Don’t make these mistakes after your bicycle accident!
1. Move. This is critical, unless you need to move to avoid further injury,, ie, a motor vehicle will hit you, after an accident stay still. If you sustained any type of spinal injury, simply moving without professional help can seriously aggravate your injury. Most people are in such shock this advice is hard to remember in the moment. Accordingly, if you witness an accident make sure you tell the victim to keep still.
2. Refuse Medical Treatment. We have represented many victims of very serious bicycle and motorcycle accidents that refused medical treatment at the scene. This is NEVER a good idea for several reasons. First and most important is that after an accident you have so much endorphins running through you it is impossible to assess how serious your injury is. Some injuries may be life threatening and not even obvious at the time. A good example would be a head injury. You may have a simple head ache that is actually life threatening. Rather than talk about the many example i have seen over the past 23+ years of representing injured bikers, just get checked out! Second, it does not help your case. If you seek treatment several days or even weeks later, the other side will attempt to claim your injury was incurred after the accident. A gap in treatment never helps your case. Accordingly, never suffer alone, if you feel pain seek medical treatment immediately.
3. Fail to get names of witnesses. It is critical to get the name of witnesses at the time of the accident. Many times the police officer will not do an adequate good job of getting the name of all the witnesses or perhaps critical witnesses have already left the scene. Often the entire case could turn on whether there is a reliable witness. Accordingly this advice cannot be stressed enough.
4. Take Pictures. It is often said that a picture is worth 1000 words. However, in a personal injury lawsuit it is perhaps worth even more. The fact is almost everybody is around with a camera on their phone. Accordingly there’s no reason not to take as many photos as you can. This will include photos of the scene, damage to the vehicles and your own injuries. In fact it can be the difference between a fair recovery or no recovery at all for your injuries. The more gory the pictures the better!!
5. Wait too long to hire a lawyer. I know this advice may sound self-serving coming from a personal injury lawyer that specializes in representing injured bicycle and motorcycle riders. However it is incredible how often that by the time we get a phone call critical parts of your case are either lost or extremely compromised. By way of example, many security and traffic videos of an accident will be overwritten within two weeks if not obtained immediately. In addition, if you speak to the other insurance company by giving a recorded statement this can seriously compromise your case. Another example would be not investigating and locating relevant witnesses along with a written statement from them. Many people feel that the other insurance company has your best interest in mind, this could not be further from the truth.
Ride. Be Safe. Have Fun.
Bicycle Injury Lawyer/ Enthusiast