If you love to cycle, the last thing you want to think of is the possibility of getting into an accident, but it’s necessary if you’re going to take the correct precautions to avoid it. If you take the time to reflect on a previous accident or think ahead, you’ll see that there are two main concerns that arise after getting involved in a biking accident.
The first is one’s safety which is why you should check yourself for injuries before you do anything else. The second is your legal right to proper compensation. For that, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind if you ever get involved in a bike accident. If you follow those steps, you’ll be guaranteeing yourself the insurance claim you deserve.
Wait for the police
When involved in a collision where damages have occurred, it’s your legal obligation to report it to the police and wait on-site until they have arrived. In some cases, you might not feel the pain of an injury due to the adrenaline pumping away in your bloodstream. That’s why it’s recommended that you wait for the cops to document the accident regardless of whether or not you have sustained any injuries. If you leave the site of the accident, there is nothing you can do to prove that an accident has occurred which can be a problem if you’ve decided to sue or collect insurance money.
Get the driver’s information
While it’s not recommended to negotiate with the driver before having a police report written, it’s important that you obtain some data from them. For starters, you need their contact information and their driver’s license number. In addition, make sure to get their vehicle’s license plate number, the make and model of the vehicle, and their insurance policy number. When filing an insurance claim, such detailed information will help you build a strong case that will bring you a higher settlement.
Talk to the police
Once the cops have arrived, make it a point to talk to them. If they don’t come to take your statement, seek them out yourself and make sure they do. In most cases, police members lack the knowledge when it comes to cyclists and the Vehicle Code according to these experts, which is why it’s essential to make sure that your statement is included in the report.
That being said, there’s no need to worry about your case being dismissed because experienced bicycle accident lawyers know how police reports can sometimes favour the drivers. As long as you get your statement in there, your voice won’t be dismissed. Remember, a police report is an essential piece of evidence.
Document the accident
This step is crucial, but it will always depend on your physical and mental state after the accident. If immediate medical attention is not required, take your phone and take as many pictures as you can of the damages and the whole scene. If you need to record your account of the events, do that, as well. Keep in mind that, in cases of trauma, we are prone to forgetting certain details, so make sure you take your own account as soon as you can. If you’ve sustained any injuries, no matter how minute, take pictures of them, too. Make sure you take pictures from a distance and up close to document the details while removing any doubt about them being fabricated.
Obtain witness accounts
If there are any bystanders around, shop owners, or anyone whom you think saw the accident, don’t hesitate to go and ask them to recount what they saw. If they agree to it, record them on camera, and make sure they state their full name and the date. If you have a piece of paper, you can also record their statement on that, then have them sign and date it.
Keep in mind, however, that you should not just seek out any witness, but ones who are considered reliable. In other words, friends and family are out of the question, and so is anyone who might benefit from you winning the case. Children’s testimonies are unlikely to be taken seriously, and a good lawyer might be able to poke holes in the testimony of someone who wears glasses.
Seek medical attention
After you’ve provided a statement for the police and documented the accident, even if you haven’t suffered any visible injuries, go see a doctor for a check-up. Not all injuries are visible, like internal bleeding, and some are too subtle to be taken seriously until they get severely worse. Going to a doctor will help you guarantee that you’re in a good condition. Plus, having a diagnosis report, an invoice, and a prescription will add to the legitimacy of your claim.
Now that you have a better understanding of what needs to be done, aside from checking one’s self for injuries, most of what’s there to be done after an accident is related to documenting the various aspects and accounts of the events. For some, this may sound like a desperate way to try and make some money off of one’s own tragedy, but it’s far from. There are hefty financial consequences to an accident, from hospital expenses to damaged property, and the days you’ll be taking off work as a result of an injury. Pursuing an insurance claim is only fair to you, don’t forget that.
Featured image: Victor Xok/Unsplash