Bicycle Accidents and Tips to Protect You During a Claim
Bicyclists have the legal right to “share the road” with vehicles, and they are obliged to respect road rules. But a bicycle accidents are bound to happen. Bicycles are still in a unique and potentially endangered position on roads, streets, and highways.
Some mistakes are irreversible and can cost you a lot. If you are still starting to hire an attorney or try to do things yourself, do not do these three things.
Do not discuss bicycle accidents with the insurance company
In the event that a driver reports an accident to their insurance company, someone will contact you. Whether it is an insurance company or a lawyer who is a representative of the faulty driver, that particular individual does not have your interest at heart. What he/she is doing is to get information that he/she will use against you.
You do not have to talk to them (though you may have to talk to your own insurance companies in some circumstances). Until you are completely cured and ready to negotiate, you should not talk to them.
In one of these conversations, it is quite possible that you have unconsciously recognized the obligation that could affect your chances of fair compensation in the future. It is also possible to communicate the amount of settlement that is not proportionate to the damages they have caused you.
It is also very possible that even if you do not say anything that could harm your case, the insurance company may later misunderstand you and you will hardly prove what you actually said or did say to them.
In the early days and weeks after the accident, you may find it very difficult to know the extent of your injuries and damages. It’s wrong to accept something – or say you’d be willing to accept something. It could underestimate the real damage you will face later.
In most cases, it will be your first meeting with someone who is actively fighting you. If you are not a lawyer specializing in negotiating with insurance companies, it’s best not to talk to them and avoid any adverse mistakes.
Do not sign any authorization
You should be careful never to sign anything that the insurance company has brought to you related to bicycle accidents. Speak with a lawyer first.
Simple documents can contain a small print that you do not understand. If this is the case, not understanding them can lead to major changes that you cannot undo. Take, for instance, if in the fine print, it includes a waiver of future injury claims. This means that you may find it very difficult to claim coverage for injury that develops at a later time. This could also be an agreement that allows the driver’s insurance company access to the entire medical history. Or worse, to disclaim other privacy rights.
Even if you do not hire a lawyer to help you in your file, it is always worth asking a qualified attorney to read all the documents you received. Do this before putting your signature on them. Lawyers are trained to look for, and more importantly, have a better understanding of the implications. Their job is to read and understand the fine print that could adversely affect your case.
Do not make attempt to repair the damaged property or destroy any evidence
In the event of bicycle accidents or crashes, you have the right to be covered for more than one medical injury. There can also be compensated for you because of your damaged property.
However, there cannot be compensation for you for any damages if the damages are not well documented. The moment your claim disappears, so does the evidence.
The best way to keep evidence is to do nothing until the value is properly documented and recorded. A lawyer can help you with this.
If you absolutely cannot wait to fix your bike, helmet or other things belonging to you, be sure to document the damage before fixing it. Take many pictures from many angles so that later you can prove the damage if needed.
In case you have decided to simply replace the damaged items, you should keep the original damaged items as proof. You should also keep any other toll evidence that the accident had on you. This includes any prescriptions, medical supplies (such as braces, cast, etc.), receipts, or medical records. This will help back up the case if there was one.
Tips for bicycle accidents: It’s never a bad idea to talk to a lawyer
Initial consultations with the lawyer are free, reliable, and without obligation. They can help you navigate through the toughest situations that may occur after bicycle accidents. They can also help you avoid the mistakes that could cost you big in the long run.