If you or a loved one have been injured or sustained property damage in a bicycle accident, there are various steps that you can take to help ensure your well-being along with the viability of a claim against another party. We understand that the aftermath of a bicycle collision can be confusing, and these steps are just general guidelines. However, we encourage you to try and check off as many of these steps as possible, well also keeping in mind that you should speak to your attorney as soon as possible.
The number one priority after a bicycle accident occurs is for any person involved to seek medical care. In the immediate aftermath of a crash, it is often not possible to understand the true extent of any injuries. Sometimes, injury symptoms may not appear until hours or even days after the crash. Prompt medical care is essential to uncover the unseen injuries that may have occurred, and this also helps establish a strong link between any injuries and the bicycle crash.
Nearly every vehicle accident in the state of California must be reported, and this is also true for bicycle accidents involving vehicles. It is crucial for somebody at the scene of a bicycle accident to call 911 so that law enforcement officials come to the scene. This will also initiate the process of emergency medical assistance and fire personnel. Police need to come to the scene to investigate the incident and fill out the police report, which will be needed to process the insurance claim.
There are various types of evidence that may be possible to obtain at the scene of the incident, but please do not attempt this if the injuries are severe or if the crash scene is unsafe. If possible, individuals present can use cell phones or other types of cameras to take photographs of the causes of the incident, debris, injuries, property damage, and more. The names and contact information of any eyewitnesses should also be gathered so that these statements can be given to insurance carriers or at a personal injury trial.
There may be additional types of evidence that need to be gathered, including mobile device data or vehicle black box data, but this should happen with the assistance of an attorney.
A skilled bicycle accident lawyer in California can help victims get through this process. Dealing with insurance carriers is challenging, but an attorney can step in, conduct an investigation into the incident, and handle all negotiations with other parties. If necessary, an attorney can file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party in order to recover compensation.
If you personally report the incident to your insurance carrier, you need to keep the details light. All the insurance carrier needs to know initially is that the incident occurred, along with the name and insurance information of the other parties involved. If you have already contacted an attorney, they can handle reporting the incident to your insurance carrier on your behalf. Never admit fault, no matter who you talk to after the incident. Let your attorney handle communication with other parties on your behalf.