What you do at the scene of a bicycle accident and immediately following the accident is vitally important if you’ve been in a bicycle accident involving a car or a truck.
It can be terrifying to be in a bicycle accident involving a car, but it’s very important for you to keep your head on straight after your accident. The actions you take immediately after your accident can hugely impact the amount of financial compensation you may be able to recover for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, bike damage, and more.
Your actions might also affect how any lawsuits regarding the accident go. Here’s what you should do after a bike accident:
1. Call the Police and Wait for Them to Arrive
You should call the police and wait for them to arrive after your bicycle accident. It is very important to wait for their arrival because it’s important that a police report be filed – even when you don’t think that you have been hurt.
Some bicycle accident victims won’t realize their injuries until many hours after their bicycle accident. And injuries that you think are just minor injuries can sometimes develop later on into significant, permanent issues. In addition, if you prematurely leave the scene of the accident, it’s possible you’ll never identify the driver who was at fault for your injuries.
Don’t engage in negotiations with the at-fault driver. A lot of drivers in bicycle accidents will accept blame and say they’re sorry at first but deny they were at fault later on or even deny that they were at the scene of the accident.
Wait for the police to arrive so that everything can be documented in a police report. The police might also give the at-fault driver a ticket, which can be extremely helpful in settling an insurance claim.
2. Make Sure Your Story Ends Up in the Police Report
Police officers will sometimes take the driver’s statement but not the cyclist’s statement. And sometimes, a police report might even say the accident was your fault.
Do whatever you can to make sure your version of events ends up in the police report. Be sure to report any injuries you have, even the very minor ones, as those minor injuries might worsen into serious injuries later on.
You can get the report amended later on if the police don’t include your side of the story in their police report.
3. Obtain Witness and Driver Contact Information
Get the following from the at-fault driver if you can:
- Phone number
- Vehicle license number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance info
Get the contact information and names of any witnesses to the accident as well if you can.
Do not assume that police reports will contain all this info, as they may not. Ask bystanders to get this information for you if you can’t because of your injuries.
4. Document Everything
It is important to document everything about the accident and your injuries.
If possible, take mental notes about your bicycle accident. What happened? Where did it happen? How did it happen? When did it happen? What were the weather, traffic, and road conditions like? Write everything down once you’re able to.
You should seek medical attention immediately after a bicycle accident, even if you don’t think you were injured or if you think your injuries are only minor injuries. You need to seek medical attention so that your injuries can be documented.
If you wait too long to do this, insurance companies can claim that something other than your bicycle accident caused your injuries or that your injuries must not have been as severe as you claim. If this happens, insurance companies won’t offer to pay you for your injuries.
Seeking medical attention and getting your injuries documented serves as proof of your injuries. Your injuries’ extent will be documented by any medical records. Take several pictures of your injuries as quickly as you can after an accident. Keep an injury symptom journal and regularly update it.
5. Preserve Any Evidence
Don’t have your bicycle or any other property damaged inspected after an accident, and don’t try to fix anything. Do not wash any clothing you wore when the accident happened. Don’t send your helmet, bicycle, or anything else to anyone except experienced bicycle accident lawyers. Take lots of pictures of any equipment that was damaged.
6. Consult With Experienced, Expert Bike Accident Lawyers Like Nadrich & Cohen
Bicycle accidents that involve cars are often accompanied by complicated legal issues. You should consult with experienced personal injury lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen. We are cyclists, and we have been representing cyclists since 1990. We have recovered over $350,000,000 on behalf of clients in that time.
We can give you advice regarding how you should proceed, we can negotiate with insurance companies for you, and we can represent you in any lawsuit that may be necessary to recover the financial compensation you deserve.
Don’t talk with insurance companies before talking with a lawyer. Insurance companies can use anything you say against you in order to pay you less or nothing at all. Sometimes, all it takes is a letter from a lawyer to convince an insurance company to pay you what you deserve for your injuries. Most of our cases settle out of court because insurance companies know it’s a waste of time and money to take us on in court.
We can hire experts in bike accident cases to investigate your accident if it’s necessary for your case. That expert could take pictures of your accident scene, obtain measurements of skid marks, diagram or measure the scene of the accident, and speak with witnesses.
We don’t charge a fee unless we win your case, and we can get you to doctors on a lien, meaning they won’t charge you until your case is over.
