Everyone should feel secure when using a bike for transportation or enjoyment, but collisions with other vehicles do occur occasionally. Being unprotected by airbags, seatbelts, or the steel frame of a larger vehicle, the bicycle rider suffers the most severe injuries in these collisions, which is unfortunate. Before brushing off any injuries sustained in a bicycle accident, getting legal counsel from an accomplished bicycle accident lawyer is a good idea. They can go through the specifics of your injuries and outline your available legal options.
You may file a lawsuit against the individual who hit you and their insurance provider if you believe their carelessness caused the accident and your injuries. Whether you can do so successfully depends on your ability to establish that the driver was the only cause of the collision. In personal injury cases, North Carolina utilizes laws on “contributory negligence.” In essence, if the party you’re suing can show that you contributed in any way to the accident, they don’t have to pay you any damages.
There’s a strong probability you’re right if you assume the person who hit you will try to blame you for the collision even though you weren’t responsible. This is undoubtedly difficult, but in many instances, your attorney can show that their accusations are unfounded and that you weren’t at fault. Please contact a North Carolina bike accident lawyer immediately if an insurance company has denied your claim on these grounds.
It’s crucial to realize that litigation isn’t always necessary. We typically start by submitting a claim to the driver’s insurance provider in bicycle accident cases. Your lawyer might be able to work with the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement even if they initially reject the claim or make an offer that doesn’t cover all of your costs. The bulk of cases are settled in this manner.
However, there are several circumstances in which the insurance provider might not be prepared to pay enough or even anything at all. Additionally, some accident victims have medical and other costs far higher than the driver’s insurance policy limits. (North Carolina only mandates that drivers carry a minimum of $30,000 in personal liability insurance.) When issues like these arise, your lawyer might talk to you about bringing legal action against the motorist, the insurance provider, or, in less frequent circumstances, both. Other avenues for obtaining compensation occasionally exist, depending on the circumstances.
An automobile accident is typically a sudden, shocking event. Even realizing what has just transpired can take some time. When you do, you should immediately check for any injuries and dial 911. Even if you don’t believe you were injured, you should nonetheless report the accident so that a police report is accessible. Even though you might never need it, you’ll be happy to have it if you do
Try to speak with the driver of the car next. Hopefully, they will slow down and stop to check how you are doing. Trade contact details and inquire about their insurance coverage. Using your phone to take images, try to capture their license plate and driver’s license numbers if you can.
Take photos of the accident scene, including your injuries, the damage to the car that hit you, and where your bike ended up. Look around for any witnesses while you’re doing this, and try to collect their contact information.
Occasionally, the adrenaline rush that follows a traumatic incident like an accident might conceal physical signs like pain. Some injuries might not hurt for a few hours or even days. Even if you feel fine, having a medical professional check you out is a good idea. Call a friend or relative to have them transport you to a hospital or urgent care facility if you don’t want to pay for an expensive ambulance ride.
Some of these actions might not actually be feasible. For example, you might be unable to move around, take pictures, or speak to witnesses if you are bleeding heavily or otherwise appear gravely hurt. Your health should always come first. Maintain your conversation with the 911 operator and heed their instructions. If the other driver speeds off without stopping, try your best to capture a glimpse of their license plate number. Make a note of the vehicle’s description so you can report it to the police if that isn’t possible. Before doing anything, such as submitting an insurance claim, speak with a personal injury attorney for a free consultation after seeking medical attention for your injuries.
When you hit someone on a bicycle, you should pull over safely as soon as possible, turn on your flashers to alert other motorists, and then get out to see how they are doing. Next, call 911 and report the collision if they haven’t already, requesting an ambulance if necessary. Then, stay beside the injured person until help arrives from emergency services.
You will need to describe what happened to the police officers taking a report once assistance has come. Next, you should call your insurance provider and report the collision after they are finished questioning you.
The best course of action is to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as you can, prior to submitting a claim. Pick a lawyer who offers accident victims a free consultation with no commitment. They can review the accident report with you and suggest what to do if your claim is denied. If you want to retain them, they may submit a claim on your behalf and handle communication with the insurance provider. By doing this, you save more than just time and frustration. Direct communication with the insurance provider may include risks. Insurance adjusters frequently begin by being cordial and posing what appear to be regular inquiries concerning the collision. However, this can be a trap. They might single out specific things you say and insist that you are at fault for them.
However, they can end up making you an offer. People are frequently relieved if the insurance provider makes an offer soon after the event. But this might also be a trap. Many first-time settlement offers don’t even begin to cover all of your expenses, which include medical bills, missed pay from the period you were unable to work, pain and suffering, property damage, and other accident-related charges, as well as funeral or burial fees if a loved one died in a bicycle accident. It’s challenging to determine how much you should receive, but a personal injury attorney can help you determine whether an offer seems fair. Accepting any offer from the insurance company before you’ve had a chance to talk with an attorney is something we strongly advise against.
You could feel pressure from the insurance company to accept immediately, but they can’t compel you. Remain adamant if they call and pressure you to accept an offer. Tell them you’ll respond soon and request that they submit the offer in writing. After that, you ought to get in touch with a lawyer for a free consultation.
Technically, only accidents that result in injury, death, or $1,000 or more in property damage need to be reported. Therefore, you could be tempted to forego filing a complaint if the biker claims they are not wounded, but doing so is unwise. You should have a report ready if the cyclist subsequently learns they were hurt.
After investigating a reportable accident, the police are expected to write a report outlining their conclusions about the cause of the collision within 24 hours. You can submit your accident report online if they decide the collision is not worth reporting or are otherwise occupied. You can get guidance on how to do this from your lawyer.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian car accident, contact a personal injury attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected. If you were injured, or if your property sustained damage due to the carelessness of another, do not hesitate to contact Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters’ to examine your legal options. Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation by calling (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online.