If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by the actions of another driver in Southern California, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. What many people do not realize is that this compensation could come from the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Here, we want to discuss how you go about filing an insurance claim after a bicycle accident. In particular, we want to look at four steps to help you successfully file your bike accident claim.
1. Gather Evidence at the Scene
The first thing you need to do is call 911 after an accident occurs. However, if it is safe to do so at the scene of the incident, you can begin gathering as much evidence as possible. This includes the following:
- Photographs of everything you see, including vehicle damage, injuries, traffic and weather conditions, causes of the crash, and more.
- The name and driver’s license number, as well as the insurance carrier information, of any other driver involved.
- The make, model, and year of the vehicle
- The license plate number of other vehicles involved
- The names and contact information of any eyewitnesses
2. Seek Medical Care and Document Your Injuries
You need to seek medical care as soon as possible. Regardless of whether you feel any actual pain right away, please understand that the signs and symptoms of some bicycle accident injuries may not appear until hours or even days after the crash occurs. Never refuse medical care at the same of the crash.
By getting evaluated by a doctor, not only are you ensuring that your injuries are treated, you are establishing a solid link between the injuries and the crash. This is important information for insurance carriers to see.
Additionally, it is important that you continue all follow-up medical treatment that your doctor recommends until after you have reached maximum medical improvement. If you discontinue care, this can be taken as a sign by insurance carriers that you were not really injured.
3. Report the Incident to Your Insurance Carrier
If you have an auto insurance carrier, you should report the incident to your carrier. If you do not have auto insurance, you can make a claim directly with the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver. However, you do not need to go into much detail when you make your initial report. The insurance carrier just needed to know where the accident occurred and who was involved. Let them know that you are seeking medical care for your injuries, but do not go into detail about your injuries.
4. Protect the Value of Your Claim
You need to treat a bicycle accident with the same weight as any other vehicle accident. All too often, motorists believe that colliding with a bicycle does not count as a real crash. However, bicyclists regularly sustain severe injuries that require extensive medical care. If you sustain a bicycle accident injury, keep all of your paperwork, and keep track of every expense that occurs as a result of the crash. You need to speak to a skilled bicycle accident lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible so you have an advocate by your side handling every aspect of your claim.