Why It’s a Good Idea to Seek Legal Help After a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents can be very serious for the cyclist, but some bicyclists fail to seek legal help after their accidents. Yet like the victims of other accidents on the road, bicyclists are entitled to recover compensation for their injuries after an accident. They often don’t realize that your own auto policy can provide insurance coverage in situations where the liable party’s coverage is inadequate. It’s important to have an experienced attorney who can help guide you through this process.
Importance of Seeking Medical Attention
Before doing anything else, seek medical attention. After a bicycle accident, adrenaline can mask the extent of your injuries. The most common injuries after a bicycle accident are contusions and abrasions, lacerations, fractures, and head injuries, which can be very traumatic. You may feel that you don’t need immediate medical attention, but that is almost always a bad idea. First, it’s not smart medically. If you wait to seek medical attention, you can make your injuries worse and your recovery much more difficult. But in addition to your well-being, waiting to seek medical attention can hurt your case should you need to seek damages after the accident. If the insurance company discovers that you delayed medical treatment, they will automatically claim that those injuries were not caused by the accident, and shouldn’t be included in the claim.
Understanding Your Legal Rights
It’s important to understand your legal rights as a bicycle rider on the road. You have a right to be on the road so long as you are following the rules of the road, which means riding as far to the right as “practical” and following traffic signals. Other drivers have a responsibility to share the road with you. Bicycle riders are considered vulnerable road users and motor vehicle drivers have a duty to show reasonable care to bicycles. Under Ohio law, vehicles that pass a bike must give the bicyclist at least three feet of clearance.
Bike accidents often result because of poor choices made by a vehicle driver, and almost always the vulnerable bicyclist pays the bigger price. Having a bicycle accident attorney can help you understand your legal rights after an accident and will help you seek the compensation you need to move forward.
Documenting the Accident
Your first priority after an accident needs to be medical treatment, but getting the right documentation after an accident can help determine your settlement. This is where having legal representation is critical. Your attorney will help gather all the documentation and evidence that is necessary to demonstrate liability and support your damage claim after your bike accident. This can include taking statements from witnesses, collecting information on the other driver involved in the accident, obtaining photo and video evidence, and gathering your medical records and bills.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are businesses who need to protect their bottom line, and that means offering the lowest settlement they can in the hopes that you will accept. Many insurance companies will try to get you to sign a quick settlement by implying that if you don’t accept their initial offer, you may get nothing. They know you are stressed, injured, and don’t understand the legal process so they try to take advantage of that. When you have an experienced bicycle accident attorney on your side, they can handle the negotiation on your behalf. A personal injury attorney has the experience and expertise to negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement.
When you have an experienced attorney, they know the bike laws that apply to your claim. They also know what damages you can seek, how to gather evidence that supports those damages, how to negotiate with the insurance companies, and how best to get you a fair settlement. When you have an attorney working for you, you are far more likely to get a settlement that allows you to heal physically and financially and move forward. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident while abiding by the rules of the road, we can help you get a fair settlement. Contact Arthur Law Firm (419) 782-9881 right away for a free consultation.