Are you dealing with a bicycle crash? Perhaps you want to how to report a crash in case the worst happens.
South Florida is one of the most dangerous regions for cyclists in the Sunshine State.
To report a bike accident, you should go to the police. An officer can provide a written record of the incident. After, you’ll report the incident to the negligent party’s insurance company.
Also, contact your insurance company if you own a vehicle. Your insurance provider will cover the cost of your injuries. Before contacting insurance companies, you must take some crucial steps to win your case.
This article will show you how to report a bicycle accident. Read further if you want to know more.
File a Police Report
You should call the police as soon as possible. Bike victims usually call the police after the accident happened. In other cases, others may wait a few days. If you sustained injuries during the accident, seek medical attention before calling the police.
A police report will document the details of the accident. The officer will speak to you and the offending driver. They will also talk to witnesses.
Police reports are vital during insurance investigations. More importantly, a report can show that you weren’t the at-fault party. If the report shifts more blame to you, however, insurance companies can use the report against you.
Additionally, an officer can gather physical evidence and highlight key pieces of evidence. A police report alone will not make or break your case.
It’s important to collect information on your own. In many cases, police reports contain inaccuracies.
If you notice inaccuracies in the report, send a written letter to the officer who drafted it. Submit your request in writing to create a paper trail.
In the letter, highlight the wrong information, and request that they change it accordingly. Be polite when writing the letter, as you want the officer to be on your side.
The report should be as accurate as possible because insurance companies will use the report during investigations. Inaccurate information can slow down the insurance process. Errors can also result in a claim dismissal.
After talking to the police, you should find evidence. When you file an insurance claim, you’ll need extensive evidence to buffer your story. To collect evidence, follow these steps.
- Take extensive photos of any injuries or property damage.
- Place all medical bills in a folder.
- Find witnesses who can support your story.
Medical and photographic evidence will be valuable assets when you file an insurance claim.
File an Insurance Claim
After gathering sufficient evidence, contact your insurance provider to proceed with the claims process. From there, a rep will tell you how to file accordingly. You’ll also deal with the negligent driver’s insurance company, especially if you don’t have insurance.
Regardless, insurance companies will try to reduce your payout. If they can find a loophole, they may also deny your claim outright. Insurance companies can reject your petition, even if you’re entitled to compensation.
The Importance of a Bike Accident Attorney
Without legal counsel, insurance companies are more likely to minimize or reject your claim. Insurance adjusters who represent insurance companies will find ways to save money.
With that, an attorney can help you in the following ways:
- Give you legal advice if you must provide a statement to insurance companies or adjusters
- Convey if you have a strong case when you file a claim
- Help you gather all evidence for your insurance case
- Counter a low settlement offered by insurance companies
The insurance process will involve settlement negotiations. Without an attorney’s help, you may believe that an insurance settlement is an acceptable sum. However, the first offer usually isn’t enough, and insurance reps hope you’ll take the first offer.
Attorneys can enter into extensive negotiations and get you more money in the process. If you have injuries, you’ll need a large payout as you cope with the healing process.
The Importance of Bicycle Safety in South Florida
South Florida is home to some of the highest biking accidents in the state. Broward County, for example, has some of the second-highest bike fatality and bike injuries behind Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade consists of the following cities: Coral Gables, Doral, Aventura, Key Biscayne, and Kendall. Broward County consists of such cities as Westin, Pembroke Pines, Deerfield Beach, and Hillsborough Beach.
Palm Beach County is also among the top ten locales for bike fatalities and injuries. Palm Beach County includes major cities like Boca Raton.
If you live in any of these cities, you’re in more danger if you’re an avid cyclist. However, you can protect yourself by:
- Driving with the flow of traffic
- Yielding to cars when necessary
- Remaining alert
- Wearing reflective lights when cycling at night
You can also wear a bicycle helmet that tracks you when you crash. It’s an emergency tracker that signals your location.
An alert will notify emergency responders if you’re in distress. These helmets can also alert friends and family members if you encounter an emergency.
Reporting a Bicycle Crash the Right Way
To report a bicycle crash effectively, talk to the police. If you have injuries, seek medical attention, and worry about the police report later.
When dealing with the police, ensure the police report is accurate. Then, file with your insurance company and the driver’s insurance company. From there, seek legal counsel to get a higher settlement.
Do you need help filing an insurance claim after an accident? Click here to get proper guidance.