Springtime Is Biking Season: Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident

by Staff Blogger | April 29th, 2024

As warmer weather moves into Northern California, the trails come alive with the hum of spinning bicycle wheels. This time of year for cycling enthusiasts means hitting the roads to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

However, with the increase in cycling activities comes a corresponding rise in collisions between bicycles and cars. Bicycle accidents typically peak in May through October, with around 11,000 injuries and 160 deaths annually in the state.

Knowing what to do is crucial if you’re injured in a bicycle accident. Your actions can help you get medical attention and protect your right to compensation from the negligent driver. Explore the steps to take after a bicycle collision and the role of a California biking accident lawyer from Berg Injury Lawyers in your case.

Post-Accident Steps

A bicycle accident can be disorienting, leaving you confused and unsure of what to do. Immediately after the collision, take the following steps:

  • Get Medical Care: After a bicycle accident, immediately assess yourself for injuries and seek medical care, even if you feel fine. Allow emergency services to conduct a preliminary examination, followed by a visit to a hospital or your doctor for a thorough check-up.

This helps providers identify hidden injuries, like concussions, that may not be immediately apparent. It also documents your injuries, connecting them to the accident, which is critical for filing a claim with insurance.

  • Contact Law Enforcement: This documents what happened through an official police report, which you’ll need for insurance claims or legal action. The report will include statements from all involved parties and have the officer’s observations, which can help establish the facts.

In California, you must report any accident involving injuries or property damage over $1,000 to the DMV within 10 days. You can also request a copy of the report for your insurance claim.

  • Exchange Information: Swapinformation with the other party involved in the accident. Collect their name, contact information, insurance details, and vehicle registration. Your attorney can use their information to file a claim with their auto liability insurance to pay for your damages, including your medical expenses and any repair costs for your bike.

The Importance of Documentation and Evidence

Documenting the accident scene, injuries, and property damage is vital for substantiating your claims. To properly document the scene, do the following:

  • Take Photographs: Start by capturing clear images of your injuries, then document the damage to your bicycle from multiple angles to show the extent of the impact. Photograph the entire accident scene, including road conditions, traffic signs, and environmental factors that contributed to the accident. Use a device that timestamps your photos, providing a verifiable event timeline.
  • Write Detailed Notes: Record your recollection of the events leading up to the accident while they’re fresh in your mind. Include details such as the time, weather conditions, traffic signals, and any statements made by the driver. Consider using a note app on your phone or in a video statement for easy access and sharing with your attorney.
  • Gather Witness Statements: Identify anyone who witnessed the event and ask for their version of what happened. Note their observations or record their statements if they consent. Get their name, phone number, and email address so your attorney can contact them later.

Witness accounts can bolster your case by providing an independent perspective of the accident. For example, a witness can confirm if the other party ran a stop sign, supporting your claim.

  • Report Accident to Your Insurance: Provide a detailed account of what occurred, including the exact time and location, the events leading up to the accident, and injuries or damages. This can expedite the claim process. However, consult with an attorney before speaking to insurers after an accident to ensure you don’t say anything that could affect your settlement.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Hiring an attorney after a bicycle accident can improve your chances of a favorable outcome, especially when dealing with the legal complexities of a bicycle accident case. Our team at Berg Injury Lawyers can help you receive fair compensation by:

  • Navigating Pure Comparative Fault Laws: In California, compensation is adjusted based on your fault percentage (your responsibility for an accident). We can gather evidence proving the other party’s negligence to lower your fault percentage and maximize your settlement.
  • Exploring Compensation Avenues: Your attorney can help you identify the best sources for compensation, including the other party’s liability insurance, your own uninsured motorist coverage, or medical payments (Med Pay) coverage to cover immediate medical expenses.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: We can negotiate with insurers for a fair settlement that fully covers your losses. This includes medical bills, bike repairs, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering. If the insurers refuse to accept our settlement offer, we can file a lawsuit and represent you in court to help get you the highest damage award possible.

Secure Fair Compensation After a Bicycle Crash

Experiencing a bicycle crash can be a harrowing ordeal, but knowing the actions to take afterward can influence your safety, safeguard your rights, and facilitate your healing process.

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, our team at Berg Injury Lawyers can use our four decades of legal experience to protect your interests and get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We can review your case, advise you of your legal options, answer your questions, and help get you back on the road again.