Have you or someone you know recently been involved in a bike accident? These accidents, just as car accidents, can cause severe injuries and life-impacting complications depending on the severity. If you’re a bicyclist, you need to know what to do if the situation were ever to happen to you.
Bikers often put themselves in the same space as vehicles and although there are certain clothes and procedures available for bikes to be easily distinguished from cars, accidents can still happen. Here’s what you need to know about what to do after a bike accident in West Palm Beach, Florida.
When The Accident Occurs
Some bikers travel in groups and others travel by themselves. If you’re in a group, someone needs to call the police immediately as soon as the accident happens. Likewise, if you’re solo and not severely injured, you need to contact the police as soon as you can.
Bikers who don’t suffer from major injuries right away may not call the police immediately if they don’t think they’re majorly hurt or if the driver begins to apologize and take the blame. Injuries can develop into severe occurrences later on however, which is why you need to call 9-1-1 immediately to be examined.
Calling law enforcement can also help your case later on if they give the driver a ticket or simply have a record of the accident. Having law enforcement on the scene will not only make sure everything is handled legally and appropriately, but it will also help to strengthen your case in the future.
Never Negotiate with The At-Fault Driver
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, never negotiate with the driver. Florida is a no-fault state, which means both parties in an accident share the blame, but that doesn’t mean both parties share the blame equally. It’s likely that the at-fault party will feel extremely remorseful after the accident and apologize relentlessly. However, they may try to deny their involvement later on in court so that they are not forced to pay their dues.
It is also possible that you may not be aware of the extent of your injuries or the cost of medical bills at that point. You never want to give the other party too much to work with, so while you both wait for law enforcement, remain as civil and casual as possible. Do not attempt to negotiate.
File A Report
Once law enforcement arrives, you should collect the officer’s business card and begin to file your report. When you are filing your report of the event, it’s important that you make sure to give the officer as many details as possible and relay your side of the story. The officer(s) that arrive at the scene will more than likely try to collect the driver’s side of the story before yours. Because of this, you need to make sure you can give the information to them so that it is both documented.
It is also recommended that you see a medical provider and file a report with them as well. When medical professionals are examining you, this is another chance for you to tell your side of the story. The record of your injuries and the involvement of medical professionals can be used later on in your case and serve as valuable information your lawyer can use for your position to help seek compensation.
Document, Document, Document!
Medical professionals and law enforcement are documenting the accident, but you should too. It is never a bad thing to have multiple recollections of the accident and injuries sustained. It can all be used in your case.
When you document, provide enough details to cover what happened before, how the accident occurred, and the extent of your injuries that you suffered from after. Your medical records will serve as proof that you were indeed injured from the wreck, and it will also demonstrate how badly. As you are documenting, you should also do your part to preserve evidence from the scene and try to leave everything as it is.
Here is how you should preserve your evidence after a bike accident:
- Do not attempt to fix or restore your bike.
- Do not wash your clothes.
- Do not send anything from the accident (bike, helmet, clothes, etc.) to anyone other than your legal representative.
Preserving evidence can be a major break in your case. While you keep everything with you until your attorney asks to see it, take photos of the bike and clothes to also have as evidence.
Speak With a Legal Professional
The best way to succeed after a bike accident is to speak to a West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer. It is their job to help you build your case with evidence to help you seek compensation.
If you’ve suffered from a bike accident, you’re likely drowning in medical bills on top of sustained injuries and personal damage. Personal injury lawyers can help you seek additional compensation to help cover some of the damage by filing a personal injury claim.
Personal injury claims are lawsuits filed against another party for causing injury or harm to another individual. Your insurance policy may help cover some damages, while personal injury claims can take care of the rest when necessary.
When you file your personal injury claim, the documents are served to the other party. If the other party does not agree to a settlement, your case will then go to court where a jury will decide how much you should be awarded based on economic and non-economic losses. Basically, these are actual costs added up by physical/mental damage sustained.
While Florida is a no-fault state, the jury will decide how much they believe you should be compensated for and how responsible you were for the accident. However much the jury deems you responsible for the accident will be deducted from your compensation.
Let Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers Help
The attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are ready to help you seek rightful compensation for your bike accident. Our job is to help residents in the West Palm Beach, Florida area and multiple other surrounding areas protect their rights and seek the justice they deserve (by appointment only).
We offer our legal help as West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyers with the experience and legal background to build favorable cases from accidents such as these. Our 40 years in practice have given us knowledge of the other side’s playing field and what to anticipate from them.
The Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers firm has a proven track record when it comes to bike accident cases and helping residents file a personal injury claim. Getting started with us is quick and easy.
Contact us when you’re ready by calling our 24/7 number (561) 800-8000 or by filling out our free case evaluation form. We will set you up with a no-obligation free consultation to hear our services and how we can help you in your fight.
Don’t wait any longer to contact us. Let us get started building your case today.