If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver who caused it. However, the actions you take at the crash scene and in the days after will have a direct impact on the amount of compensation you can recover. Here are six crucial steps you need to take to build a winning case so that you receive the full value of your claim.
#1: Get Prompt Medical Care
The importance of obtaining immediate medical care after your bike crash—even if you do not believe you were hurt—can’t be stressed enough. You protect your health and avoid the risk of your injuries worsening or turning into a life-threatening situation. In addition, you avoid disputes with the insurance company about the cause of your injuries and how serious they are.
#2: Contact the Police
You should call the police at the scene of your accident and obtain a copy of the police report. The report can contain valuable information that can help you prove the motor vehicle driver’s or trucker’s negligence in causing the collision, such as:
- Date, time, and place of the crash
- Details of how the accident occurred
- Statements from you, the other motorist, and witnesses
- Police officer’s conclusions as to who caused the bike wreck
- Any traffic citations issued
#3: Obtain Contact Information
You should obtain the contact information for the driver who struck your bike and their insurance information so that you can file a claim for compensation for your injuries. You also need to know this information to contact witnesses who witnessed the wreck and can help you prove that the motorist caused it.
#4: Preserve Evidence
You should take photos of the damage to your bicycle, the car or truck that struck it, the crash scene, weather and road conditions, your injuries, and anything else you believe would be helpful. If you cannot do this due to your injuries, ask someone to take pictures for you.
You should also preserve your clothes and bike in the same condition they were in right after the bike collision. You may want to show them to the jury if your case goes to trial.
#5: Do Not Accept a Quick Settlement
The insurance company could offer you a quick settlement, especially if you suffered long-term injuries, which is common in bicycle accidents. Avoid the temptation to accept the offer. It is most likely for far less than you deserve.
In addition, you really do not know how serious your injuries are or the amount of damages you should recover so soon after your crash. You should never accept a settlement offer or sign any documents from the insurance company without first consulting with a lawyer.
#6: Hire an Attorney Right Away
One of the most important steps you can take to win your case is to retain an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can collect the evidence you need, help you avoid mistakes that will hurt your case, and go up against the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you are entitled to under Virginia law.
Were you or a family member injured in a bicycle accident? Our knowledgeable and dedicated legal team is here to help. Call our Norfolk office to schedule your free initial consultation today.