1. Make sure you and everyone else are safe and report the accident.
- Check to see if anyone needs immediate medical attention. If so, call 911 and explain that you were hurt in a collision with a motorist while you were riding your bike, confirm the location, and describe the injuries you and anyone else sustained. If you have any doubts, ask the dispatcher to send an ambulance.
- If you are experiencing any other physical discomfort, make sure you promptly seek medical treatment. This is essential not only for or your own wellbeing, but if you choose to seek legal recourse later, then seeking medical attention close in time to the collision will be important to your case. Otherwise, one of the defense’s favorite arguments is that they did not cause whatever injuries they caused because if they had then you would have sought medical attention sooner.
- Call the police, even if the accident is minor.A police report can be invaluable to the claim process and help establish who’s at fault. It is important to get the police officer’s information, including department, name, and full badge number so you have it for your records as well as the number of the police report if they take a police report.
2. Document the scene, if you can do so safely.
- If you can do it safely, use your cell phone camera to take pictures of the accident scene, including the positions of the vehicle and your bike before moving them. This is important because it can serve as proof for your case.
- Once you or someone else on the scene has taken pictures, move the car and your bike out of traffic if it can be done safely. After you are out of harm’s way, make sure you get the driver’s insurance and contact information.
- If it’s not safe to take pictures where the collision occurred, then do not do it.
- Be sure to get any information from passengers and any witnesses, as explained below.
3. Write down information, but don’t immediately give a statement to an insurance company and don’t accept blame.
Gather information from others involved in the accident. If you have a cell phone, you can use it to take notes or dictate your thoughts; or even send yourself or us an email detailing what you remember about the bike crash. This will serve as a valuable reminder later on. Here is a template you can copy and paste into a note app in your phone for details about the accident:
- Your speed at the time of impact:
- Your direction of travel:
- Other driver’s direction of travel:
- Other driver’s name:
- Other driver’s license no.:
- Other driver’s license plate no.:
- Other driver’s insurance company:
- Other driver’s insurance policy number:
- Other driver’s make/model/year of vehicle:
- Names and contact information of anyone with you:
- Names and contact information of any passengers in the vehicle:
- Names and contact information of any other witnesses:
- Police officer’s full name:
- Police offer’s badge number:
- Police report number:
Do not sign any document unless the police ask you to do so. If you are hurt and think you might want to retain a lawyer, then do not give a statements to either insurance company until you have contacted one. But, make sure you seek legal representation promptly to avoid any argument by your insurance company that you failed to timely report the collision. Do not answer any questions implying that you were at fault or could have been at fault. Insurance companies often ask seemingly “basic” questions that can compromise your case. This is why it’s important to call a retain the services of a skilled California personal injury and bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. One great option is the lawyers at LawPLA. We offer free consultations so you have nothing to lose. You can call us at (213) 293-7881 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Filing Your Own Claim
- Although we recommend contacting us for assistance, you can contact your own insurance provider and let them know what happened. If you are certain that you want to handle the claim yourself, then you can start the claim process immediately at the scene and add details when things are calmer.
- If you are handling your own claim here are some types of losses that you can ask the driver’s insurance company to provide compensation for:
- Medical bills. If you had to seek medical attention because of the collision, then you could have thousands of dollars in medical bills. These are recoverable from the other side.
- Lost wages. If you have to miss work because of the collision, then you may be entitled to your lost wages.
- Property damage. You are entitled to be compensated for the loss of or damage to your property.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering compensation is for your physical and emotional losses – or more specifically, the loss of enjoyment in your life caused by the injuries you sustained in the bicycle accident. Depending on your injuries, this number can be substantial. Examples include not being able to ride your bike anymore, missed birthdays, missed travel opportunities, not being able to pick up your child, not being able to play sports every weekend, etc. Although money cannot restore these missed opportunities, California recognizes that these items are valuable and allows you to get monetary compensation for them. The lawyers at LawPLA are experts at maximizing this recovery. We have taken offers of a couple thousand dollars for pain and suffering before a client retained us into hundreds of thousands of dollars. LawPLA has successfully recovered millions of dollars for the pain and suffering that our clients have endured. Although this is no guarantee that we can do so for you, contact us today at (213) 293-7881 or send us an email at email@example.com to see how we can help you.
5. Some other things to keep in mind
- Photograph any injuries before they start to heal and take photos as the injuries continue healing. Document the dates for the pictures. Also, keep detailed records about them as they start to heal. These records will be invaluable in helping you maximize the recovery that you deserve.
- Keep a diary documenting your daily activities and how they are affected. For example, if you normally ride your bike in the mornings, but cannot because your knee was injured in the crash, then write that down.
- The more information you have about specific details of the accident, the better, because you will forget the specific details of the accident with time.
- LawPLA has successfully recovered millions of dollars for people injured by someone else’s negligence. We can probably help you too. Call us today at (213) 293-7881 for a free consultation or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! Regardless of the time, you are seeing this, our receptionists are available for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!