If a motorist hits you while you ride your bicycle, you will likely suffer injuries that need medical attention. Knowing what to do if you’re injured in a bike accident ensures you can prioritize your actions from the moment the crash occurs until you receive monetary damages for your injuries.
In many bicycle-versus-car collisions, the motorist is at fault. The cyclist has a viable insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. Once their injuries are addressed, they can take legal action to seek compensation for their damages.
Focus on Your Medical Care Until Your Injuries Are Stable
When a cyclist is hit by a car, they often have significant injuries. Even when they do not believe they are hurt initially, it is essential that they have a medical evaluation quickly to rule out anything serious. Many suffer life-altering or potentially fatal injuries in this type of crash.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bicycle rides account for only about 1 percent of all trips nationwide. However, bicyclists suffer injuries and death at a higher rate than occupants in motor vehicles.
Injuries that bicyclists commonly have in an accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Other head and facial injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Abrasions and contusions
- Joint injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
Many of these injuries can cause long-term impairments or even permanent changes in physical or cognitive abilities.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
This Is a Good Time to Meet With an Attorney for a Free Consultation
Once a doctor diagnoses and stabilizes your injuries, continue your treatment plan. However, this is an excellent time to reach out to a personal injury lawyer about your legal case. Most offer free case reviews and handle these claims based on contingency fees. They should not ask you to pay anything upfront and receive their payment only if they recover compensation for you.
The attorney may need to wait until your treatment is complete and you reach maximum medical recovery before they can file your claim. Alternatively, they can call in the experts, who can document your prognosis and future medical needs that your injuries caused.
Even if they cannot file your claim immediately, they can go to work on your case for you. That is the next step you will complete if you handle your claim on your own, too.
Gather Evidence to Show Fault, Liability, and the Value of Your Losses
Before you can file your claim and seek compensation from an insurance company, you must have evidence to support your allegations that the driver caused the accident and your injuries. You will also need to document your recoverable damages.
The specific evidence available will depend on the circumstances of your accident case. However, evidence could include:
- The crash report law enforcement filled out at the scene
- A survey of the crash site
- Eyewitness statements
- Physical evidence, such as the damage to each vehicle
- Accident reconstruction
- Video or photos that document the crash
- Your relevant medical records
- Expert testimony
- Medical bills, paystubs showing lost wages, and other documents showing your damages
This could allow you to prove negligence, which requires showing:
- The driver had an obligation to act in a specific way, usually following a traffic law
- They failed to do so
- This caused the collision
- You suffered harm as a result
When you have strong evidence for negligence and liability, you could recover a wide range of damages. This could include:
- Medical bills, current and future
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
Working with an attorney can make this entire process much more manageable. They can get started while you continue your rehabilitation or after you return to work and your normal activities. Because they know how to investigate accidents and navigate the claims process, it will be much easier and less stressful for you.
How Quickly Do I Need to Act to Pursue My Claim?
There are no specific deadlines on insurance claims, but there is a time limit for suing based on state law. If you miss this deadline, you will not be able to sue, even if the insurer refuses to pay a fair settlement.
Deadlines across the Gulf South include:
- Alabama: Up to two years ( Code § 6-2-38)
- Arkansas: Up to three years ( Code Ann. § 16-56-105)
- Louisiana: Up to one year ( Civ. Code Art. 3492)
- Mississippi: Up to three years ( Code Ann. § 15-1-49)
Exceptions could shorten this timeline even further, so it is best to act quickly.
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Morris Bart, LLC, Offers Free Consultations Across the Gulf South
At the Morris Bart law firm, our car accident attorneys represent victims hurt in bicycle-versus-motor-vehicle collisions. We know how to build these cases and serve these clients based on contingency. We have offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Call (800) 537-8185 to learn more now.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.