Bicycle accidents occur far too often in South Florida. Given bicyclists do not have the same protections drivers have, bicycle accident injuries are usually far more serious. If you have never been involved in a bicycle accident, you may be asking: how do I make a bicycle accident claim?
I will discuss the steps in this blog post.
At the outset, the most important step to take after any accident is to get immediate medical care and treatment. Additionally, take the following steps.
First: Call The Police
After your bicycle accident, call the police immediately. The police will investigate the accident.
If a party was at fault, the police may issue that party a citation.
Additionally, the police may identify witnesses to the accident and record their contact information.
Second: Identify The Negligent Party
If you were in a bicycle accident but did not contact the police, do not give up.
Collect as much information you can about the negligent party. This includes the driver’s name, address, and telephone number.
If you were unable to get this information, try to record the make, model, and license plate number of the vehicle. Additionally, see if there are any witness who might have this or any other helpful information.
Third: Take Photographs Of Your Bicycle, The Cars, And Accident Scene
Take photographs of the car and your bicycle. For example, if the negligent driver’s car or your bicycle was damaged, take photographs. The car and bicycle damage may later be used to help establish the driver’s fault.
As another example, let’s say a dangerous road condition caused your bicycle accident. If you do not take photographs of the dangerous road condition, there is a chance the responsible party may correct or fix the condition. If this happens, it may be more difficult to prove your negligence case.
Fourth: Get The Negligent Party’s Insurance Information
After you identify the negligent party, contact their insurance company and request the negligent party’s insurance information.
Remember: if you speak with the insurance company they will ask for basic, background facts. This will include how the accident happened, the injuries, and whether you are receiving medical care. As I have written about before, I recommend against speaking with the insurance company.
After you make contact with the insurance company, request a copy of the negligent party’s insurance policy. If you request the policy, what must the insurance company provide? The full answer is found here.
In short, the insurance company must disclose its name, the insured’s name, the coverage limits, a statement of its potential coverage defenses, and provide a copy of the policy.
Fifth: Send A Demand Letter To The Negligent Party’s Insurance Company
Once your medical providers determine you have reached maximum medical improvement, you can send a demand letter. The demand letter should include all of your damages and expenses, include your medical bills (both past and future), damages to your bicycle, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
To learn what makes an effective demand letter, read here.
Barthelette Law, Your South Florida Bicycle Accident Lawyer
I am confident this post answers the question: How do I make a bicycle accident claim?
As a South Florida bicycle accident lawyer, I have had clients who tried to resolve their injury claims themselves and, when they made little progress, come to me for help.
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident, don’t handle it alone! Studies show lawyers recover over three times more than when clients represent themselves.
Plus, a lawyer will help you avoid all the complicated issues that arise in nearly every personal injury case: proving negligence, health liens, and other complicated matters.
It would be my privilege to represent you with your bicycle accident case. Call us today!