3 Things You Should Know if You Get Involved in a Bicycle Collision
With more people embracing the use of bicycles for transport and exercise, the number of bike-related accidents will likely increase. According to Statista reports, there are over 42.78 million bike riders in the U.S., with approximately 900,000 cyclists from New York. Bicycle collisions can have lasting effects on the general health and well-being of accident victims.
Bicycle accidents cause injuries to the cyclist and damage the bicycle. If such happens to you, a bicycle collision attorney can offer legal advice and help you file a compensation claim. Below are a few things to do after a bicycle accident.
What to do Immediately After a Bicycle Crash
Bicycle accidents are generally different. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not perform all the following actions. Nonetheless, you should:
- Call 911
You should call the police immediately after the collision. Most states, including New York, have laws that guide reporting of accidents. In New York, you should call 911 if the accident leads to serious injuries, deaths, or property damage worth more than $500.
- Get medical help
You should request an ambulance during the 911 call. You shouldn’t ignore minor injuries, as they can worsen over time. Getting medical attention also creates a record of injuries, which is essential when filing a personal injury claim. A medical professional will evaluate the immediately visible and hidden injuries. You should also take photos of your accident injuries.
- Ensure the police create an accident report
You should ensure the police note down the details of the accident. The police may not create an accident report, especially for minor injuries. Most victims also mislead the police by declaring they haven’t suffered any injuries. Therefore, you shouldn’t say no to police inquiries about your injuries. In some situations, injuries can take days to become apparent.
- Take the drivers’ information
The police officer should help you note the driver’s details. This includes the name, address, license plate number, and insurance details. You should also willingly share your details if the other driver believes you contributed to the accident.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you should take witness reports and document the accident scene. Request for contact information from anyone who witnessed the accident. Their statements can help you build a strong personal injury case. Similarly, you should take pictures of the crash scene and note down important details of the crash.
How to Get Compensation After a Bike Accident
If the driver was obviously at fault for the accident, you would most likely receive a call from their insurance company. However, talking to the insurance company without a lawyer isn’t prudent. Insurance companies often try to convince accident victims to accept less compensation. Therefore, you should hire a bicycle accident lawyer to handle communication and negotiations for compensation with the party at fault and their insurer.
Which Compensation Can You Receive After a Bicycle Accident?
Bike accident victims can recover the cost of injuries and other expenses from the party at fault. You can file for compensation for the following:
- Medical bills – your claim should include the medical costs of treating minor or severe injuries. This includes the cost of ER visits, diagnostic tests, emergency surgery, and hospitalization.
- Physical property damage – you should also demand compensation for damaged property. Apart from bike damage, you should also seek compensation for damages to your cell phone, helmet, backpack, glasses, watch, and other properties.
- Emotional pain and suffering – proving claims for pain and suffering is quite difficult. Unlike medical bills and property damage, which are documented, putting a value on the emotional pain and suffering caused by the accident is difficult. However, an experienced attorney can help you quantify these damages.
- Punitive damages – are directed to the negligent party as a punishment for their careless driving.
- Lost wages – bike injuries can affect your ability to perform work duties, forcing your employer to terminate your contract. Your personal injury claim should include these costs.
The Bottom Line
Bike collision accidents are dangerous and can lead to severe injuries. Fortunately, bike accident victims can file and receive compensation for injuries and damages sustained. Like other personal injury claims, recovering damages after bike accidents is difficult and time-consuming. A lawyer can help you choose between filing an insurance claim and filing a civil lawsuit to claim compensation.