Bicycle accidents often result in serious, sometimes deadly, injuries. Lawsuits to recover damages for injuries inflicted in a bicycle accident with a car tend to involve just as many of the same issues that arise in any other auto accident lawsuit. Accountability for bike accident injuries often comes down to the carelessness of either the car driver’s negligence or whether the cyclist was careless and caused or contributed to the accident. Since both cyclists and drivers are required to obey the rules of the road, including traffic laws, they must both be accountable to one’s own safety and the safety of others on the roads. Bicycle accident lawsuits are governed by state law, just like other vehicle accident lawsuits. Your actions immediately after an accident may have a big impact on how much you recover for your injuries and property damage. It can also affect the outcome of any lawsuits that stem from the accident.
Here’s some advice on what to do:
- Wait for the Police to Arrive: Waiting for the police to arrive is important so that they are able to take your statement and file a police report. Even if there are no obvious injuries, they can appear several hours later. Minor injuries can even become serious problems.
- Don’t negotiate with the driver: Many drivers apologize and accept blame at first, but later one, they’ll deny their negligence or even deny being involved in the accident. The police will be able to document everything in the police report, which is good because they may ticket the driver, which can be useful later one if you do end up settling the case with the insurance company.
- Tell your side of the story. It is not uncommon for the police to take a statement from the motorist and not even speak to the cyclist. Try your best to get as much as you can into the police report, including report all of your injuries, no matter how minor they appear to be. These minor injuries can later become more serious. If you can’t get your statements into the report, you can always request to have the reported amended.
- Get information about the driver and any witnesses. If you are able to, get the name of the driver; their address, phone number, driver’s license number, and insurance information. You should also try to get names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Don’t trust the police report to include all of this information.
- Document the incident. Try to take mental notes about the accident
o How it happened?
o Where and when did it occur?
o What were the road, traffic, and weather conditions?
Then, as soon as you can, write all the information down.
- Medical attention is important. Seek medical attention immediately for any injury. Remember, even the minor ones can be potentially life-threatening. Also, because you sought out medical attention, it can be used as proof that you were injured, and the medical records will document the degree of those injuries. Take several photos as soon as possible after the accident and keep a personal record of all the physical symptoms you experience and make frequent entries.
Accidents between bikes and cars involve complex legal issues, so consulting with a personal injury attorney at One Law Group would be the next best step for you to take. An attorney familiar with the laws around bike accidents will be able to understand bicycling and can handle bike accident cases. Our attorneys will be able to:
- counsel you on how to proceed.
- communicate with insurance companies.
- negotiate on your behalf.
You should avoid communication with insurance companies before you consult an attorney. Anything you tell the insurance company could be used against you later and sometimes a letter from an attorney to the insurance company will resolve issues and avoid legal pitfalls. In fact, most injury cases can be settled without the need to go going to trial. At One Law Group in Beverly Hills, our experienced personal injury attorney may be able to use your medical records to prove that your TMJ was caused by the accident. We will provide you help so that you may recover the damages to pay for your losses. Contact One Law Group to schedule your consultation.