If you get injured in a bicycle accident with a car, truck or van, what you do in the immediate aftermath of the wreck can be critical to the future of your injury claim. Taking the correct steps to protect yourself physically and financially can impact the outcome of any lawsuit that results from the crash. Here’s what to do after a bicycle accident in Texas.
Don’t Admit Fault
For many bicyclists, the initial reaction after an accident is to jump up and apologize to the driver. These are two things that you should not do. Remain where you are and don’t move until you have checked to feel if there is pain, numbness or tingling in your back or limbs. If you believe that you could have a back injury, only move if it is necessary to do so for your personal safety.
Do not apologize to the other driver, as this could be construed as you accepting fault for the collision. Remain polite and calm, but do not admit fault. Even if you think you might have caused the bicycle accident, there may be factors that you are unaware of, such as a malfunctioning traffic light or cell phone use by the driver. Let the police and insurance company investigate the bicycle accident and determine fault.
Always call the police after a bicycle accident in Texas. It is a legal requirement to report a crash immediately to the police if it causes injuries or at least $1,000 in property damage. Even if your bicycle accident was relatively minor, involving the police can help by creating an official accident report. Make sure to talk to the police and get your version of events into the accident report. Never accept cash or promises from the driver who hit you in exchange for not calling the police or involving insurance companies. This could result in you settling for much less financial compensation than you deserve – or nothing at all.
Do your best to collect information while you are still at the scene of your bicycle accident. Write down the driver’s name, contact number, insurance company and vehicle information. This includes the vehicle’s identification number and license plate numbers. Write down the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses, as well. If you can, take photographs of the crash, including your damaged bicycle, the vehicle and the location of the collision.
Go to a Hospital
It is always important to obtain professional medical care as the victim of a bicycle accident in Texas. Prompt medical care can immediately diagnose an injury that your adrenaline may be hiding, such as a neck, back or head injury. Follow your doctor’s treatment plan. Going to a hospital right away can also show an insurance company that your injuries are serious, and you did what you could to mitigate them.
Contact an Insurance Company
Once you have documented what happened and collected copies of critical records, such as your medical bills and the police accident report, make the call to the driver’s insurance company to file an initial claim. In Texas, the party at fault for a collision will have to pay for damages. You may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, bicycle repairs, lost wages and other losses from the driver’s insurance provider.
Work With an Attorney
When you are filing a bicycle accident insurance claim in Texas, take care to defend your rights. Do not trust the insurance claims adjuster assigned to review your case. Politely decline to give the adjuster a recorded statement over the phone. Before you sign anything or accept a settlement, consult with a bicycle accident attorney in Dallas to make sure that you are not falling into a trap set to devalue your claim. An attorney will give you trustworthy advice about how to get the most out of your lawsuit.