It’s important to understand what to do after a bicycle accident, and the important steps you need to take if you suffer injuries during the accident. It is imperative for your health and for your claim that you receive medical attention as soon as possible, speak with a lawyer, and avoid the insurance company’s tactics to pay you less than you deserve.
What You Should Do After a Bike Crash
Get legal help. We will take the necessary steps to understand the circumstances of the case and who was at fault for the bicycle accident. Additionally, we take these cases on a contingent fee basis, so it will not cost you anything upfront for legal fees. We will not charge legal fees until you get compensation, and our fees will come out of the settlement or award. Since you will not have to pay attorney fees until the end, there is no financial reason to delay in getting a law firm on board right away to protect your rights.
Get a medical evaluation. You should get medical help immediately after a bicycle accident. Whether a motor vehicle struck you or you hit the pavement after swerving to avoid a collision, the force of the impact could easily cause a severe injury. The human body is no match for concrete or the great metal hulks that are motor vehicles.
You could have internal injuries or broken bones and not know if for a day or two, by which time it might be too late. Internal injuries can cause lethal internal bleeding or organ failure, and a fractured rib could puncture your heart, lung, or another organ. Get a thorough trauma workup at an emergency room or trauma center right away after a bike accident to discover hidden injuries.
The medical records from your trauma evaluation will be proof that the accident caused your injuries. If you do not go for medical help, the other side can claim that:
- You did not have any injuries, because if you did get hurt, you would need medical care, or
- You did sustain injuries but from something else, not the bike accident. They will say that you are trying to make them pay for injuries you suffered doing something else.
Focus on getting well. Follow your doctor’s orders and complete all the prescribed therapy, regardless of how inconvenient it is for your schedule. If you do not, the other side will accuse you of purposely not getting better.
What Happens If You Were Not Wearing a Helmet
Florida law requires that everyone under the age of 16 who is riding a bicycle must wear a compliant bike helmet, but failure to do so does not automatically make you negligent. Not wearing a helmet can reduce your damages, but only for specific injuries that you could have prevented or minimized if you had been wearing a helmet. Helmet use does not affect fault in the causation of the accident.
Avoid These Insurance Company Tactics
One of the many benefits of having legal representation from the beginning of your claims process is that your lawyer can protect you from strategies the insurance company might use to try to pay you less than you might deserve, such as:
An early, low-ball settlement offer is when the insurance adjuster offers you a quick check “to help you with expenses” while you are recuperating and not able to work. If you look at the fine print, you will see that accepting the check and signing the required waiver releases the insurance company from ever having to pay you more money for this claim. What you thought was the first installment of payments is actually all that you will receive.
The adjuster might ask you to give a recorded statement. The insurance company will then try to take your words out of context to justify paying you less money than you should get for your claim.
If you have a lawyer and the insurance company contacts you with an offer, to request a recorded statement, or for any other reason, tell them to talk to your lawyer. The insurer is not supposed to speak with someone who has legal representation.
To learn more about what to do after a bicycle accident, call the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500 to schedule your free consultation.
Getting Legal Help for Your Bicycle Accident
If you want to learn more about what to do after a bicycle accident and how bicycle laws affect lawsuits, the Montero Law Center can help. We work with people who have suffered injuries in bicycle accidents. We do not charge legal fees until you get compensation. Call us today at 954-767-6500, and we will arrange your free consultation.