Did you fare through a bike accident in South Florida? South Florida encompasses many cities, such as Hillsborough Beach, Pembroke Pines, Boca Raton, and Deerfield Beach. The region is also one of the most dangerous regions for bicyclists.
You can file a bike accident claim to receive justice. However, may not receive justice without adequate representation.
A lawyer will guide you through the insurance filing process from beginning to end. They can also help you obtain a higher settlement.
This article will highlight three key steps to take after a bicycle accident. Let’s explore.
Before filing a claim, you need strong evidence to bolster your claim. Insurance companies will do everything possible to get your claim dismissed or minimized. To make your case stronger, adhere to the following steps:
- See a doctor
- File a police report
- Talk to witnesses
- Take photos and videos of the scene
See a doctor if you have minor or major injuries. You may feel fine, but bike crash injuries may not manifest until later. You could also have underlying injuries, such as head trauma.
Additionally, a doctor will help you document the injuries. Medical documentation will be vital when you file an insurance claim. Further, you should save medical bills from a hospital or clinic. Medical bills will also support your insurance claim.
Next, you should file a police report. Insurance companies could downplay the severity of the bicycle accident if you failed to file a report. The officer will document all sides of the story and collect evidence. You should also collect evidence independently.
After treating your injuries, talk to any witnesses on the scene. If the accident occurred in a plaza, for instance, perhaps a worker from a nearby store witnessed the accident. Talk to any neighbors if the accident occurred in a neighborhood.
Witnesses can buffer your story in case insurance tries to scrutinize your account. Above all, collect the contact information of the witnesses. If they grant permission, record your conversations with them.
Finally, take pictures of all property damage and medical injuries. Photos and videos will make it harder for adjusters or insurance reps to refute your story. Documentation will also be necessary if you must go to court.
Contact an Attorney
Before contacting an insurance company, you need a lawyer. Insurance companies will find loopholes to reduce payouts. Like police officers, they can use anything you say against you.
An attorney can tell you what to say when talking to an insurance carrier. You also need an attorney when filing with your insurance company. Many people mistakenly believe that their insurance carrier is on their side.
Insurance providers are in the business of saving money. You should also be wary of insurance adjusters who want to talk to you. Insurance adjusters are not on your side because:
- They’re trained to find ways to minimize settlements
- They will lock you into an official statement
- They will attempt to settle the matter quickly before you talk to an attorney
- They will try to close the case as soon as possible before you realize the full extent of your injuries
That’s why you should never talk to an adjuster without guidance from an attorney. Additionally, many adjusters don’t know how to value bicycles. They may even dispute your injuries.
Above all, you should find an attorney who is familiar with the local courts. If your bike accident occurred in Pembroke, for instance, find an attorney who is familiar with the South Florida courts.
You also need a lawyer because there’s a chance your insurance claim will head to a civil trial.
- Example: If an offending driver’s insurance doesn’t fully cover your medical expenses or damaged property, you must take them to civil court.
Overall, insurance companies are more likely to treat fairly if you have an attorney.
Contact the Insurance Companies
You can now contact the insurance companies with confidence. Contact the other driver’s insurance company. The offending driver may have already filed a claim under their policy.
If you own a car, file with your own insurance company. Your insurance provider can cover your medical expenses.
Whether the accident occurred in Westin or Key Biscayne, you should file as soon as possible.
Insurance reps can use your delayed filing as a reason to pay you minimally. Further, you may fail to remember key pieces of information over time.
If you have insurance, you should contact your insurance company. If you don’t have insurance, contact the negligent driver’s insurance company.
An insurance rep may propose that you provide an official statement. They may even insist on recording your official statement. If this happens, talk to your attorney. You have a right to refuse official statements.
More importantly, lawyers will play a crucial role during insurance negotiations. Insurance companies offer the lowest settlements, hoping you’ll accept it.
However, a lawyer can determine if the amount offered is acceptable. They can also negotiate a higher sum for you. In many cases, lawyers can negotiate settlements that are twice the amount of the original offer.
The Most Important Step When Filing a Bike Accident Claim
When it comes to filing a bike accident claim, you need strong evidence. Insurance companies will look for holes in your story. They can also reject your claim if you don’t have strong evidence.
To document evidence, see a doctor, take photos, find witnesses, and file a police report. Above all, find a reputable South Florida lawyer who will guide you throughout the insurance process. Attorneys will also be helpful if the insurance company tries to cut corners during the bike-repair process.
Want to know how much you receive after a bike accident? Click here to learn more.