What to Do If You Get Into a Bicycle Accident in the Park
You were recently riding your bike in the park when you were injured in a crash; now you’re wondering what to do. Should you initiate a lawsuit? How does the legal process work? And who is going to help you with your case, anyway?
Heiting & Irwin are here for you in your time of need. We have been serving our clients since 1976, and compensation for cases has ranged from tens of thousands of dollars to multimillions of dollars. Since our founding, we’ve recovered over $400 million for clients. We will fight to get you the compensation that’s rightfully yours. Contact us today for your free consultation to get started.
Why Bicycle Crashes Are Occurring
According to “Quartz,” several national parks have neared record attendance since the start of the pandemic, and waiting times just to get on trails may exceed visitors’ time in the wilderness by four to one. They say people are spending much more time outdoors and in parks specifically these days because of COVID-19. Along with the parks being safe places to socially distance from others, they are also where people can walk or take their bikes and exercise (many gyms across the nation are still closed).
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
The first thing to do after a crash is to check to see if you’re injured. Sit down somewhere and don’t make any quick movements. Assess whether you’re dizzy. You don’t want to fall down and hurt yourself. If you have a first aid kit, then use it to bandage up any areas where you got hurt. You may have a concussion; if your helmet is bent or scraped, save it. That could be a sign you fell on your head. If you’re in the middle of nowhere and you can’t move, ask someone to call for help. You may need serious medical assistance – not all injuries are immediately evident.
Retrieve information from the person(s) involved. Ask for names and numbers, and get their driver’s license number and the potential defendants’ homeowners or renters insurance policy number if they have it. If the person offers you money not to call their insurance provider, do not accept it, because you may not be able to get a proper settlement later on. You might feel like you don’t need much of a settlement because you only have minor injuries, but those injuries can become worse over time. That means you’ll have higher bills. You don’t want to get stuck with bills you can’t afford.
If the person suggests there is no need for medical attention or police/ranger involvement, it is still best to get formal medical attention and investigation while there. Things and stories may change once you leave.
Gather information, if you can, on people who saw what happened. Get their contact information in case you need it later on. Also, you might take photos of your injuries, the surroundings, the scene, and any damages. Don’t try to fix your bike. Wait to do that until after you talk to a lawyer.
If you are hurt, go to the nearest hospital for a checkup. It’s a good idea to get X-rays even if you believe you only have minor injuries. You might have internal injuries or fractures you don’t even recognize.
If the doctor gives you a treatment plan, make sure you follow it. Take your prescription medicines and go to specialists if required. Never skip appointments. If you fail to take care of yourself, it could hurt your case because it shows you either weren’t injured or your injuries aren’t serious. You have an obligation to “mitigate your damages.”
Improve Your Chances of Getting a Settlement
After you get home from the doctor, the other person’s insurance provider may call you to question your or offer you a settlement. Insurance companies are not in the business of paying out full value settlements to victims handling their own claims, even if they deserve it. They will provide you as little as possible. Don’t let them get away with that.
When they call, all you have to do is confirm that there was an accident. Don’t answer any other questions or tell them about your injuries. Contact a personal injury lawyer for assistance.
When you get in touch with your lawyer for your initial consultation, your lawyer will ask you about what happened and if you have any evidence to back up your claim. Once they collect all the evidence, they’ll reach out to the other’s insurance provider – whether it’s vehicle or homeowners insurance – and work on a fair settlement for you. These policies may cover your injuries and the damage to your bike. If the other cyclist does not have coverage, your lawyer will look elsewhere to find a resource for you.
As long as you have strong evidence, there is a good chance the case may settle instead of going to court. Your lawyer won’t be able to tell you how much your settlement is going to be until negotiations are done, but they will attempt to retrieve economic and non-economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and emotional distress and this wil be for future, as well as past, damages.
Your damages award will depend on the extent of your injuries, how high your bills are, and your past and future losses. For example, if you suffered from a catastrophic injury where you now need lifelong care, your damages will be higher because you’ll have more medical bills and you won’t be able to work as much, if at all. Your lost wages could include a loss of future bonuses as well. No matter what, your personal injury attorney will do everything they can to get you the highest settlement possible for your bicycle injury.
Working With Personal Injury Attorneys Heiting & Irwin
If you’re suffering from injuries due to a bicycle accident and you want to initiate a personal injury lawsuit, then it’s time to get in touch with Heiting & Irwin. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400. We look forward to assisting you.