the police to arrive to get an official accident report.
Never Admit Fault Or Negotiate
Even though it is often human nature to apologize, you should always refrain from speaking with the other side. Anything you say could be used against you in a lawsuit, and if you admit fault, your case could be over before it even begins. Moreover, you should try to avoid negotiating at the scene. Your state will likely be dazed and confused, and you won’t fully understand what’s going on. Consequently, you might miss out on compensation for medical bills if you agree to accept money for bike repair, etc. Instead, you should merely ask for their contact and insurance details and tell them that you prefer to deal directly with their insurance company. If they don’t have insurance, you should wait for the police to arrive.
Ensure That You Get Medical Treatment
Taking care of your health is of utmost importance, but it can be challenging to determine what injuries you have sustained. Although you will have assessed the damage in line with the first step, you may have internal injuries that take some time to discover. Therefore, you should always call an ambulance, no matter how mild you think the accident was. While you can use your own judgment in this situation (for example, you are probably fine if you simply cycled into a bollard), anything that involves another person should be treated seriously. You should also contact an ambulance or arrange to be taken to the nearest emergency room if you feel slightly off.
Documentation is an integral part of many accidents. Having a written record of what happens is the only way to know what happened and to be able to refer to it during any confusion. This is especially important in the aftermath of an accident or disaster. Documenting everything after an accident is crucial because it helps in the process of claiming personal injury. It also allows the insurer to offer proper compensation. This should include (but are not limited to):
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Aftercare costs
- Bike repair
- Relevant transportation costs
- Police and EMT reports
- Photos of the scene
- Official contact details of medical professionals looking after you
- Records of your injuries and how they are treating you
- What medications you are taking during and after hospitalization
By ensuring meticulous documentation, you will ensure that any litigation will result in you being adequately compensated. Costs can rack up quickly, and if the accident was not your fault, you could end up seriously out of pocket.
Never Negotiate With Insurers Yourself
Insurance companies are not your friend and are not looking to help you. They are more concerned with how much they can save from any payout. Because of this, it’s best to avoid direct contact with them. This is the job of your lawyer, which leads to the final point.
Contact An Attorney
You should really contact an attorney as early in the process as possible. It would help if you looked for one specializing in personal injury and these kinds of tort (civil) cases. They can advise you throughout the process and will hopefully bring you the maximum amount of compensation.
Accidents involving bicycles can be much more severe than most people realize. By following the steps laid out in this post, you should be in a better position to come out on the other side with good health and the right amount of compensation.