Riding your bicycle can be a healthy and cost-effective form of transportation, but it also puts you at risk as you share the road with cars and trucks. If you were recently involved in an accident with a driver while riding your bicycle, you may be wondering about your options to help cover the related medical and property damages. Although it is possible to file a personal injury claim against a driver after an accident, the burden may be on you to provide adequate proof of your suffering and the driver's negligence. These four steps will help you come to court armed with the strongest case possible.
Treat the Incident Like a Car Accident
When you or your bicycle is struck on the road, you may be tempted to resolve the situation informally and be on your way. But this can damage your legal standing and reduce the credibility of your claims, which is why it is important to wait for police to arrive and deliver a statement. This is your opportunity to present your side of the story for the official record, so be honest and thorough.
Assemble Witness Testimonies
If you are not injured significantly during the crash, you may also want to use the following hour or two to get the contact information or brief statements from witnesses on the scene. Assuming you were not at fault for the accident, these witnesses could prove to be a crucial resource when it comes time to prove your claim, and they can be nearly impossible to track down later on.
Seek Medical Attention
Of course, if you were injured, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible. Even if you feel fine afterward, it is still a good idea to get examined for any underlying wounds or complications. Ask for a written record of the injuries you suffered, and take photographs of them for future reference. Both written and visual evidence of the damage to your person can be a vital resource for winning over a judge or jury.
Protect Your Evidence
In all likelihood, your personal injury attorney will want as much evidence from the crash as possible. This includes your bicycle and the objects you were carrying with you at the time, even torn or dirty clothing. These items help illustrate the severity of the crash and can also be used to justify your requested figure. Avoid washing your clothes, throwing away ruined objects or having your bicycle repaired before you go to court. Your attorney will be able to handle paperwork and negotiations for you, but he or she can't do everything. By taking steps to bolster your claim while on the scene of the accident, you can dramatically improve your chances of success and an adequate payment.