Being involved in traffic should always mean increased awareness and a higher sense of potential danger. One can be as careful and diligent as possible and it would not be enough to actually be safe. There are hundreds of other people around you at any given moment and anything can go wrong. All it takes is a single card driver, biker, pedestrian, or even a pet to behave a certain way and there could be an accident. This is why everyone should do their most to remain safe in traffic, especially if you are on a bicycle.
Being a Cyclist
Riding a bicycle is potentially dangerous in many ways, mostly because it has always been a sort of a grey area. While they have their lanes, they can also drive on the road or the sidewalk in certain areas. Many cyclists abuse this while those in cars and on foot do not pay enough attention. It does not help that falling off a bike is enough for numerous injuries and unlucky mishaps to take place.
A bicycle accident might leave you feeling terrified and overwhelmed. It is something you do not always think about, but it should be. If it should ever happen to you, you have to know how to react and what not to do. An overall sense of insecurity can lead to blunders that not only jeopardize your capacity to obtain a fair personal injury settlement but also jeopardize your health. Here are a few mistakes you must avoid after being involved in a bicycle accident:
1. Not Contacting the Police
According to www.dwpersonalinjurylaw.com, even if nobody appears injured, you should always notify the authorities following any kind of accident. A police report confirms that the accident occurred, who was involved, who was to blame, and if there should be any legal action taken. It may be an unlucky situation, some infrastructure could be to blame and therefore the city officials, you can never know. Calling the police might also be essential if you develop injury signs later on as it takes some time for certain symptoms to show themselves. The police record can assist in establishing a timeline that connects the collision to any delayed-onset ailments, like a concussion or whiplash. Whatever you do, remember notify the authorities so that the accident is filed for later reference if need be. If you don’t, it will be futile to seek help later because nobody can prove it happened.
2. Not Getting Immediate Medical Attention
Even when you feel OK after a bicycle accident, you should consult a doctor just in case. As mentioned, sometimes you seem fine at first, only to suffer from consequences later. Internal bleeding, for instance, might be fatal even though certain signs do not appear immediately. What seems to be a normal bruise may signify damage to important organs that require almost immediate surgical intervention. Seeing a doctor right away guarantees that you identify your injuries early and provides medical documents that will be necessary proof if you need to submit a legal claim later. In case you are entitled to compensation, you will need the medical record on top of the police report.
3. Leaving the Accident Scene
When you abandon the accident scene, you could be breaking the law and might face charges. Furthermore, you risk losing important information, such as the other motorist’s contact and insurance details. If you do not need emergency medical attention, you can aid your case by starting to gather evidence. Take images or videos of the crash site with your phone. Gather any witnesses’ contact details. Wait for the emergency services to come and see if anyone else needs help. This will all benefit you later down the line if a legal case becomes necessary.
4. Apologizing or Admitting Fault
At the accident scene, things are definitely not always as they appear. Never admit fault since it might be employed against you later in a way that you did not mean it. It can also be turned on its head and pointed against you even though it did not happen that way. Although it may appear acceptable at the time, never admit fault or apologize to the other motorist or the responding police officers. Even if you think you are at fault, it is advisable not to say anything. Get a vehicle accident lawyer to speak for you and wait for the two of you to build the case. The worst thing you can do is apologize or admit the fault when you were not to blame in the first place.
5. Settling Too Early
Do not be surprised if an adjuster makes you a settlement offer within days after the accident, maybe even while you are still admitted in the hospital. It is an attempt to persuade you to take money before you comprehend the extent of your damages. Keep in mind that you will only settle once. Once a claim has been determined, you cannot seek additional compensation. It is always better to wait and see what you can work on with your lawyer. Such hastiness of the other party is a good indicator that they are potentially worried about a real case because their side is to blame. You could probably settle for more the right way so seek justice and compensation with a lawyer by your side.
6. Representing Yourself
Since it may appear evident who is at fault for the accident, you may initially attempt to seek compensation without representation. Nevertheless, you cannot know what argument the culpable party will use. They might try to pin part of the responsibility on you, lowering the amount of compensation you receive. You require the services of a lawyer who will fight for your best interests.
Do not thing you can do it alone. The other side will surely have a lawyer and you cannot go against a professional. A bicycle accident attorney can assist you in gathering essential evidence, communicating with the insurance provider, and negotiating a reasonable compensation.
If you decide to file a claim after being involved in an accident, avoiding these five blunders will considerably aid your case. However, the best way to safeguard your rights is to contact an expert vehicle accident attorney immediately.