What Can You Do If You Are Injured?
The mounting cases of bicycle accidents in our towns and cities are becoming worrisome day after day, resulting in serious injuries and even death in some cases. In a typical scenario, when a crash occurs involving a vehicle and a bike, it’s the cyclist who is likely to be injured. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 857 bicyclists killed in traffic crashes in the United States in 2018. Unfortunately, the cycling fatalities have nearly tripled this year compared to the previous years.
Accidents occur not because the roads are inherently unsafe, but because of the failure of some road users to obey basic traffic rules. It’s painful that a lot of bicyclists have been injured or lost their lives due to the negligent, careless or intentional conducts of sometimes motorists. This article explains your options if you or your loved one have ever been injured in a bicycle accident.
The Growing Popularity Of Bikes & The Rise In Bicycle Accidents
- Bicycles are an affordable mode of transportation for commuting around neighborhoods and sidewalks. Many people run errands and visit stores on their bicycle while some people use bikes for adventure and exercise purposes. All this points to how commonplace the use of bicycles has become even in this modern age.
With the increasing number of bikes comes the high risk of being involved in a bicycle accident especially if you live in a densely populated city.
What Are The Leading Causes Of Bicycle Accidents?
- Distractions: Distraction while driving is one of the leading causes of bicycle accidents in the United States. Sometimes, drivers are distracted by their electronic mobile devices such as smartphones. A driver that’s busy receiving a call or replying to a text message while driving could unintentionally hit a bicyclist. A clash can result in devastating injuries for the bicyclist especially if they’re not putting on safety equipment such as a helmet.
- Alcohol: A driver driving under the influence of alcohol or drug may lose control over the vehicle anytime and endanger the lives of other road users such as pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers. According to NHTSA, it is extremely dangerous to drive when a person is on drugs. Significant number of bicycle accident cases are attributable to driving under the influence of illegal drugs and alcohol.
- Speeding: According to NHTSA, many pedestrian and bike accidents occurred as a result of speeding beyond the speed limit defined by the authority. Speeding increases the chances of accident occurrence because the driver will not have enough time to respond appropriately to avert an avoidable accident.
What should you do if you get injured in a bicycle accident?
No one prays for accidents, whether major or mine, but accidents can happen within a twinkle of an eye. If you or your loved one ever got injured in a bicycle accident, you may want to file a personal injury lawsuit to demand compensation from the responsible driver. The compensation can be used to cover your medical bills and other losses such as lost wages.
Essential Steps To Take To Increase Bicycle Accident Compensation
- Report the accident to the police
- You can call 911 in case you or someone else was injured
- Watch what you say when narrating the accident to the police. For example, never admit any fault or take responsible for the accident
- Get the at-fault’s information such as their name, color, auto insurance company and policy number, driver’s license or permit, contact address, etc.
- Exchange contact information with eyewitnesses
- Take pictures and video of the accident
- Take personal note of how the accident happened. You can also note instances where the at-fault person admitted their carelessness or recklessness.
- Get in touch with a personal injury lawyer that deals with bike accidents if your injury is serious
Don’t make a mistake of calling an insurance adjuster if you sustained serious injuries from bike accidents, like a head bruise, spinal cord injuries, permanent scarring or bone fractures. Insurance companies are always after their bottom lines, and they would do anything possible to minimize your compensation. They will try to pressure you to accept a compensation far below what you deserve. And that’s why you need to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer first.
In any tort case, the ability to prove fault or liability is key to recovering fair compensation. Therefore, it’s important to have a bicycle accident lawyer on your side who can help you to review and analyze circumstances surrounding your case and prove fault. Your lawyer can take on the at-fault driver and their insurer and negotiate for settlement on your behalf.
Also, you’ll need a medical report to certify the severity of your injury. An independent investigator could also be involved to gather facts about your case. To further strengthen your case, you must be able to gather eyewitnesses to testify in your favor.
You can get in touch to know what your case may worth if you or your loved one ever got involved in a bike accident.