Riding a bike is a wonderful way to travel around a city. It is also great exercise, and it promotes healthy living. However, there are times when riding a bike can put you at risk, especially when you are biking through traffic.
It is not unreasonable to expect other road users to drive safely around bicyclists, but you should also be wary of negligent drivers. Bicyclists are mostly unprotected, except for wearing a helmet, which means that a bicycle accident can cause a serious injury.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience when it comes to managing bicycle accidents all over the State of Florida. Our law firm has the necessary knowledge and resources to protect your rights and win the compensation that you deserve after a bicycle accident.
If you have questions in regard to a bicycle accident, then do not hesitate to speak to a lawyer now. Our phone lines are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week so that we can be there for you night and day.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
If you are a bicyclist and you have been involved in an accident with a motor vehicle, then you need to know how to protect your rights. Our law firm highly recommends that you follow these steps after a bicycle accident:
Report the Accident to the Authorities
It is necessary that you report the bicycle accident to the police department, even if you do not think that you have been hurt or there is damage to your bike.
Florida Statute 316.065 states that if you are in a crash with a vehicle where you are hurt, or there is property damage that exceeds $500, then you are required to report the crash.
In addition, a report from the police is an essential piece of evidence when it comes to gaining credibility with the at-fault party’s insurance company. If you fail to report the accident, then an insurance company will not believe that an accident really took place. Furthermore, it is not easy to determine the amount of damage to a bike at the scene of an accident. Most bicycles are made out of carbon fiber, which means that it is difficult to know the extent of the damage by a visual inspection alone. In many cases, bike damage is not clear until the bike store inspects the bike. It is necessary that you report the accident, even if there is only a slight possibility of damage to your bicycle.
You should report your accident even if it involves you and a dog. In this case, you will report the accident to Animal Control. You should also report an accident that was caused by a hole in the road or metal grating.
It is also worth finding out the contact information of people who witnessed your bicycle accident before you leave the scene. They might be willing to provide a statement that will help you to pursue a personal injury claim later.
Listen to What the Other Party Says About the Accident
You should listen to what the other party says about the accident, but do not say anything yourself. Information that you share at the wrong time can be used against you later. Do not even apologize or make a statement that could be interpreted as taking responsibility for the accident. However, you should remember the statements that the other party makes in regard to the accident and write it down as soon as you can.
Preserve the Condition of Your Bike, Helmet, Clothing, and Other Property
If you are not seriously injured after the accident, then you should preserve the condition of all property. Do not take your bicycle to get fixed because the damage to your bike is actually evidence. If you alter the evidence, then it could compromise your rights. The bike damage might actually provide evidence that shows how the accident happened.
You should also save your clothes, helmet, shoes, gloves, sunglasses, and other property that was involved in the accident and do not alter them. The insurance company will probably want to inspect the damage to your property.
It is also worth taking photographs of your bike in the condition after the accident. Remember not to leave the bike outside because it might alter the bike’s state. You should keep the bike in your garage or at the bike shop, and instruct them to leave it alone.
Report the Crash to Your Car Insurance Company As Soon As Possible
If you were involved in a collision with a car or a truck, then you might be eligible to receive benefits from your own car insurance in the State of Florida. It is important that you call your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. Your car insurance will pay you through Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, depending on the extent of your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. It is possible that your car insurance will be able to provide you with uninsured motorist benefits as well.
Your insurance agent must explain all of your benefits after an accident. However, if you do not feel like talking to them, then you can always ask your personal injury lawyer to speak to them, and they will get a copy of your insurance policy. Rest assured that your personal injury lawyer will make sure that you are receiving all of the potential benefits of your insurance coverage.
However, do not speak to the other party’s insurance company at all. You should not answer their questions, talk about the accident or even let them record a statement from you. You do not want your statements to be used against you in a court of law.
You can read more about Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance in Florida Statute 627.736.
Keep the Documentation About the Accident From the Police Officers and Give It to Your Lawyer
The police officers at the scene of the bicycle accident will take information from the other party, such as their insurance information. The information will be written in an accident report. If your bicycle accident involved a dog, then you will need to know the owner of the dog and get the owner’s home insurance information. If your bicycle accident was caused by a hazardous condition, such as a loose drainage cover or a bridge grating, then you will need to find out who is responsible for the property and report it to your personal injury lawyer.
Document Your Physical Condition and Injuries
You should take photographs and videos of your bruises, bumps, road rash, and scabs after the accident and give them to your personal injury lawyer. If you have to wear a cast, use crutches or wear a splint, then you should keep the medical equipment and take photographs and videos of yourself with them. You should also consider writing a journal that documents all of your physical conditions and injuries.
Photograph the Location of the Crash
Take photographs and videos of the location of the accident, property damage, injuries, road marks, skid marks, and more. It is important to take photographs of the accident because the conditions of the road might have changed by road construction later.
Photographs and videos of the location and road marks will help to identify how the accident might have happened.
Don’t Ignore Traffic Citations
If you were issued a traffic citation by a police officer while riding your bicycle, then you have a few choices instead of paying the ticket.
If you pay a ticket without contesting, then the record will show that you were guilty of the offense. However, you also have the right to contest the ticket or work out a plea without adjudication. If you contest the ticket and win, then you will have no fine or costs to pay. If you reach an agreement to withhold adjudication, then you will have to pay court costs, but the record will show that you were not guilty.
Hire a lawyer to help you with the ticket that you were issued by the police officer. It is also worth noting that there is a deadline to consider. The deadline is usually 30 days or less.
Don’t Discuss the Accident or Your Injuries on Social Media
It will never help your personal injury claim by talking about the accident or your injuries on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform. You should only speak to your personal injury lawyer about the case and no one else. If you post about the accident or your injuries on social media, then you run the risk of your case getting misinterpreted. It is important that you know that insurance adjusters and lawyers who are fighting against your claim will see all of your posts on social media.
Consult With a Personal Injury Lawyer
It is important that you hire a highly skilled personal injury lawyer with the necessary experience and knowledge in managing bicycle accident cases.
A personal injury lawyer from The Law Place will investigate your accident, collect facts and information, deal with the relevant paperwork, speak to insurance companies and file your personal injury claim on your behalf. They will also calculate the extent of your losses and determine the amount of compensation that you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Contact The Law Place Today
If you were injured in a bicycle accident and you are wondering what you can do to protect your rights, then you should speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. It is important that you have legal representation to help you recover the compensation that you are owed.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience and knowledge in helping clients who have been injured on bicycles throughout the State of Florida. Our law firm has an in-depth understanding of traffic law, and we will explain the legal process to you.
If you put your trust in us, then we will make sure that your case is seen and heard. We will negotiate with the insurance companies involved and fight for the maximum amount of compensation that will cover all of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
If you have questions in regard to your case, then you can give us a call now. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Contact The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation today.