Frequently Asked Questions
The at-fault party in an accident involving a bicycle and a car is whoever was negligent.
Negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care in order to prevent yourself or others from being harmed. In other words, if someone caused an accident between a bicycle and a car by not being reasonably careful, they were at fault for the accident.
Acting and failing to act can both be negligent, depending on the circumstances. Negligence is not behaving as a reasonably careful person would under the same circumstances. Thus, doing what a reasonably careful person wouldn’t do in the same situation is negligent, as is not doing what a reasonably careful person would do.
California law allows those injured by someone else’s negligence to recover financial compensation for their injuries from the negligent party. However, in order to do so, plaintiffs in California must be able to prove the following:
• A defendant was negligent
• The plaintiff was injured
• The defendant’s negligence substantially caused the plaintiff’s injuries
Experienced, expert bicycle accident lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen can help you gather the evidence and hire the experts necessary to prove that your bicycle accident was caused by the negligence of the driver of a car.
Our bicycle accident attorneys are ready to fight to protect your legal rights and help you obtain the largest possible financial recovery for your injuries.
Each individual bike accident has its own set of circumstances, so each individual bike accident claim will be worth a unique amount.
The amount that you may be eligible to recover in a bike accident claim depends on how many financial losses you have suffered as a result of the accident, as well as how the accident has impacted your everyday life on both a physical and mental level.
You may be able to obtain financial compensation for the following after being injured in a bike accident:
•Medical bills: You will probably incur medical bills if you are injured in a bicycle accident. California law allows you to recover the cost of any medical bills from the negligent party who caused your accident, including any medical bills you’ve already incurred, as well as any medical bills it can be reasonably estimated you will incur in the future.
•Lost wages: Your bicycle accident injuries may cause you to miss time from work. If so, California law allows you to recover any lost wages from the negligent party who caused your bicycle accident.
•Loss of earning capacity: Your bike accident injuries may have given you a permanent disability that means you can no longer work or can no longer do the job you did before your accident. California law allows you to recover financial compensation for any diminished earning capacity from the negligent party that caused your bike accident.
•Pain and suffering: Bicycle accident injuries can be very painful and very emotionally debilitating, and you may be eligible to be compensated for any physical pain and mental suffering caused by your bike accident.
•Loss of enjoyment of life: Your bicycle accident injuries may have caused you to be unable to enjoy your favorite hobbies or activities that you were able to enjoy before your accident. If this is the case, you may be able to recover financial compensation for the loss of the enjoyment of life.
Of course, the amount of money you’ll be able to recover in a bicycle accident claim will depend on the severity of your injuries, as more severe injuries tend to lead to you being eligible to recover more money regarding all the above examples.
With bike fatalities reaching a 25-year high in California, any bicycle accident resulting in the death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence is also eligible for wrongful death damages.
Experienced bicycle accident lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen can go over your case with you during a free consultation and explain to you exactly how much your case may be worth.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, your injuries may be covered by both your own auto insurance policy as well as the policy of the driver who hit you.
If your auto insurance policy includes underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, this policy may compensate you for your injuries if the driver who hit you was uninsured, underinsured, or if you were the victim of a hit-and-run.
If your auto insurance policy includes coverage for medical payments, this part of your policy may also compensate you for your injuries.
However, in most cases, the majority of financial compensation you will be able to obtain in a bicycle accident claim will come from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The thing is, the other driver’s insurance company isn’t going to want to pay you what you deserve for your injuries. They won’t offer you a fair settlement if you aren’t represented by a lawyer who can successfully sue them over a lowball offer, and they’ll try to trick you into admitting fault for your own accident or into admitting that your injuries aren’t as bad as you claim.
You need strong, experienced bike accident lawyers like Nadrich & Cohen representing you. You need bike accident attorneys who can force the insurance companies to offer you a fair settlement by filing a lawsuit if necessary and who can take over all communications with the at-fault party’s insurance company so that you don’t have to worry about accidentally incriminating yourself and thus lowering the value of your claim.
Contact the Expert Bicycle Accident Lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen Today
Nadrich & Cohen represents bicycle accident victims on a contingency fee basis, meaning we don’t charge a fee until and unless we obtain a recovery. Our only fee is a percentage of any recovery obtained. You are not charged a fee if we don’t win your case.
Contact us today for a free consultation or text us from this page if you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, as you may qualify for financial recovery.