A bike collision with a car, truck, or road hazard can lead to grave injuries. When you’re hurt in a collision, you have the option to file a personal injury claim with the driver’s insurer.
These tips will help you construct a strong bike accident claim, and be fairly compensated for the damages you’ve suffered:
Act at the scene.
First and foremost, call 911 and report your accident, just as you would report any auto accident. Obviously, if you’ve had any injuries, have them bring in an ambulance. Be sure to note down the personal and insurance details of the driver.
There are three critical steps you must take in this situation: fist, never discuss fault (you might say something that can be used against you when you negotiate a settlement); second, look for witnesses and let the police get their statements; and third, get medical attention as soon as you can (pain and underlying serious injuries are easily muted by the adrenaline rush that comes with emergencies). One more reason to get treated immediately is to prevent erring motorists from claiming that other events caused your injuries. After the police has taken the statements of any witnesses, ask them politely to give you their contact information.
Take as many photos as you can of the collision scene using your cellphone, including your bike, the driver’s vehicle and all broken parts, if any. If the accident damaged other objects like guardrails and street signs, take snapshots of those too. Very importantly, take pictures of any body parts or garments that have been bloodied as a result of the accident.
Another crucial thing you can do is listen out for any “res gestae” statements the motorist may make at the scene of the accident. These are statements that can possibly be admitted as evidence against them, such as “Sorry I didn’t see you” or “It’s my fault.” If you collided with an object on the road, like a broken pavement, take note of the particular area where the accident occurred, using landmarks like a street sign or a building. This will help you find out whether the state or your local municipality was negligent with roadway maintenance.
As soon as this is known, you can file an injury claim with the concerned division of government, but make sure to do it fast. You will usually have 30 days to do this, or you lose the chance to be heard.
Work with a personal injury lawyer.
Finally, the most important step you can take when filing an injury claim is hiring a good workers’ compensation lawyer. A personal injury attorney knows the nitty gritties of making a successful claim, especially when you’re going up against insurance companies that will move hell and high water to keep their payouts low.