The question really is SHOULD you make an insurance claim if you were involved in a bike accident? The answer to that is simple – not before you speak to a lawyer. However, if you decide to make an insurance claim we decided to write this post to provide some general guidance on dealing with the insurance company.
What Should I Do Right After the Bike Accident?
Bike accidents happen all the time in the streets of New York or New Jersey and the injuries could be serious. Knowing what to do after a bike accident could save you time later on.
After your accident, you may be hurt and unsure of what to do. If you are seriously injured then you may not be conscious at all after an accident. If you are still conscious after the injury, you must, of course, focus on securing immediate medical attention. Call 911 and stay calm while you wait for the police and the paramedics to arrive.
#1 Gather Information and Call the Police
Information is vital in any claim or case. Gather as much data as possible and document everything.
- Take pictures of the damages.
- Document the properties at the scene of the accident, such as pictures of broken lampposts and skid marks.
- Photograph the surroundings—it could be helpful during the investigation.
- Don’t forget to take photos of your injuries, no matter how light.
You should also talk to the driver. Sometimes drivers want to leave the scene and promise to “file a police report later.” You need to wait for the police to arrive to write a report. If the driver wants to leave then write down their name, driver’s license number, contact number, license plate, vehicle model, and auto insurance company. Try to avoid fighting with the driver.
If there are witnesses, ask for their names and contact numbers so that they testify if necessary. You should also get the name, badge number, and report number of the police officers when they arrive at the scene of the accident.
#2 Talk to the Police and Seek Treatment
Once the police arrive, be truthful. Inform them of what happened, but do not say anything that might implicate you as being at fault. Some people apologize even when they are not at fault. If you are one of those people DO NOT apologize. The police do not care if you are sorry. All they want to do is get an accurate accounting of what happened.
Then, let the medical personnel check your injuries and do not refuse any medical treatment, even if you don’t feel pain. The shock of the accident can mask the pain, and you should accept all medical help at this time.
Follow through with any medical appointments and treatments suggested by the doctor, and document these items religiously. Keep your receipts, prescriptions, and treatment plans.
#3 Call the Insurance Company
The next step is to inform your insurance company of what happened. They should cover your medical treatments and the other expenses involved as written in your insurance coverage. If you don’t have any insurance, contact the insurance company of the other driver.
You will need to talk about what happened and give them the details of the accident. The other driver should also have let their insurance company know the details, but be careful of what you say during your conversation with the driver’s insurance agent. These agents are on the other driver’s side of the claim and will actively look for ways to reduce your chances of claiming compensation. JUST MAKE BASIC STATEMENTS. Tell the insurance company what happened, the location of the accident, and when the accident occurred.
How can you avoid saying anything that can make you seem at fault?
- Avoid words like, “It’s okay,” “I wasn’t paying attention,” or “We’re both at fault.”
- Never downplay the severity of your injuries.
- Take notes of the important points of the conversation if you can.
#4 Talk to Our Lawyer
It’s possible to pursue legal action on your own, but the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates are well-equipped to help you through it. Filing a claim after a bike accident is arduous and often requires navigating complicated legal systems. Our professional lawyer improves the chance of getting through it smoothly and seeking a fair settlement.
If an insurance adjuster or any other person downplays the importance of legal assistance, be wary about taking their advice. They probably do not have your interests at heart and might be looking for ways to reduce your claim. Even with a high amount, an offer might be lower than what is possible with the right legal representation.
The long-term benefits of hiring an attorney outweigh any initial costs, so seek legal assistance as soon as you can, especially if there are serious injuries, missed workdays, and expensive medical bills.
More Tips For Making a Claim After a Bike Accident
An insurance claim after a bike accident hinges on sustained compensable damages that were no fault of your own. You will need to build a case to show the other driver’s actions led to your injury so that you can build a claim. Here are five tips for getting the claims process right:
#1 Organize Data
Information is vital in a successful claim, and the data needs to be as organized as possible. Collate:
- all the documents that you acquire concerning the accident
- receipts, medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and out of the pocket expenses
- copies of your medical appointments
- other written proof of how much the accident has cost you
- the police report reference number
Organizing this information might seem tedious in the wake of a terrible accident, but having this data handy will greatly increase the value of your claim and the amount of evidence you have to refer to in a legal case.
#2 File Quickly
It’s understandable that you may want to put the accident out of your mind and do nothing, but this is unwise if you want to claim against your insurance or the other party’s insurance. There are time limits for when you can file a claim. If you miss this period, the court may not honor your claims or grant you compensation for the damages after the accident.
File claims as soon as possible—the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates are happy to help you carry the burden of administration and legal channels if you need assistance.
#3 Be Firm
The compensation from the accident varies with the type of injuries and other details. For example, soft-tissue injury claims are easier to handle directly with your insurance company, but hard injury claims like bone fractures or head trauma become complicated quickly. It is better to seek our help with these negotiations.
An insurance company may try to settle your claim without considering the long-term effects or costs of those injuries. You could accept much less than what you deserve.
#4 Seek Representation
The right attorney can ease the stress of the filling process with an insurance claim after a bike accident. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates handles all the necessary paperwork and phone calls to alleviate your administrative burden. We also gather evidence, investigate what happened, and begin building a solid claim for you.
We understand how overwhelming it can be after the wake of an accident. If you need our counsel, we make ourselves available so that you can make informed decisions about every step of the process. If you decide to pursue legal action with us as your representative, our team will do their utmost to resolve your case so that you can focus on your health and recovery.
#5 Avoid social media
The digital platforms available to us make it exceptionally easy to overshare. Every aspect of our lives seems to appear on various social media platforms, and it is a contentious issue when it comes to legal processes. Sharing the details of your bike accident in this way often helps an insurance claim work against you, and the other party could use the pictures or status updates to argue against the severity of your injuries or mar your credibility.
During the process of your claim, rather limit your time on social media. Do not talk about any information regarding your claim in public or even to a friend or a family member. If they are persistent, inform them that your legal team has advised you not to discuss the details of your pending case.
Talk to the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates Today
A bike accident could result in debilitating injuries for both parties, but it is often the riders that shoulder the blame. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Sadaka Associates can help you to handle the paperwork and work through the claim in detail. Contact us today at 1-800-810-3457 for experienced and professional legal representation that can help you recover after a bike accident.