What do You do After a Bicycle Accident?
Motor Vehicles Accidents - July 16, 2021
The last thing any person expects when they hit the road on their bicycle is that they will be involved in an accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are not uncommon, and those involved need to know what steps to take to ensure that they are able to secure full compensation for their losses.
Here, we want to list some simple steps that can be taken in the immediate aftermath of a bicycle crash and in the days and weeks that follow the incident to help make the insurance claims process go a little smoother.
1. Call the Police
Anytime a person is involved in a bicycle accident, the police need to be called. The police are responsible for conducting a preliminary investigation into the incident, and they often determine liability. Additionally, a 911 dispatcher can ensure that EMS personnel and fire officials also come to the scene if they are needed.
2. Seek Medical Care
It is critical for any bicycle accident victim to seek immediate medical care, even if the injuries seem relatively minor. By seeking immediate medical care, a crash victim is accomplishing two goals at once – ensuring that day are cared for by a medical professional and establishing a link between the crash and their injuries. Failure to seek medical care right after a crash occurs could result in an insurance carrier delaying or denying the claim altogether.
3. Gather Evidence
If it is safe to do so at the scene of a bicycle crash, and if those involved do not have to seek prompt medical attention, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible. This can include using a cell phone or another type of camera to take photographs of everything – bicycle damage, injuries, vehicle damage, traffic and weather conditions, and more.
Additionally, it is important to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses. The name of any other drivers or passengers involved in the collision should be written down, along with driver’s license numbers and vehicle insurance information.
4. Report to Insurance Carrier
As a bicycle accident victim, you should report the incident to your insurance carrier very soon after the crash occurs. Your insurance carrier can help when initiating contact with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. However, when you make your initial report, you do not need to go into much detail. All your insurance carrier needs to know is that a crash occurred, where it happened, and whether or not you have sought medical care.
5. Call an Attorney
You should contact a skilled bicycle accident lawyer in Chicago who can help with your case. An attorney can get involved very quickly in order to obtain and preserve the evidence needed to prove liability. Additionally, an attorney will make sure that you are evaluated by medical and economic professionals in order to help properly calculate your total expected losses.
6. Continue Medical Care
You should continue all medical care recommended by your doctor. If you choose to discontinue care after a bicycle accident before you have reached what your doctor considers maximum medical recovery, this could jeopardize your claim. Additionally, you should never accept an insurance settlement until after you have reached maximum medical improvement.