With cycling fatalities climbing at an alarmingly rapid pace, both drivers and cyclists have started to take cycling safety much more seriously.
And while advancements like the additions of bike lanes to major cities have certainly helped, nearly half a million cyclists are injured every year in the United States alone.
If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, it can be difficult to manage the emotional stress — not to mention the pain and the expense of the injuries you’ve sustained.
But if you’ve been in a bicycle accident while in the county of San Diego it’s important that you understand what you should do next. Also, when you are physically capable to do so, call a San Diego Personal Injury Attorney.
That’s what this post is all about.
Whether you’re a cyclist hit by a car, vice versa, or if you’ve collided with someone riding a bike while you’re also cycling, you need to read on. We have the best bicycle accident attorneys in San Diego.
We’ll tell you how to protect yourself — and how to build a good case if needed.
1. COLLECT INFORMATION AT THE SCENE
Whether you’ve collided with a pedestrian, a car, or another cyclist, we understand that the shock of getting into a bike accident can make it hard to think clearly.
Knowing what you should do at the scene of a bicycle accident before one even occurs is essential.
First of all, make sure that you’ve moved your bike to safety. This won’t just protect your life, it will also keep others on the road safe.
Once you’re certain you’re in the clear, assess yourself for injuries. If you have visible ones, take as many photos or videos as you can of them.
Also, record all of the damage that was done to your bike or your vehicle. Photograph yourself to show you were wearing a helmet.
Make sure you collect the license plate number and contact information for anyone involved with or witness to the crash. Ask these witnesses if they’d be willing to testify in court on your behalf if needed.
Then, contact the police so that they can issue an accident report. Make sure you get the contact information of the officers on the scene and understand what, if any, tickets were handed out.
Above all, resist the urge to get into a confrontation or discuss “blame” in any way with other people at the scene.
It’s incredibly easy for a driver to blame a person on a bike for the accident, and to use your words against you later.
2. START GATHERING DOCUMENTATION
Once you’ve made it out of the scene of the bike accident, it’s time to start collecting even more evidence in the event that you need to go to court.
First of all, make sure that you get in touch with your insurance companies as soon as possible after the crash.
This way, you’ll be able to determine the damages that you may be able to recover and understand which of your medical bills may be covered by insurance. Hire our personal injury attorneys in San Diego today.
However, it’s important to be aware that many insurance companies will attempt to trick you into settling for less than you’re actually entitled to after a crash. Don’t agree to any sort of insurance payout until you’ve spoken with an attorney.
Also, be certain that you’re collecting the documentation that you need to build your case.
This includes things like your medical bills, any doctor’s reports or x-rays you were given, and copies of your insurance claims. If you had any repair work done to your bike, make sure that you keep copies of those receipts, as well.
Additionally, you will need a copy of the police report, as well as documentation of the date, time, and place of the accident in general.
3. MEET WITH A LAWYER
Sometimes, in spite of your best efforts to come to an agreement with those involved in your bike accident, the other parties are determined to take you to court.
When this happens, you shouldn’t attempt to face them alone.
First of all, working with an accident lawyer will help you to ensure that you’ve collected all of the right evidence and paperwork from the police and your insurance companies.
A legal professional may also be able to help you to increase the overall size of your settlement. They can call on their industry expertise, experience, and even connections to strengthen your case — something you wouldn’t have been able to do on your own.
Additionally, if you’re a cyclist hit by a car, a legal professional will also help to make sure you’re filing court proceedings to the letter. It’s incredibly easy to have a simple misfiling of evidence or a misinterpretation of courtroom rules destroy your entire case.
When in doubt, if you’ve been injured in a bike accident, it’s always best to have a lawyer on your side.
4. NEED LEGAL REPRESENTATION AFTER A BIKE ACCIDENT?
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand how to proceed after you’ve been injured in a bike accident.
Whether you collided with a pedestrian, another cyclist, or a vehicle, you need to get the settlement you’re entitled to. You also need to be certain that you aren’t faced with criminal charges in the process.
Your future is simply too important to take a gamble on — and so are your finances.
If you’ve been involved in any type of bicycle accident, we want to help you to win your case. Spend some time on our website to learn more about our services and past cases.