Riding a bicycle to work, on the trail, or through your neighborhood is a great way to get around while exercising. Unfortunately, bike rides don’t always end up the way you expect. Whether it involves the reckless operation of a motor vehicle or someone running a stop sign, bike crashes can be serious and sometimes fatal.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, bicycling attorneys may be able to help you. Whether you’re facing medical bills, persistent pain, or confusion regarding your next steps, here’s what you need to know about when you should find a bicycle accident lawyer.
People often assume that cyclists are at fault in a bike accident. This perception is so common that many cyclists assume they don’t have any recourse after a wreck. As a result, they usually don’t know what steps to take next. However, there are specific bike laws created to protect cyclists, and the drivers involved in these accidents are often the ones at fault.
However, because bicycle riders often assume that they’re at fault, many don’t file bicycle accident cases, even when they’re facing significant medical bills from their injuries.
Immediately after you’re involved in a bicycle accident, you should start by making sure that you and everyone involved is okay. Once you verify that there are no life-threatening injuries that require immediate assistance, you should follow these steps.
After you make sure that everyone involved is okay, you should immediately call 911. Even if you feel like you’re alright, you should never leave the scene without filing an accident report and having a medical professional check you for injuries.
There are two reasons for this. First, you’ll be experiencing a flow of adrenaline following the accident, and you may not feel injured. But the next morning or even a few hours later, your body could develop the aches and pains that come from car and bicycle wrecks. It’s important to have a medical professional check you to make sure you don’t have any serious injuries that you haven’t noticed.
Additionally, filing an accident report and being checked by the EMTs will establish a record trail regarding the wreck. When you talk to the police and ambulance personnel, make sure to give them as many details as you can about what happened. Oftentimes, people involved in an accident have different perceptions of what happened, so don’t be afraid to tell the police everything you can remember.
This is a step that many people overlook, either because they don’t want to seem aggressive or because their minds are racing post-accident. But you’ll want to have this information for all the steps that come next. You should also give everyone involved your contact information as well.
Though you’ll talk to a police officer immediately after the accident, you or a loved one should write everything down when you arrive home or at the hospital. Not only will this ensure there are multiple records of events, and no details fall through the cracks, but you may remember important details in the hours and days after the accident.
You should also document all of your injuries, ideally with photographs. This documentation will prevent the driver or their insurance company from claiming that you’ve fabricated the details of your injury later on.
We highly recommend that you do not speak to any insurance company before you speak to a lawyer. The insurance company has dealt with bicycle accident cases like yours before, and they know how to handle them to their benefit, not yours. Any offer they make you is not in your best interest, no matter how generous or appropriate it seems.
You also should never tell them that you’re not injured. As we discussed, some injuries take time to show up, and telling the insurance company that you’re okay may impede a personal injury case that could arise later.
A personal injury lawyer can help you sort the events of your accident and discuss local and state bike laws that may work in your favor. They’ll also give you legal advice to help you understand your next steps.
Just be sure to reach out to a law firm with experience in bicycle accidents and bike laws. Many people call personal injury firms without understanding that they don’t take their kinds of cases. Then they wonder why they’re having trouble finding a lawyer to represent them.
After you experience a bicycle crash, you may need immediate, extensive medical care. The driver’s insurance will probably cover these expenses to some degree, but car insurance policies have limits, and once you exceed these, the insurance company may refuse to pay.
Additionally, you’ll probably have supplemental medical bills from a massage therapist or chiropractor as you continue trying to heal and deal with lingering pain. The insurance company may not want to pay these bills.
Your injuries may also force you to spend a significant amount of time away from work as you heal, and you might lose wages as a result. Finally, your quality of life may be altered after the accident. All of these losses may be subject to a personal injury claim.
Unfortunately, many people involved in a bicycle accident worry that they’re bad people if they work with a bicycle accident lawyer to pursue a claim. However, this isn’t the case. Bicycle laws exist to protect cyclists, and if you’ve experienced a traumatic event like a bicycle wreck you should pursue the compensation you deserve. An experienced bicycle lawyer can give you the help you need.
Even if you follow all the tips and best practices for bicycle safety, you may still find yourself injured in an accident. If this happens, let us know right away. We’re experienced bicycle accident attorneys, and we’ve helped numerous injured cyclists find the help they need.
It won’t cost you anything to talk to us, and we would love to help you see what options you have so that you can heal without worrying about medical bills, lost wages, and everything else that comes with a personal injury. You can reach us at 720-805-1193.