It’s no secret that cycling is one of the most enjoyable ways to exercise. It’s also notably effective, and many people are able to get into great shape without putting a strain on their joints.
Unfortunately, getting into a bike accident in South Florida isn’t uncommon, and it’s important to know how you should handle the situation.
Let’s take a look at everything you should keep in mind.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind after a bike accident is to avoid panicking at all costs.
Although this type of incident can easily be traumatizing, it’s imperative that you remain levelheaded during the aftermath. Otherwise, you could end up making irrational decisions that could lead to further complications down the road.
If you find yourself a victim of a bike accident, get to safety as soon as you’re able to and take a moment to mentally register what just occurred. Then, you’ll be able to take the next steps effectively.
Don’t Leave The Scene
Unfortunately, leaving the scene is one of the worst things that you can do, even if the incident was entirely the other person‘s fault.
When you leave, you won’t be able to gather information from the scene or talk to any witnesses who happened to see the incident. You also won’t be able to get the driver’s information.
So, you should fully plan on remaining at the scene of the accident until all of the necessary details have been resolved.
Don’t Take Matters into Your Own Hands
This is another scenario that you need to avoid at all costs.
Bike accidents are much different from car accidents due to the fact that the person on the bicycle has a much higher risk of permanent injury or death. So, it’s not difficult to see why cyclists who have been hit would want to take matters into their own hands shortly after the incident.
Unfortunately, there is a high probability for this situation to quickly spiral out of control.
For example, let’s assume that a cyclist who was struck by a moving vehicle aggressively confronts the driver. The driver may feel threatened by this altercation and choose to defend themselves.
This leads to an entirely separate set of consequences, some of which could be worse than the original incident.
Additionally, it will be difficult to pursue compensation in the future if you attempt to handle the situation on your own. Instead, you should immediately contact the police and provide details of the incident.
Once law enforcement arrives at the scene, they will be able to prevent the situation from escalating any further.
Don’t Neglect The Evidence Around You
It’s imperative that you gather evidence from the scene of the South Florida accident if you wish to have any hope of successfully being awarded compensation from the other party.
This means that you’ll need to take photographs or videos of the damage done to your bike and the driver’s vehicle. You also need to do the same for any visible injuries that you have.
Afterward, you should speak with any witnesses who happened to be at the scene during the accident.
Since it can be difficult to remember exactly what people say, it’s highly recommended that you make an audio or video recording of your conversation with a witness to help document their statement.
This is, of course, provided that you have their consent to do so.
At the beginning of the recording, have each witness state their full name, the current time of day, and the events as they perceived them.
Don’t Forego Medical Attention
Choosing to forego medical attention is never recommended, even if you happen to feel fine after the accident.
Unfortunately, it’s highly possible that you have internal bodily injury that could require immediate intervention by a medical professional. For example, there’s a condition known as ‘talk-and-die syndrome‘ where the affected individual may not feel any effects at all for hours after the initial trauma.
So, it’s imperative that you get in touch with a medical professional as soon as possible. This will also allow you to formally document your injuries, and your medical records can be used in the future to prove the harm you experienced.
Don’t Forget to Call Your Lawyer
In order to build the strongest case possible, you’ll need to contact a bike accident lawyer in Florida immediately after the incident. Even waiting a few days could make things more complicated, especially if the other party decided to seek legal counsel for themselves.
The legal professional that you work with will be able to formulate an appropriate course of action for you to take. To elaborate, you might not have a case at all if you were struck by a vehicle while crossing the road illegally.
However, the situation is far different if you were still on the sidewalk when the driver hit you.
The more information you can provide to your attorney, the better chance that you’ll have a facilitating a positive outcome. So, keep this in mind when documenting and compiling evidence of the incident.
Knowing What to Do After a Bike Accident Cant Seem Difficult
But the above information will make the process far smoother. From here, you’ll be able to ensure that you handle a bike accident appropriately and take the appropriate response.
Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to reach out to us today and see how we can help.
