If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a bicycle accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver, then there are various steps that you need to take in order to successfully recover compensation for your losses. Here, we want to walk through the steps that you can take in the immediate aftermath of a bicycle accident as well as in the days and weeks that follow to help ensure that you are properly cared for every step of the way.
1. Check for Injuries
The first thing that you have to do after any type of vehicle accident, including a bicycle accident, is check yourself and others for injuries. Your health and well-being are the number one priority. If there are any injuries, we strongly recommend that you not move around significantly unless you are directly in danger of being struck by a vehicle.
2. Call 911
Regardless of whether or not there are any injuries, you need to call 911 after a bicycle accident occurs. This is particularly true for accidents that involve other vehicles. Law enforcement officials will come to the scene, and so will fire and EMS personnel. The police will fill out an accident report, and this will be a crucial piece of evidence to use for your insurance reporting requirements. If there were any injuries, let EMS officials treat the injuries and take the injured individual(s) to the hospital.
3. Seek Medical Treatment
We keep bringing up medical care for a reason. It is crucial for bicycle accident victims to seek medical treatment regardless of whether or not they feel any immediate pain after a collision occurs. The signs and symptoms of some crash injuries may not even appear until hours or days after the bicycle accident occurs. Not only will seeking medical care ensure a crash victim’s well-being, but it will also establish a solid link between the injuries and the collision. This will be important when it comes to trying to secure compensation from insurance carriers.
4. Report to Insurance
You will need to report the incident to your insurance carrier or to the insurance carrier of the at-fault party as soon as possible. However, you need to be very guarded with what you say to the insurance carriers. Your initial report does not have to go into much detail. All the carrier needs to know is that the incident occurred, where it occurred, who was involved, and whether or not you are seeking medical treatment.
5. Call an Attorney
We recommend that you reach out to a skilled bicycle accident lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible. An attorney can get involved and take over every aspect of the claim on your behalf. This includes communication with insurance carriers, the at-fault party, and any legal teams that get involved. A lawyer will gather all evidence needed to prove liability and file the insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
6. Gather All Documentation
We want you to keep track of all documentation related to the bicycle accident. This includes any property damage expense receipts, medical bills that come in, household out-of-pocket expenses you incur, and more. Additionally, we recommend that you keep a daily journal that keeps track of what you have been through as well as your level of pain and suffering each step along the way.
7. Continue Medical Care
You must continue medical treatment until your doctor says that you no longer need care. If you choose to discontinue medical care against a doctor’s advice after a bicycle crash occurs, this could jeopardize your insurance claim or your credibility with a personal injury jury.