Your child could be at risk of a serious accident while riding a bicycle, especially on public streets or sidewalks. No matter how well you have trained your child to be careful, dangerous and distracted drivers could put him or her at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 19 and younger have the highest rates of nonfatal bicycle accident injuries. If your child gets injured in a bicycle crash in Dallas, take the following steps.
If the bicycle accident involves a motor vehicle driver, call the police immediately while you are still at the scene. Getting a police accident report is important if you wish to protect your legal right to hold the driver accountable. Never accept cash from the driver in exchange for not notifying the police or calling their insurance company.
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, use your smartphone or a camera to take photographs of the scene of the bicycle accident. Pictures of the scene can help reconstructionists piece together how and why the accident took place. This can help you prove the fault of a motor vehicle driver, a roadway hazard or a defective bicycle part.
Start gathering information and evidence as soon as possible. While you are still at the scene, write down the driver’s name and contact information, as well as the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses. You should also get the driver’s license number, plate number and insurance information.
Bring your child to a doctor or hospital after a bicycle accident. Even if your child appears to be fine, he or she may have an injury with hidden or delayed symptoms. Concussions and more serious traumatic brain injuries, for example, may not show signs or symptoms right away. Going in for a checkup after a bicycle crash can confirm whether or not your child is injured and provide the necessary medical care for any injuries. Furthermore, seeking medical attention can help you build an insurance claim.
In Texas, the driver or party at fault for a collision will be responsible for paying for medical bills and property repairs. After your child gets into a bicycle accident, you will need to determine fault before you can file an insurance claim. If your child is to blame, call your own car insurance provider. If the other driver caused the crash, such as by failing to yield the right-of-way, running a stop sign, speeding or driving distracted, call that driver’s insurer. You may need assistance from an attorney or a police officer to determine fault for the bicycle accident.
Even in a bicycle accident case involving a child, an insurance company will put its bottom line first and may try to avoid paying you the financial compensation that your family deserves. Be careful when speaking to an insurance claims adjuster, as this person works for the insurance company and is trained to save the company as much money as possible on your claim. Do not admit fault, give a recorded statement or accept a settlement when talking to the insurance adjuster.
Contact a bicycle accident lawyer in Dallas as soon as possible if your child is injured in a bicycle crash. A lawyer will be on your side and will work for you, not an insurance company. Your attorney can carefully investigate the accident, collect evidence, determine fault, and help you and your family get everything that you need during this difficult time. This includes medical care from top pediatricians. For more information about a bicycle accident legal claim, contact an attorney today.