Your health and safety are of prime importance when riding your bicycle. Unfortunately, no matter how safety conscious you probably are, the odds are stacked against you. Motor vehicles far outnumber two-wheelers in Pasadena, and you are always exposed.
It is highly probable that at some point, you, or a fellow rider, will be in an accident involving a motorist. Hopefully, it will be minor, but because of the physics involved your injuries could easily be severe.
By knowing exactly what to do right after the accident, it can make a vast difference in how well you protect your legal rights, and your health if you are severely injured.
In general, there are 10 things you need to do, right after your accident, they are:
- First and foremost, seek immediate medical attention – Document everything the best you can (or if injured have someone help you). Even if your injuries seem minor, consult with your doctor immediately, and get a full exam and written evaluation. Take photos of your injuries and record any symptoms for several days, or even weeks.
- Wait for the Police to Arrive – You and the motorist involved in the accident are legally obligated to remain at the scene if there have been injuries or property damage. Even if you believe you have not been injured, wait for the police to arrive.
- Never Negotiate with the other driver – Don’t negotiate with the driver even if they accept the blame. You may currently not be aware of the full extent of your injuries and damage to your bike, and the driver may change his or her mind later and deny fault for the accident.
- Obtain the drivers’ full information – Exchange all information with the motorist, including their name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, make of car, and insurance policy information.
- Obtain any witnesses full contact Information – Write down the full names and phone numbers of all witnesses to your accident.
- Document what happened while it is fresh in your mind – This will help you to recall every detail about the accident, such as when, where, and how it happened, the road, traffic, and weather conditions, etc. Draw maps or diagrams showing the position and direction of everyone involved. Have someone with a cell phone, take as many pertinent pictures as they can.
- Make sure the police write a report – The police are sometimes more concerned with recording a motorist’s version of events than yours. Make sure your statement of what occurred is included in the report. Report any injury (no matter how minor) as it may develop into something major later.
- Preserve all the evidence – Keep any damaged clothing and don’t wash it. Keep damaged bike parts and do not have your bike repaired unless it’s necessary. Take photos of the damaged bike.
- Never negotiate with any insurance companies – The driver’s insurance company may call you and attempt to settle before you have all the information ready to support your claim.
- Get advice immediately from a professional – Remember, insurance companies may use anything you say against you later and deny the financial support you need to recover. Your Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer is experienced in negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf, let their experience work for you!
Are Bicycle Accidents That Common in California?
According to recent statistics, there are approximately 1,000+ bicyclists killed in the U.S. each year, and over 467,000 bike-related injuries. In recent years, fatal and non-fatal bike accidents resulted in productivity losses and lifetime medical costs of over 10 billion dollars. These numbers are increasing almost every year, and with more and more vehicles on the road, so are the injuries involved. It’s medically valid, that many times serious injury symptoms from bicycle accidents don’t immediately become evident.
Having a bicycle accident can alter your health and well-being for the rest of your life. Consulting with an experienced, professional Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer, can help you and your family get the empathetic support, and financial help you need no matter how minor or catastrophic your injuries may be.
Can I Sue After My Bicycle Accident in California?
The simple answer is you can. Any person or parties responsible for your cycling accident could be liable and must pay damages. You, as the accident victim, can receive compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are an injured party, you should be able to recover damages for:
- Physical injuries – Their treatment and cost of tests, physical therapy, and recovery.
- Bicycle damage – Damage or replacement of your bike, or damage done to other property.
- Lost wages – Time lost from not being able to work, and if seriously injured, compensation for your future support.
- Medical bills – All medical bills, and treatment involved. This may not seem important initially but could add up to thousands of dollars depending on what you need to recover to your fullest.
- And possibly more.
What Type Of Injuries Can I Sustain In a Bicycle Accident?
The difference in weight between you on your bike and an automobile is vast, and the physics involved is against you and can cause you serious harm. Even with a helmet, bicyclists can suffer traumatic head and brain injuries that can result in brain damage, coma, and death.
Some of the more common injuries are:
- Head trauma always can be very severe.
- Injuries to your face and exposed skin.
- Neurological damage in parts of your body.
- Spinal injuries that may last for years.
- Ruptured discs causing lasting pain and lack of mobility.
- Bone fractures, sprains, and joint damage.
- Wrongful death.
I Have Been Injured in a Bicycle Accident, What Should I do First?
You can certainly see that having a bicycle accident can be a minor incident, or change your health, well-being, and life forever. The Pasadena law firm of Thon Beck Vanni Callahan, and Powell will professionally gather the information needed and prepare your case so you, and your family, get the compensation and help you deserve. Consult with them today, and they will work relentlessly to get your life back on track.