Bicycle accidents can be physically and emotionally distressing experiences, and if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, knowing your rights and taking the right steps is crucial in stopping a bad situation from getting worse.
In the instance that you or a loved one is in a bicycle collision, it's important to know what damages you can recover in a bicycle accident claim and essential actions to take for a successful resolution.
It's also important to know what steps you need to take after the accident to make the process as smooth as possible. This article will help you with just that.
Understanding Your Entitlement to Damages Due to a Bicycle Collision:
In the aftermath of a bicycle collision, it's essential to recognize that if someone else is at fault for your injuries, you have the right to be compensated for your losses.
These losses can encompass a wide range of expenses and hardships, including:
- Medical Expenses: This covers reasonable medical care expenses related to your injuries. It includes costs for hospital treatment, surgeries, doctor's visits, prescription medications, and rehabilitation.
- Future Medical Care: In cases where your injuries require ongoing treatment, such as physical therapy or long-term medical care, you can seek compensation for these anticipated expenses.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries result in you being unable to work, you can claim compensation for the wages you've lost during your recovery period.
- Future Lost Wages: For long-term or permanent injuries that affect your ability to earn, you may be entitled to compensation for future lost earnings.
- Permanent Impairment: If your injuries result in permanent impairment or disability, you can seek compensation for the impact this has on your quality of life.
- Loss of Life: In the most tragic cases, where a bicycle accident leads to the loss of a loved one, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for their loss.
- Pain and Suffering: This category covers the emotional and physical suffering you've endured as a result of the accident.
- Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or malicious intent, punitive damages may be awarded as a form of punishment to the at-fault party.
In order to make a case for these damages, there are a few things you'll want to do immediately following the accident:
1. Preserve Crucial Evidence
Too often, individuals inadvertently destroy evidence without realizing its importance. After a bicycle accident, evidence can include torn and bloody clothing, protective gear like helmets and pads, shoes, and even the damaged bicycle itself. All of these items can serve as vital pieces of evidence that can support your claim.
To preserve evidence effectively:
- Keep all items, including clothing and gear, in their post-accident condition.
- Take photographs of the accident scene, as bloodstains or scuff marks may fade over time.
- Document any damage to the bicycle or involved vehicles.
- If possible, store the bicycle in its current state as it may serve as crucial evidence.
2. Collect Witness Information
It's common to fail to collect contact information from witnesses, but we'd advise to get information from any witness you can.
Even though the police typically investigate the scene, witness information doesn't always make it onto the official report. Gathering this information immediately can be invaluable if you need it later to support your case.
3. Seek Prompt Medical Treatment
After a bicycle accident, it's essential to seek medical treatment as soon as you begin to feel pain. This helps establish a clear correlation between your pain and the injuries sustained in the collision. Delaying treatment could potentially weaken your claim.
4.Consult an Experienced Attorney
Promptly hiring an attorney experienced in handling bicycle accident cases can help by:
- Preserving evidence and visiting the accident scene.
- Interviewing witnesses.
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf.
- Ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Of course, we hope that a bicycle accident is not something you or a loved one experience, but if it does ever occur, you now know your rights and what to do!
If you have questions about these tips, have specific bicycle collision questions, or are facing a possible personal injury situation, we’re here to help! Contact K Durham Law PLLC at 480-820-9090 or complete the form below to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer.