It’s a bicyclist’s worst nightmare – being hit by a vehicle. The actions you take after a bike accident in Iowa can have a significant impact on the outcome of your claim against the at-fault drivers’ insurance company. Here are some tips to follow after a bicycle accident:
1. Contact Law Enforcement Immediately After Your Bicycle Accident
First, call the police. Some drivers may want to avoid calling the police. You should insist on it and then wait for the police to arrive if you are physically able to do so. If the police officer gives the other driver a citation, that can be helpful in proving he or she was at fault for the crash.
While you’re waiting for the police officer, don’t make small talk with the other driver. It is natural to try to make the driver feel better by lessening the severity of the situation and saying things like, “I’m okay,” or “I’m sure you just didn’t see me,” or worse yet, “it’s not your fault.” Stay cordial, but don’t be unnecessarily forgiving. If the other driver says things to you, like offering an apology, try to make note of that if you can.
When the police officer arrives, make sure to tell him or her what happened. Don’t leave out any details. Also, tell the officer that you are injured and which body parts you believe are hurt.
If there were witnesses to the accident, try to get their names and phone numbers. Sometimes police officers include this information in their report, but often they don’t.
At the very least, get the name, phone number, insurance information, license plate number, driver’s license number, and address of the driver who hit you. You may want to call a close family member or friend who you trust to help gather information if you are too injured.
2. Document Your Bike Crash Injuries
Accept an ambulance ride if you are offered it. All your injuries may not be visible, so you should seek medical attention immediately. Insurance companies typically do not value injuries appropriately unless they are timely documented in a medical record.
Take photos of your injuries right away. Cuts and bruises can tell the story of how and where you were injured, but they generally heal.
Just like bruises, your memory of the accident will fade. Make notes about what happened right away. Some things you should note down include:
· The time of day the crash occurred
· The weather and the road conditions
· Anything the driver or witnesses said to you
· What your initial injuries were
· What the police officer said to you or the other driver.
Some further questions to consider and note down: Did you see the other driver’s headlights and/or turn signal? Was the driver on his or her cell phone? What was he/she looking at when the car made impact with yours? Did you see him or her slow down or speed up?
3. Preserve Evidence from Your Accident
Keep all the evidence as it is after the collision. Don’t fix your bike, wash your clothes, or get rid of your helmet. These items may become important to tell the story of how the crash happened later.
4. Seek Advice of a Skilled Iowa Personal Injury Lawyer Who is Experienced in Bicycle Accident Cases
You should do this before you give a recorded statement to any insurance company. The attorney will be able to advise you on how to proceed, deal with the insurance company, and represent you in litigation if necessary. The attorney may talk to the witnesses and investigating officer early on. They may also advise you that it’s necessary to hire an accident reconstruction expert to prove how the accident occurred and then take the necessary steps to hire a trustworthy expert.
If you or someone you know has been in a bicycle accident, call an experienced attorney at RSH Legal. We will give you honest advice about whether you need an Iowa personal injury attorney and if so, what steps to take next.
To get your free, no-obligation case evaluation, call 1-800-433-0283 today.