If there is one thing many bicyclists fear while riding their bikes, it is being struck by a motorist. Though these accidents do not occur by the thousands each day, they do happen on a regular basis to cyclists who do everything possible to stay safe. When these accidents do occur, they are almost always very serious and leave the cyclist with major injuries. However, unless a bicyclist uses common sense and good judgment at the accident scene and afterwards, they may lose out on compensation for injuries and other damages. Should you be involved in such an accident, speak to an personal injury attorney Newport Beach accident victims rely on for help and guidance in these matters.
Get Police to Your Accident Scene
When you have a bicycle accident that involves injuries and other damages, always get police to your accident scene as fast as possible. Once they arrive, they will investigate the accident and file an accident report, which may contain vital information that allows you to win a personal injury case.
When many cyclists are involved in accidents with motor vehicles they often make many mistakes at the scene. One of these is attempting to speak to the driver about what happened. While a driver may initially admit fault for the accident, many often change their stories and in fact try to blame the cyclist for the accident. Rather than have it be your word versus that of the driver, always make sure police speak to you and the driver before an accident report is filed. Once you obtain a copy of the report, turn it over to your bicycle accident lawyer Newport Beach residents trust will fight hard for maximum compensation in these cases.
Report Your Injuries
Along with police arriving at the accident scene, so too will paramedics. Once there, they will assess and treat your injuries based on the information you provide to them. Therefore, always report any possible injuries you believe may have happened due to the accident. This can be crucial, since some injuries such as brain injuries or back injuries may not show symptoms until several hours later. Thus, always allow any possible injuries to be noted and treated, and also let yourself be taken to an emergency room for additional treatment. After having your injuries treated and documented in your medical records, schedule an appointment with a personal injury bicycle accident lawyer to discuss your case in more detail.
Obtain Contact Information
If you are to speak to the driver of the motor vehicle that struck you, do so in order to get their contact information. This should always include their name, address, phone number, insurance and driver’s license information, and the make and model of their vehicle. If the driver is reluctant to speak with you or is belligerent and refuses to cooperate, do not escalate the situation. Instead, allow your injury attorney Newport Beach residents know and respect to get this information from the police report.
Preserve Evidence from the Accident
After the accident, you may be tempted to immediately try to get your bike repaired. However, when a person who was injured in a bike accident does this, it is a critical mistake. By leaving your bike in the damaged condition it was in following the crash, your bicycle accident lawyer Newport Beach victims rely on for victories in these cases can turn over your bike, helmet, and other equipment to a skilled bicycle accident specialist. Once this is done, the accident specialist can use forensics and other highly-specialized scientific techniques to reconstruct the accident scene and show the accident was not your fault.
Document Details of the Accident Scene
While police will file an accident report, they may not do a thorough examination of the accident scene. As a result, critical pieces of evidence may be overlooked. Therefore, if you are able to do so, always try to document as many details of the scene as possible. For example, if there are traffic signals nearby or perhaps stop signs, speed limit signs, or even signs warning motorists to look out for bicyclists, use your smartphone to take photos of these items. Also, if the driver’s vehicle left skid marks on the road, photograph these as well, since this could indicate they were not observing posted speed limits at the time of the crash or may have been driving while distracted or impaired.
Don’t Fall for Insurance Company Offers
A few days following your bicycle accident, insurance companies will come calling to get a feel for how they should proceed. While the person who contacts you by phone or in-person may seem friendly, concerned, and wanting to help you through this difficult situation, don’t fall for this phony act. In reality, the insurance representative is simply trying to trick you into admitting the accident was your fault or get you to make a quick settlement for a very low dollar amount. In either case, don’t handle it on your own. Instead, immediately refer all communications about your accident to your personal injury bicycle accident lawyer.
Don’t Post to Social Media
Whether you are communicating with family and friends or just happen to be frustrated about the accident, don’t post anything on social media related to the accident. This can include photos of yourself at home, the injuries you sustained, and any comments you have about the other driver or anyone else involved in the case. Since many accident victims are usually upset and letting their emotions guide their thinking when on social media, you will likely do something to cost you significant compensation. Therefore, stay away from social media until your case is completed.
Whether it was a loved one who was injured in a bike accident or you who were the victim, always hold the person responsible accountable for their negligence. To do so, schedule an immediate consultation with an injury attorney Newport Beach bicycle accident victims know will protect their rights throughout their case.