Do you enjoy biking? If so, you’re in more danger than you may realize.
South Florida is one of the most dangerous places for bike riders. The region includes such cities as Deerfield Beach, Pembroke Pines, Hillsborough Beach, and Westin. Further, many cyclists ignore the dangers of other cyclists.
This article will show you what to do if you’re involved in a bike accident with another cyclist. Read further to know more.
Seek Medical Care
If anyone sustained injuries, seek medical care first. Bicycle accidents usually don’t involve serious injuries, but you could incur long-term trauma, such as:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
You should also seek medical attention for minor injuries. For instance, scrapes and bruises can cause infections. Moreover, you could have underlying injuries that you won’t feel until weeks later.
If you sustained a head injury, for example, you may have a concussion. A concussion can cause disorientation and memory problems if it’s left untreated. Head injuries are possible if bicyclists don’t wear helmets.
A doctor can assess your injuries. They can also document your injuries for your insurance or court case.
As an injured cyclist, you must provide concrete evidence of your medical injuries. Doctors can provide testimonies about your injures, and your medical bills will constitute sufficient evidence.
Collect Insurance Information
Bike accidents and car accidents are similar. After a crash, collect the insurance information from the other cyclist. Overall, obtain the following details:
- Phone number
- Full name
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance company name
- Insurance policy number
In most cases, you’ll file with the offending cyclist’s insurance company. If the other party has no insurance, file under your insurance carrier if you have an uninsured motorist provision.
If the other party has a renter or homeowners’ insurance policy, then file accordingly. In limited cases, many homeowner policies cover off-site incidents. Bike accidents could qualify for coverage.
Additionally, a police officer may arrive and collect everyone’s information. Perhaps you were unable to collect the other cyclist’s information if you went directly to the hospital.
Therefore, refer to the police report to get the information of everyone involved. A police report may also note witnesses who saw the accident.
A police report isn’t always accurate. Therefore, find witnesses on your own. Witnesses could be other cyclists or motorists. They could also be pedestrians. You need witnesses to support your side of the story.
Insurance adjusters and negligent parties cannot refute the claims of multiple witnesses. Talk to witnesses about what they saw. Get their contact information, as they’ll be useful assets during insurance investigations or court proceedings.
To solidify your case, record them if they give permission. Recording their conversations places them on the record.
Take photos of the damage and your injuries. Photos are key pieces of evidence. You can also record the scene of the accident. Insurance companies cannot minimize concrete photos of damages and injuries.
If you have debilitating injuries, record your ongoing struggles daily. If you must file a lawsuit, a daily diary may be sufficient proof when asking for pain-and-suffering damages.
Without photos or videos, insurance companies can call your claims into question. Concrete imagery will also streamline insurance investigations and paint a clearer picture of what happened.
Don’t Fix Your Bike
The insurance carrier may want to inspect the bike damage before you fix it. Reps may also want to take the bike to a shop of their choosing. Instead, contact a lawyer for further guidance.
Hire a Bike Accident Attorney
Many people think bike accidents don’t require attorney involvement. Without legal counsel, you’re at the mercy of insurance companies and defense attorneys.
Their goal is to reduce your payout or get your claim dismissed. An attorney can ensure you’re treated fairly throughout the process.
- Examples: Insurance adjusters may use tricks to coerce you into admitting fault. They’ll also try to close the case as soon as possible.
Insurance adjusters close cases early to prevent victims from seeking legal counsel. Further, they try to end the process early before you realize the serious nature of your injuries. With an attorney by your side, they’re less likely to use underhanded tactics.
Plus, the adjuster may not know how to value bike damage, as they’re normally accustomed to dealing with car accident claims. Insurance company reps may also struggle to assess the damage. An attorney can sort out disputes and provide alternative solutions.
Also, hire an attorney who is familiar with the local court system. If you’re injured in Boca Raton, for example, find an attorney who knows the Boca Raton court system. Local attorneys are familiar with the local court system.
Plus, lawyers will be valuable aids during insurance negotiations. They’ll negotiate a higher settlement for you. If negotiations fail, they can help you file a civil suit.
File a Civil Suit
Filing a civil lawsuit may also be necessary if the other cyclist’s insurance doesn’t fully cover damages or injuries. When filing a lawsuit, file in the district where the accident occurred. You can also file where the defendant lives.
- Example: If the defendant lives in Key Biscayne, file in Miami-Dade County.
Moreover, attorneys can tell you how to file accordingly.
Handling a Biking Accident the Right Way
To handle a biking accident effectively, seek medical attention, collect insurance information, gather evidence, and contact an attorney. Find a South Florida lawyer who knows how to navigate the local courts. They will also convey what it takes to win your case.
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