Cyclists are perhaps the most vulnerable users of public roads. There is no airbag or metal frame to protect you. If you are hit by a car, you can easily be injured or even die. Statistics on bicycle-car collisions grow steadily. At the same time, proving the driver is at fault can be difficult. Offending drivers often leave the scene, and if they do assume responsibility, their insurance company will try to persuade the victim to settle for minimal compensation.
The law can complicate matters. Uninsured bicyclists can only sue insured drivers if their injuries are the result of direct contact with a motor vehicle. Cyclists also suffer injuries because they try to avoid cars, and insurance companies often assert that a victim acted incorrectly, and refuse to pay compensation.
Clearly, the legal system is not ideal, and it often favors drivers over cyclists. There is no guarantee that the law will protect your rights and punish the offender. There are several things you should do immediately after a bicycle accident to increase your chances of fair compensation.
Collect all available information
If the driver hires a good lawyer, they may try to misinform judges and present details in a distorted way. Your task is to provide a realistic picture of your accident, and compile a comprehensive report that shows the driver was at fault for your injuries.
Talk to the driver right at the scene. Record their name, phone number, and insurance policy number, along with the car’s model and year, vehicle identification number (VIN), and license plate number. Assess the damage to your bicycle, listing all cracks, scratches, dents and warps in your report.
Even if you feel okay and have no visible injuries, it is important to notify 911 about the accident. Describe in detail how the car hit your bicycle, when and where it happened, and whether the driver fled or stayed to make sure you were alright.
After the police arrive, repeat your story to them. Also, let doctors examine you. It is quite common for bicycle accident victims to not notice injuries for hours because of adrenaline and endorphins. If your doctor prescribes a treatment program, document all appointments, medications and procedures through all stages of your recovery.
Keep in mind that any detail may come in handy in court. Document your experience on paper while the details are still fresh. Record the driver’s words if they admit guilt, or if they try to justify their actions Do not under any circumstances admit your own guilt. Do not give the driver’s insurance company any excuses for limiting the settlement amount or denying your claim.
If there are witnesses, collect their contact data. Check for any obstacles on the road that may have contributed to the collision. Take as many photos as you can, or ask passers-by to do so if you are severely injured. Do not touch or move anything, including your bicycle, until all details are documented.
Analyze the facts
Look at the evidence collected with fresh eyes and determine whether it provides the whole picture of what happened, including your actions, the defendant’s behavior, and road conditions. Imagine that you are the driver’s lawyer or a judge. What questions would you ask? What answers would satisfy you? Prepare responses for all potential arguments, write them down, and assess whether your words are convincing enough.
Hire an attorney
Unless you are a lawyer, presenting your case in court without representation is unlikely to get you the best possible settlement, so it is in your best interest to hire a professional attorney. Many victims hesitate to do so because they feel they cannot afford the lengthy legal process while they have to pay medical bills and meet their living expenses.
Bicycle accident pre-settlement funding from Cronus Capital Group can offer a great solution. You can think of pre-settlement funding as a lifeboat that helps you sail through the sea of bureaucracy and injury-related expenses to a fair settlement. Legal funding is very convenient and absolutely risk-free. You can have your bike accident lawsuit loan within 24 hours. There is no need to provide a pile of documents, make monthly payments, or pay monthly interest rates. If you lose your case, you owe nothing to Cronus Capital Group.
Contact us now using our convenient form, or call us at 516-268-7299 for a free consultation.