Even though the City of Belligham has worked hard to make city streets safe for cyclicsts, bicycle accidents are a risk for those who live and work here. Bellingham has introduced measures to strengthen awareness of vehicle drivers on how to share the roads with bikes, but in a car versus bike accident, it's nearly always the cyclist who is more injured.
When a bicycle accident occurs, it can be difficult for injury victims to know what to do. The experienced bike accident lawyers at Bill Coats Law have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating injury claims arising from bicycle accidents. Below is a list of things bike accident victims should do after their accident.
Access all necessary medical treatment
The most important step an injury victim can take toward his or her recovery is to ensure that the proper medical attention is administered as soon as the accident occurs and throughout the recovery process. Emergency medical care should be accessed as needed. This may include calling 911 and being transported by ambulance to an emergency department, or it may simply require a visit to an urgent care facility after leaving the scene of the accident. If urgent symptoms are not immediately noted, accident victims should nonetheless consult with their primary care provider to make sure they face no lasting complications from the accident. Latent injuries can sometimes present themselves later after an accident occurs, including TBI. Such injuries should be addressed and treated if and when they arise.
Ongoing medical care is generally required after an accident. This may involve consultations with specialists, medical pain management, physical therapy, or chiropractic services. Accident victims should carefully consult with their providers to determine which specific services are right for them. Injuries which are not properly treated tend to get worse over time. Money should never be a factor in deciding whether or not to get necessary medical treatment after an accident.
Speak with any law enforcement officers who respond to the scene of the accident
When officers respond to the scene of the accident, they will often take statements from everyone who was involved. Give the police your concise statement of the simple facts of the accident. Make sure to ask how to obtain a copy of the police report once it has been completed.
Contact a Bicycle injury attorney as soon as possible
By contacting a bicycle injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident, injury victims can ensure that their right to compensation is secured. This will resolve the stress of paying for treatment and allow an injury victim to focus on his or her recovery. The sooner you seek an attorney’s advice, the better he or she will be able to protect your legal rights. Statements made on the scene of the accident are often used against an injury victim. Insurance companies will often contact victims after an accident to obtain a recorded statement of the facts. While this is a necessary step in the investigative process, it can nonetheless impact a victim’s compensation for injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you navigate these processes without compromising your legal rights.
Document, Document, Document
Tangible evidence such as photographs, video, and audio recordings is often at the center of personal injury litigation. Injury victims should thus be sure to carefully document the accident itself, and any symptoms or losses caused by the accident. With the prevalence of smartphones, it has become increasingly easy to take photographs and video recordings of an accident scene.
Physical injuries – such as bruises, scars, and cuts – should also be documented to support your personal injury claim. Any time missed from work as a result of the accident should be documented to support your claim for lost wages. A personal injury attorney can help you determine what to document and how it should be recorded.
Do not discuss your accident on social media
In today’s instantaneous and digital society, it is highly tempting to immediately update one’s friends with news of an accident or injury. This can compromise your personal injury claim. Any pictures you post or statements you make on social media can be used by the insurance company to devalue your personal injury claim. Refrain from posting any information about the accident or recovery until your claim has been settled or resolved at trial.