Were you involved in a bike accident? Did you incur injuries?
Whether you sustained injuries or not, you must claim insurance to receive adequate compensation.
South Florida has a history of high bike accident rates. South Florida includes such cities as Westin, Pembroke Pines, Deerfield Beach, Hillsborough Beach, and Key Biscayne.
If you suffered through a bike incident, seek medical attention, and hire an attorney. This article will provide an in-depth look into filing a claim after a bike accident. Let’s explore.
Seek Medical Care
Before filing an insurance claim, see a medical professional immediately. You should see a doctor for the sake of your health. You may also feel fine after the accident. However, you could have underlying injuries that you’re not aware of.
- Example: You may have suffered a concussion without knowing it. Many people injure themselves without realizing they have a concussion. Get a thorough checkup to know for certain.
Additionally, a doctor can document all of your injuries. Medical bills and records will be crucial when you file your claim. You should see a medical professional within 14 days after the accident. Filing sooner rather than later ensures you’re eligible to file a claim.
File a Police Report
A police officer can objectively document the events. Moreover, the police can obtain the contact information of the motorist who caused the accident.
The police will also record the driver’s insurance information. Know the name of the driver’s insurance company and policy number.
The driver should have given you their insurance information, but you can refer to the police report if necessary. You should also get a detailed description of the vehicle, such as the VIN number, the license plate number, and the make and model.
Involving the police is also useful if you’re involved in a hit and run. The police have the necessary resources to get a positive ID on the driver and/or the vehicle.
Plus, insurance companies cannot ignore the facts stated in a police report. The report will also be useful if you need to file a civil suit.
Capture any piece of evidence you can with photos and videos. Overall you should capture the following:
- Scenes of the accident
- Your injuries
- Damaged property (i.e. your bike)
- The vehicle involved the accident (if possible)
You can also create a video diary that documents your injuries. Record how you feel each day. Moreover, show wounds in the form of cuts, scrapes, or bruises.
Capturing your daily struggle may help you win pain and suffering damages.
When it comes to the accident scene, talk to eyewitnesses. They will be crucial witnesses during the insurance process and during court proceedings.
The witnesses could be neighbors, pedestrians, business owners, or employees. More than likely, someone had witnessed the accident.
Take notes as the witness conveys what happened. You can also ask their permission to record the conversation.
Additionally, get their contact information for future reference. It’s important to talk to witnesses as soon as possible because many people can easily forget what happened over time.
Write Everything Down
In addition to eyewitnesses, you’re also at risk of forgetting crucial events. Therefore, write everything down quickly. Be as detailed as possible.
Include the names of any officers on the scene if applicable. With that, you should avoid posting anything on social media. Keep sensitive information between yourself and your attorney.
Hire a Bike Accident Lawyer
When hiring a lawyer, ensure they have direct experience in bike accident claims. Also, hire a local attorney.
- Example: If the bike accident occurred in Boca Raton, find a South Florida lawyer who knows the local legal system.
Avoid hiring a general practice attorney with limited experience in insurance matters. You want a seasoned legal professional who can negotiate with insurance companies.
You may need to deal with the offender’s insurance company. The driver’s insurance company may try to minimize payouts to save money.
The negotiation phase is an arduous process that can last weeks or months. An experienced lawyer has the necessary negotiating prowess to win you a sizeable settlement.
Above all, an attorney can guide you from beginning to end and help you file your insurance claim.
File the Claim
File a claim with your insurance carrier. Your carrier will cover your medical bills up to your policy limit.
If you don’t have auto insurance, contact the driver’s insurance company. Tell them what happened and that you’re filing a claim.
This is where a lawyer is crucial, as they can tell you the appropriate things to say to the driver’s insurance carrier. The offender’s insurance provider can use anything you say against you to reduce the settlement. Overall, avoid doing the following:
- Admitting fault during the accident
- Minimizing the seriousness of your injuries
- Giving an official statement
An insurance company may give the impression that they cannot proceed with a claim unless you make an official statement. Decline the offer if they mention an official statement. Rather, stress that you won’t make any official statement without your attorney present.
How to Claim Insurance the Right Way
To claim insurance properly, you should seek medical attention, file a police report, and hire an attorney. Then, you should file a claim with your insurance company.
If necessary, you should file against the offender’s insurance. Insurance companies will try to reduce payouts as much as possible.
Obtain solid evidence that can refute claims from insurance reps. Above all, hire a bike accident attorney who knows how to navigate the insurance process.