In 2018, 857 bicyclists were killed by cars.
In most bike-versus-car collisions, the driver is often scratch free while the rider is severely injured. As a result of a bike crash, many riders have long-term injuries.
If you or your loved one have been involved in a bike accident, read on. We will outline to key steps to take to ensure your claim is granted to get you the compensation you deserve.
Collect Information at the Scene
If you are able to, gather information from the driver. If you are too injured to move, don’t worry about it. You can get the information from the police report later on.
If you can, get the full name of the driver, the make and model of the car, their insurance policy number, driver’s license, and license plate.
Ask for the driver’s contact information.
If possible, document the accident with photos. Take pictures of damage to your bike, skid marks, damage to any other vehicles or property.
It is also useful to take a picture of the environment to show the weather and time of day.
If there are witnesses, take a video of them saying their name and contact information. Record them giving an account of what they saw.
Then, sit away from the road while you wait for first responders to arrive.
Remember to be polite to the driver. Avoid getting into an argument about who caused the accident. Don’t take responsibility or say anything that might be used against you later.
Just tell the driver that the police will sort it out.
Get Medical Attention
When emergency responders arrive, be sure to answer their questions truthfully. Do not downplay your injuries or make light of the situation.
If your injuries are severe, paramedics will assess you and transport you to the hospital if necessary. Do not refuse to go if the medics think it is best.
If you do not go to the hospital, be sure to see a doctor within 24 hours of your bike accident.
The adrenaline and shock of the crash might mask some symptoms. Also, some serious injuries symptoms aren’t evident until hours later.
A medical exam by a doctor is the basis for an injury claim. Do not skip this crucial step if you want to make a claim!
It is also vital that you keep all your doctor appointments. Follow your doctor’s recommendations precisely. This includes taking medication or following other treatment plans.
Failure to do these things can be used as evidence against you.
Call Your Insurance Company
Next, you need to call your insurance company if you own a car and have car insurance. Let them know that you were in a bike crash with a car.
Your car insurance will cover your medical bills and expenses up to your policy’s limit. Keep in mind that this claim does not affect your premium at all because you were not driving your car when this happened.
If you do not have car insurance, you will contact the insurance company of the driver.
Give all the details about the crash such as when and where it took place. You will need to give the information you gathered from the scene of the accident.
By this point, the other driver should have contacted their insurance, but that’s not always the case.
Each time you talk to someone at the insurance company, take down notes about the conversation. Jot down the names and extensions of everyone you speak to. Note the date and time of the call and what was discussed.
Be Wary When Speaking to Insurance Agents
If you don’t have your own car insurance policy, be wary when speaking to the insurance agents. Remember, they represent the driver. Anything you say might be used to try to reduce your compensation.
Avoid saying things like “I’m OK” or “I didn’t look both ways”. Don’t say anything that might put you partially at fault. Also, don’t say anything that might make it sound like your injuries are not worth getting compensation.
Do not provide a written, signed statement without a lawyer’s help.
The best thing is not to speak to an insurance agent until you have an experienced accident lawyer that will be part of the conversation. This protects your claim.
Remember, insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible. A quick settlement offer may seem like a good deal to you, but it usually isn’t.
Keep Great Records of Your Bike Crash
Another important thing to do when making a bike accident claim is to save all receipts. Keep anything related to the accident in a file folder.
Include medical bills, bike or motorcycle repair receipts, even quotes on estimates for repairs.
Put copies of emails or text messages in this folder. Especially ones between you and your employer about missing work or other commitments.
This folder will be the proof you will need to get the compensation you deserve. This is a record of how the bike accident has impacted you.
Leave no details out. You might also want to keep an injury journal. In it, you can document how you feel each day after the accident. Record the medications you took and other treatment you took.
Hire a Lawyer
Even when your insurance company seems eager to settle, the amount they will offer is often less than what you can get. Though the amount may seem high, there may be long-term costs that you did not think of.
That’s why you need an advocate who can represent you. Your attorney specializes in bike accidents and can get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
Thanks for reading. We hope that this article helps you know what to do after a bike crash. Remember, an attorney is on your side and will fight on your behalf to ensure you get the money you deserve.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help.