If you are ever involved in an accident with a car one of the most important things you should do is be aware of what is going on around you. Your actions immediately after the accident could have an effect on how much you are compensated for any injuries you sustained, and any damages to your bicycle. Your actions could also affect the outcome of a lawsuit.
Here’s what you need to do:
Wait for the Police
It is so important that you wait for the police to turn up at the scene of the accident. They need to turn up so that a police report can be filed. You should wait for the police even if you don’t think you have been injured. The truth is that some cyclists do not realize that they have sustained injuries until a few hours after the accident has taken place. This is because they will have adrenaline pumping through their veins and they will not be able to feel much pain if any at all. Once the adrenaline has subsided, the pain is felt. Oftentimes it is at this stage when minor injuries turn into serious ones and problems develop.
Another reason why you should wait for the police is because if you leave the scene you may not be able to identify the driver of the vehicle.
While you may be tempted to negotiate a driver who was involved in the accident you should refrain from doing this. Some drivers say they are sorry about the accident and they accept that they are to blame. However, they may deny that they were negligent at a later date, and they may even say that they were not involved in the accident. Rather than negotiating with someone, wait for the police to arrive so they can detail everything they need to in the police report. An additional reason why you should wait for the police is that there’s always a chance the driver of the vehicle may receive a ticket. If they do, you could find yourself winning your personal injury case.
Get your Side Across
There have been occasions when a police officer takes a statement from the driver of the car, but they fail to take a statement from the cyclist. You should do your best to make sure that your version of the accident makes its way into the police report. You should also make sure that your injuries are listed too, especially as there’s always a chance they could become quite serious. The good news is that even if the police do not allow you to include your version of events, the report can be amended at a later date.
Get the Driver’s and Witnesses Details
If you have the chance, try to get the driver’ name, address, telephone number and driver’s license number. You should also try to get their insurance information and their vehicle license number too. If you are able, get the contact information and names of those who witnessed the accident. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that all of this information will be included in the police report. If you have been injured in the accident and you cannot obtain this information, ask a bystander to help.
Make a Note of your Accident
Make a mental note about how the accident occurred, what happened, when and where it took place. You should also note the weather, traffic, and road conditions too. Write all the information down as soon as you can.
Make a Note of your Injuries
If you have been injured, even if you have sustained minor injuries you should seek medical help. This is because asking for help for your injuries will be used as proof that you were indeed injured. Your medical records will also serve as evidence as they will show how bad your injuries were. Make sure that someone takes photographs of your injuries as soon as possible. Then, when you are able, make a note of all of your symptoms, ensuring that you keep the notes up to date every day or two.
Preserve Any Evidence
Do not attempt to have your bike or any other damaged property fixed. Don’t have anything inspected, and do not wash any of your clothing. Your lawyer should be the only person to see and receive your bike, your helmet, or anything else that was damaged in the accident. You may also want to take photographs of any damaged equipment.
Get Help from a Lawyer
If you are involved in an accident with a car, you may find that the whole case can involve some complex and often confusing legal issues. This is where a personal injury lawyer can help. Try to hire a lawyer that has experience in dealing with bicycle accidents that involve cars. A lawyer such as this can help you to understand how you should proceed with the case, and they can also speak to an insurance company on your behalf. Lastly, a lawyer can represent you in court.
One thing that you should refrain from doing is speaking to the at-fault driver’s insurance company before you hire a lawyer. You could say the wrong thing and it could even be used against you. However, if you have spoken to the insurance company and you are worried about what you said, your lawyer may be able to resolve any issues you have.
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