A serious bicycle accident can change your life in an instant. If you are injured in a bicycle accident and it was not your fault, you may be entitled to receive compensation. Perhaps you were hit by a car that was speeding or didn’t stop at a red stoplight. To increase your chances of being able to file a successful claim, you will need to take certain actions.
Immediately after the accident
You should get off the road and out of danger. Assess your injuries and ask someone to call an ambulance if you are seriously injured. If you are able to do so, ask those who saw what happened if they would be prepared to give witness statements. Get their contact details.
Contacting a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is advisable. If you are looking for a bike accident lawyer in Orlando, Kaufman & Lynd will be able to assist you.
Get contact, number plate and insurance details: You will need the contact details of those involved in the accident as well as car number plate and insurance details.
Take photographs of the scene: If you have a camera phone with you, it is easy to get some photos of the scene. Take photos of your injuries and the damage to your bike. If you are unable to do this, get someone else to do it for you. If you are able to take a video, it will help you to show all the angles.
Keep copies of all reports: The police report acts as supporting documentation when you file a claim. You will also need copies of the ambulance report and any medical reports.
What not to do
There are a few things that you should avoid doing or they could weaken your claim.
- Don’t admit liability.
- Do not get angry. If you aren’t calm and collected, you may miss some evidence that could support your claim.
- Do not get on your bike and ride away. You could put yourself in more danger by trying to ride home after an accident.
After a bicycle accident, you may be able to claim compensation for the following:
- Personal injuries: This includes visible injuries, such as severe bruising or broken bones. It also includes psychological damage as long as this is a direct result of the accident.
- Bicycle damage: You will have to provide written estimates from bicycle shops to claim for damage to a bike. You can claim repair costs if the repair costs are less than what the bike is worth. If the cost of repairs is higher than the value of the bike at the time of the accident, you can claim compensation equal to its value.
- Damage to personal property: If personal items, such as a helmet, cell phone or clothing were damaged, you are entitled to be compensated for these.
- Loss of earnings: If the injuries you sustain in the bike accident prevent you from going to work, you can be compensated for loss of earnings. You will have to provide evidence of your earnings, including your basic pay, bonuses etc. If you are self-employed, your loss of profits will be considered.
- Travel costs: If your bicycle was your primary means of transportation and you are forced to use public transport after the accident, you can claim compensation based on the mileage traveled.
In all the above scenarios, documentation and receipts are required to substantiate your claim. The process is not straight forward and having a personal injury lawyer to assist you will make all the difference.