When’s the best time to get ready for a bicycle accident? If there was a definite or predictable time, our job as bicycle accident attorneys would be a lot easier. Unfortunately, it is impossible to foresee when the calamity of a road cycling accident will occur, so the best course of action is to always be prepared for the worst. This means that the second you clip in the pedal (or clipless), and start rolling your wheels on the asphalt, alongside speeding vehicles, distracted drivers and innumerable road hazards, you should know what you would need to do in the event you are in a road cycling accident.
In Los Angeles County, there are approximately 2,500 road cycling accidents each year that involve severe or fatal injuries. If a bad cycling accident happens, legal intervention will nearly always be necessary. Personal injury attorneys who are experienced and specialize in cycling accident cases can evaluate the facts and present the best liability scenario in order to secure an insurance settlement for reasonable compensation for injuries and damages suffered. Insurance companies and governmental entities are supposed to act fairly, but, in the real world, they do not have your best interests in mind. Instead, they are dedicated to holding on to their own money by keeping premiums high and underpaying/denying injury claims.
The best way to obtain fair compensation for any losses and damages you sustain in a cycling accident is to hire an experienced attorney — one who, ideally, has vast trial experience — with a proven track record of success and recognized by insurance companies, insurance defense attorneys and Judges for the ability to take a case to trial and obtain a jury verdict for more money than an unreasonably low insurance settlement offer.
Before any attorney becomes involved, however, there are a number of ways you can prepare yourself to do everything within your power to protect yourself and your claim. Here is a good checklist to follow:
What to Do & What Not to Do
When You Are In A Road Cycling Accident
1) DO take pictures immediately: of the scene, the location, all vehicles involved and all visible signs of injury.
2) DO locate any and all witnesses who were at the scene of the accident and get their contact information. These witnesses may be critical to proving liability at a later stage of your case.
3) DO get ALL information possible from the other parties involved in the accident: insurance information, phone numbers, addresses, drivers license numbers, etc.
4) DO what you can to get the police to report to the scene. A traffic collision report can be vital in proving fault. Usually, police only come to the scene only if they are told that there are physical injuries, airbags deployed or damage to government property.
5) DO take your time to catch you breath and think as clearly as possible when you describe your injuries to the officer. Go through your entire body from head to toe and explain every part that is injured or feeling any pain. When this information is written up in the police report, it will go a long way in proving the legitimacy of your claims.
6) DO preserve your Garmin/GPS system and your bike, as these will provide objective, physical evidence of what happened.
7) DO go to the emergency room or your primary care physician as soon as possible to get examined. Not only will this provide proper documentation of your claimed injuries, it will guarantee that you discover and receive treatment for all medical issues arising from the accident. Plus, insurance companies will penalize you for any delay in seeking treatment.
8) DO immediately find your insurance paperwork. As a cyclist, your own auto insurance will provide coverage. You need to verify your coverage for uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments and property damage.etc. Making sure you have adequate coverage and knowing your policy limits before an accident happens, will provide the best protection for you and your family.
9) DO NOT speak to an insurance adjuster or give any statement to an insurance company before you have consulted with an experienced cycling accident attorney. Simply tell them to contact your attorney. Your attorney will walk you through the process and take necessary action to protect your rights and prosecute your claims to the fullest extent of the law.
The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. This blog is not intended to, and does not, create an attorney client relationship, an offer of employment or a guarantee of success for clients of The Drexler Law firm. No information or representation contained in this post should be construed as an offer of employment, guarantee of success or the creation of an attorney client relationship with The Drexler Law firm, nor as legal advice from The Drexler Law Firm or the individual author. No reader of this post should act, or refrain from acting, on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer in the corresponding jurisdiction.
There are time deadlines during which a case must be brought, according to your jurisdiction or state, and failing to abide by the jurisdictional statute of limitation rules can result in your case being time-barred.