Have you been a victim of a bike accident in the state of Florida? Do you believe that you deserve compensation for your injuries? If so, then you need to get sound legal advice, or you may not get the money you deserve.
If you are considering taking legal action and are confused about what to do next, then look no further. Below we tell you everything you need to know after a bike accident and how to determine if you are entitled to compensation.
Once hit by a driver, the first thing you should do is keep yourself safe. Move away from the road and scene of the accident, taking yourself out of harm’s way. Sit down on a verge or pavement, as if shock sets in you may find that you faint or feel nauseous.
Do not attempt to move your bike. It is a vital piece of evidence and shows where the crash occurred and what happened. Police will want to take pictures of the scene as it is.
Once the police have arrived and spoke to you, do not wait to see a doctor. In fact, you should go immediately to the nearest medical facility. Make sure you get a medical report, as this is also a vital piece of evidence denoting the severity of the injuries to your body.
If you wait days or weeks to see a doctor, it makes your injuries seem less severe. The driver’s legal team could also claim that your injuries were not caused by the accident, but occurred later. If your injuries require ongoing treatment, then you could also end up forking out money that you will not get back in arrears.
Speaking to Police
Speaking to the police is a very important part of the accident, particularly if you are pursuing a bike accident settlement. Even if you do not feel badly injured, you should always wait for the police to arrive and speak to them. You may find later on after the shock has worn off, that you are more injured than you first believed.
To pursue compensation the police must give you a report. This is a full documentation of the accident, detailing everything that occurred. It is a vital piece of evidence that can make a huge difference when it comes to compensation.
Make sure the police record your version of events. You may even have to volunteer this information, as they may simply talk to the driver. Also, make sure that they take photos of the incident, and if not, you should do so.
Speaking to Others
When talking to others after the accident, you should very careful about what you say and do. It can have a huge impact on people’s perception and the evidence you are gathering.
You should talk to the witnesses. They may have a better understanding of what happened or may have got a better view. Ask to take their details so if any complications occur with the case, you can call on them to give testimonials.
You will also need to talk with the driver of the vehicle. The first thing you should get is their details. Names, license numbers, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information are the most important.
If you do not have this information, it is unlikely you will get any compensation from their insurance company. When talking to them, make sure you do not make any admission of fault, even if you believe you may have partly been to blame. Police and medical report will sort out the facts.
You should also avoid any negotiations with the driver. They may have a number of reasons they do not want the police and insurance companies involved. It is unlikely that any of them are legal, and will result in you getting less than you deserve.
Finally, do not take offers from insurance companies. They will always go for a low offer to settle at the start of the proceedings. A good attorney will be able to get you a better deal.
Bike Accidents in Florida
Florida has a “No-Fault” car insurance law that you should be aware of. This means that regardless of who the blame lies on for the accident, you must file a no-fault claim as soon as possible. This can be done through your own car insurance policy or the driver’s policy if you do not have your own.
This insurance will cover part of your damages, lost wages, and expenses. If you wish to pursue financial compensation beyond this amount, then it is up to you to prove the severity of your injuries. A serious injury is classed as any significant scarring, loss of a bodily function, loss of wages or expenses over $10,000, or death.
Are You Entitled to Compensation?
If you believe you have a serious injury, then you must sue the defendant. This is where the experience of a professional attorney is invaluable. Together, you must prove that you were owed a duty of care by the person driving, which they neglected.
Flordia also has a “Pure Comparative Negligence” rule. This means that if you are found to be responsible for your actions, then the amount of compensation you get will be reduced by a designated amount. This is another reason you need to hire a professional attorney.
Find a Lawyer
If you feel you are entitled to compensation and delay, it can affect the outcome of the legal decision. This can result in less compensation or none at all. You need to contact the best law firm possible, as quickly as you can.
Your first stop should be Vivo Law Offices. We are specialists in bike accidents in the South Florida area, including the areas of Westin, Pembroke Pines, Key Biscayne, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, and Hillsborough Beach. Click here for a consultation, and let our experienced staff get you the compensation you deserve!