Are you prepared in the event of a bicycle accident? Remember, safety first! Follow these essential tips before your next cycling trip.
Do you love riding a bicycle? They can be a great way to get around and much better for the environment than driving a car or a motorbike. Most of the time they are also safer and you can avoid being one of the 20-50 million people who are injured in car accidents each year.
However, a bicycle accident can happen. Here’s what you need to know if your bicycle is hit by a car and how you can protect yourself against litigation.
1. Take Care of Yourself
First-things-first, if you are hurt or seriously injured then you should take yourself to the hospital or the medical room as soon as possible. This is more important than trying to fight the claim and gather all the evidence.
Even if you have to pay your medical bills out of your pocket and are worried you might get them back, it’s better to be healthy than injured and stressed.
Take a few days to calm down and to relax. The worst thing you can do is to get angry and frustrated about what happened or the way you were treated by the other party. Let your friends or family take care of everything for now and rest up.
Try running yourself a bath with candles and watching your favorite television shows. Then when you are fully recovered and feel strong again you can begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve.
2. Gather Evidence
You need to start by gathering evidence. This involves getting the registration details of the car or other bicycle that hit you. If your friends or family member didn’t do this at the scene then you could try going back to the scene of the accident.
Is there CCTV you could track down? Who would have access to it? Would the local or state council have it or a private business and could they shot it to you?
You also need to establish if there were any witnesses there who could corroborate your version of events. Can you remember anyone who was there? Did someone come over to help you when they saw you had fallen off your bike?
If so could you make an appeal for them to come forward with information? You could place adverts in local newspapers or in the classified ads section.
Take advantage of technology as well. Go on Facebook and ask people to share your notice asking for witnesses. Also, try posting in Facebook groups specific to your area or the area where the accident took place. You could try Twitter which is a platform that is more focused on sharing information quickly and in a concise way.
Remember when you are looking to gather evidence that not everybody – on the internet or in real life – is going to always be friendly. People who know nothing about your case might try to stonewall you. Ignore then and move on.
Always keep your profiles open so that people can get in touch with you easily for information. Create a page on Facebook and enter groups as your page rather than your profile if this makes you feel more comfortable.
3. Do Your Research
In order to be successful, you need to understand what other people who’ve been through similar experiences have managed to get in terms of compensation.
You can do this by asking wider friend circles and family members if they or anyone they know has been involved in a similar case.
Equally, you can look on the internet for cases to get a general idea of what you can expect to get, in terms of compensation. Be warned though that every case is different and the internet is full of inaccurate information.
As well as trying to establish what the ‘going rate’ is or the ‘going range’ is for similar cases you should also decide what you think is fair.
If your medical bills are high and you’ve also had to take unpaid time off work then the minimum you should hope to recoup is these bills. On top of this, you should also consider the pain and distress you were in and the inconvenience to your family and friends.
4. Hire a Lawyer
The next step is to hire a great layer who can guide you through the process and nail your case for you to maximize your compensation.
Try to hire a specialist bicycle accident attorney rather than a generic lawyer. A specialist will be used to dealing with your cases and should be well known in the industry. They will also have some bicycle accident statistics that might help you win your case.
You can try using a simple Google search to find a lawyer, as many law firms are good at Search Engine Optimization so they are easy to find. Don’t assume that the first bicycle lawyer that you find on Google is going to be the right fit for you.
Always set up a face-to-face meeting with a bicycle accident attorney or a zoom call to see if you trust them and if they can help you.
Remember a key question to ask is whether they have a no-win-no-fee policy as you you don’t want to be even more out of pocket if you lose the case.
Involved in a Bicycle Accident? Then Be Sure to Do Your Homework
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident then the most important thing you can do is your homework. Research bicycle accidents thoroughly and get a good lawyer on your side.
If you are interested in reading more about bicycle accidents or a bicycle hit by a car then be sure to check out the rest of our site.