An accident while riding a bicycle, especially when it involves being struck by a motor vehicle or truck, can be devastating. These types of accidents often result in catastrophic, if not fatal, injuries.
Knowing what to do immediately after your bike accident could make a difference in the settlement process with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
To build a strong claim and get adequate compensation after your bike accident, there are several steps you must follow:
Always call the authorities and report the accident. Ask for an ambulance and accept a ride to the emergency room for treatment. The sooner you are treated, the better for your case. After a bicycle accident, you could have internal injuries or a traumatic brain injury that does not exhibit symptoms right away.
If left untreated, these conditions may worsen, and the defense could argue that you were not seriously injured because you did not obtain medical attention.
Even if the defendant is at the scene and asks to talk about what happened, avoid discussing who is at fault. Also, never apologize. Even if you are apologizing to be kind, your “sorry” may be used against you as a way of arguing that you admit guilt at the scene.
Naturally, you might be too severely injured to find witnesses at the scene. If you can, however, try to locate a witness or two to corroborate your story.
It is imperative that you follow all care instructions given to you by your physician. Even if you do not agree with them, you must follow his or her advice or seek a second opinion. Failing to follow through or ignoring follow up appointments will be used against you in your lawsuit.
Insurance claims adjusters will contact you quickly, hoping that you have not yet talked to a lawyer. No matter what you do, never give them a signed statement, or sign any documents. Also, you are not required to provide them with a written or recorded statement. Instead, you can kindly request that they speak with your attorney or wait until you have retained an attorney.
It is imperative that you involve a personal injury attorney as soon as possible in the claims process. Whether it is while you are at the hospital or just after your release, the sooner an attorney is brought in, the faster you can receive compensation.
Furthermore, the law limits how much time you have to file a personal injury claim. The more time that passes, the harder it is for your attorney to locate evidence and connect with witnesses.
After your serious bike accident, contact Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP at one of our three locations for a free case evaluation.