Bicycle accidents are a major public health risk for residents of Florida. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida has the highest rate of bicyclist deaths of any state in the nation. Worse still: while most states have been able to make major reductions in the number of cyclist deaths over the past thirty years, Florida had the second-worst improvement of all fifty states.
When a bicycle accident occurs, it can be difficult for injury victims to know what to do. The experienced bike accident lawyers at the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating injury claims arising from bicycle accidents. We will answer all your questions and aggressively defend your legal rights. Use our handy guide to protect yourself from physical and financial losses after a bicycle accident.
Access all necessary medical treatment
The most important step an injury victim can take toward his or her recovery is to ensure that the proper medical attention is administered as soon as the accident occurs and throughout the recovery process. Emergency medical care should be accessed as needed. This may include calling paramedics and being transported by ambulance to an emergency department, or it may simply require a visit to an urgent care facility after leaving the scene of the accident. If urgent symptoms are not immediately noted, accident victims should nonetheless consult with their primary care provider to make sure they face no lasting complications from the accident. Latent injuries can sometimes present themselves later after an accident occurs. Such injuries should be addressed and treated if and when they arise.
Ongoing medical care is generally required after an accident. This may involve consultations with specialists, medical pain management, physical therapy, or chiropractic services. Accident victims should carefully consult with their providers to determine which specific services are right for them. Injuries which are not properly treated tend to get worse over time. Money should never be a factor in deciding whether or not to get necessary medical treatment after an accident.
Speak with any law enforcement officers who respond to the scene of the accident
When officers respond to the scene of the accident, they will often take statements from everyone who was involved. Give the police your concise statement of the simple facts of the accident. Make sure to ask how to obtain a copy of the police report once it has been completed.
Contact a Bicycle injury attorney as soon as possible
By contacting a bicycle injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident, injury victims can ensure that their right to compensation is secured. This will resolve the stress of paying for treatment and allow an injury victim to focus on his or her recovery. The sooner you seek an attorney’s advice, the better he or she will be able to protect your legal rights. Statements made on the scene of the accident are often used against an injury victim. Insurance companies will often contact victims after an accident to obtain a recorded statement of the facts. While this is a necessary step in the investigative process, it can nonetheless impact a victim’s compensation for injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you navigate these processes without compromising your legal rights.
Document, Document, Document
Tangible evidence such as photographs, video, and audio recordings is often at the center of personal injury litigation. Injury victims should thus be sure to carefully document the accident itself, and any symptoms or losses caused by the accident. With the prevalence of smartphones, it has become increasingly easy to take photographs and video recordings of an accident scene.
Physical injuries – such as bruises, scars, and cuts – should also be documented to support your personal injury claim. Any time missed from work as a result of the accident should be documented to support your claim for lost wages. A personal injury attorney can help you determine what to document and how it should be recorded.
Do not discuss your accident on social media
In today’s instantaneous and digital society, it is highly tempting to immediately update one’s friends with news of an accident or injury. This can compromise your personal injury claim. Any pictures you post or statements you make on social media can be used by the insurance company to devalue your personal injury claim. Refrain from posting any information about the accident or recovery until your claim has been settled or resolved at trial.
An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Cure
The best way to recover from an injury is to avoid bicycle accidents altogether. Follow these safety tips to reduce your chances of being involved in a bicycle accident:
- Make sure your bike is in a safe working condition prior to taking a ride. Wear a helmet and other protective gear to reduce the injuries that are sustained in an accident.
- Bikes are smaller and more difficult for drivers to see. Use flashers or bell as necessary to help drivers see you. Pay particular attention when riding through parking lots, as a driver’s attention may be diverted to the task of reversing their vehicles.
- Watch carefully for obstructions in the road. Being smaller and lighter than cars, bicycles are more susceptible to debris in the road.
- Avoid making fast lane changes or other abrupt maneuvers. The more unpredictable your movements, the more difficult it is for drivers to avoid a collision.
The Right Representation for your Bicycle Accident Injury Claim
The personal injury attorneys of the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in negotiating and litigating bicycle accident claims. They fight hard to protect Clearwater residents from injuries and ensure that they are fairly compensated when injuries do occur. Whether your bicycle injuries were caused by a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or other negligence, our experienced team has the legal expertise to ably handle your claim. Call (727) 451-6900 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today. Our experienced, aggressive attorneys will protect your right to be compensated for your injuries and losses.