San Diego Bicycle Accident Lawyer Explains What to Do After Your Bicycle Accident
Getting into an accident while riding a bicycle may be disconcerting and scary, but a San Diego bicycle accident lawyer can tell you what steps to take immediately after the accident to protect yourself. There is a list of things you should do that will help you obtain accurate information about the accident and maximize the value of your personal injury claim.
Get Out of Danger
If the accident happened in the middle of the street or in another dangerous place, move to the nearest safe location. Make sure you are not exposed to oncoming traffic or other hazardous elements on the road that could potentially hurt you. If your injuries prevent you from moving, call an ambulance and request medical assistance right away.
Notify the Police and File a Police Report
Wait for the police to arrive at the scene of the accident so that you can tell them what happened. Initially, you may not think you are hurt, but sometimes symptoms for injuries don’t appear or develop until several hours after the accident. When you speak with the driver, don’t attempt to negotiate a financial settlement or state who is at fault for the accident. Any discussions regarding liability for the accident and compensation for damages should be handled by your San Diego bicycle accident lawyer and the insurance company.
When the police arrives, describe what occurred during the accident. Tell the police about any minor or serious injuries you may have and let them know about any damage to your bike that resulted from the accident. Once the police report has been filed, you can get a copy of it for your own records or send it to your San Diego bicycle accident lawyer.
Exchange Information with the Driver and Vehicle Owner
Get the name, address, phone number, vehicle registration, and insurance information of the driver and vehicle owner. You should also get the year, make, and model of the car. Being able to properly identify the driver and vehicle involved in the accident will make it easier to file an insurance claim. If you don’t feel comfortable exchanging information with the driver, the police officers will get their information and include it in the police report.
Search for Witnesses
If anyone witnessed the accident, get their contact information. People who have seen the accident may not stick around very long, so you should try to get their names, numbers, and a brief statement from them as quickly as possible. If the witnesses are still around when the police arrive, they can also give their statements to the police officers so that it will be included in the police report.
Remember as much as possible about the bicycle accident. If you have your phone with you or pen and paper, write down what happened. You should state when and where the accident occurred. Also include the road and weather conditions at the time of the accident. Take pictures of the damage to your bike, the car, and the scene of the accident with your camera phone, if possible.
Get Medical Documentation of Your Injuries
Seek medical attention even if you don’t have any visible injuries. You may feel fine or appear to only have minor scrapes and bruises, but it’s common to feel soreness, anxiety, and increased levels of discomfort on your body for a few days after the accident. Doctors will be able to document the full extent of your injuries and any treatment that is required. When the Oceanside personal injury lawyer reviews the medical records, it will help him assess the amount of compensation you’ll need to adequately cover your medical expenses.
Dealing with the Insurance Company
Bicycle accidents involve complex legal issues. You could unknowingly hurt your case if you don’t seek advice from a San Diego personal injury lawyer. If the insurance adjuster calls to get your version of the events, he may record the conversation. The statements you make could be used against you and potentially result in a reduced settlement. Once you’ve retained an attorney, forward his information to the insurance adjuster and have all future communication submitted directly to your attorney.
Consult a San Diego Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact The Law Office of George C. Heppner at (619) 235-4300. George Heppner is an experienced San Diego bicycle accident lawyer who gives his clients the attention they need and fights aggressively on their behalf.