What Do I Do If I Was Hit by a Car on My Bicycle?
Being involved in an accident is a stressful, terrifying experience. Often, it is unexpected and leads to shock. It could be even more overwhelming if you were in a crash where a car hit you on your bicycle.
If a car hits you while you are on your bicycle, try to stay calm and avoid too much motion in case of a severe injury. If you are able, call for the police; you will need a report on the issue for your insurance and possibly for a claim. Again, if possible, check for the safety of others, but don’t put yourself at risk to do so. Then, document as much as you can. Take pictures of the scene, setting, vehicles that are involved, and anything else that could be relevant. Photographic evidence can be extremely useful in accident claims. Such an accident may damage your phone or device, so, if there are witnesses, consider asking them to take pictures. It can also be helpful to get the contact information of any people that witnessed the incident. Your attorney can contact them later if you need more statements to strengthen your case.
If the driver of the car that hit you leaves the scene without communicating with you or police, try to get the model, make, and even license plate number of the vehicle. If you did not have the time to look, ask the witnesses if they noticed anything about the car. Any information about what the car looks like is essential for a hit-and-run case. If a driver flees the scene, the punishments are much more severe.
Once you have dealt with everything at the scene of the accident and have seen a medical professional, call an attorney. An attorney will be able to tell you whether you are eligible to file a bicycle accident claim and give you advice about what to do next. Your attorney will also work with investigators and specialists, as well as communicating with the insurance company so that you do not have to.
Make sure that you do not sign any paperwork from the insurance company. Additionally, do not give a recorded statement. If you do speak with a representative, don’t admit any blame. The insurance company’s primary goal is to settle your claim by paying as little as possible. The company will use anything that they can to avoid paying you all the compensation that you deserve. An attorney from Bulluck Law Group will help prevent the insurance company from tricking you.
Types of Accident Claims
Accidents can damage almost anything. Any accident, including bicycle accidents, have two types of claims: property damage claim and bodily injury claim. In bicycle accident cases, property damage claims usually involve receiving compensation for repairing or replacing a bicycle and anything the plaintiff might have been carrying, like a backpack with a computer or your smartphone. Bodily injury claims, as the name suggests, involve physical harms. If you needed medical attention because of the accident, you could file a bodily injury claim.
Like other personal injury cases, the court can award various damages to you if you win your case. The central compensation the defendant may owe you is the cost of medical bills. If you needed surgery, hospitalization, or any medical attention, the defendant might have to cover your expenses.
The court could also award you damages for lost wages, including money that you lost because of days that you had to take off work or any loss in salary earning potential because of the accident.
Finally, the defendant could also be required to compensate you for your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering would include emotional, mental, and physical trauma that you have experienced because of the bicycle accident.
What Do I Do If My Accident Was Caused by a Street or Road Defect?
Motor vehicles are not the only cause of bicycle accidents. Cracks, unstable, and uneven roads and streets can be just as dangerous as vehicles. If another person or organization’s negligence caused the street or road defect, you might be able to hold them responsible for your injuries.
Private property owners and business owners have to keep their property reasonably safe. If the dangerous condition that caused your accident existed for an unreasonably long time, the property owners or business owners breached their duty to keep you safe. Failing to uphold their duty could be enough to hold them legally responsible for the incident.
You may also be able to file a claim against the city government or municipality if you injured yourself on a public road that was not in a reasonably safe condition. However, these cases can be difficult to win; it’s best to talk with an attorney as soon as possible because filing against a government entity often has a shorter statute of limitations.
Auto Policy Coverage With Bicycle Accidents
Even though you were on a bicycle, the other party’s automobile insurance would cover you if his or her vehicle caused your accident. However, make sure to avoid talking to any insurance company unless you have an attorney.
If the driver who was responsible does not have insurance, you may be able to file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim if you have a policy for it.
Bicycle Accidents Caused by Dogs
If a dog causes your bicycle accident, you may be able to file a claim against the dog’s owner. There are certain stipulations about liability with dog attacks, however. The court must determine that the dog is dangerous or vicious for you to receive compensation from the owners.
Tampa Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Tampa, you need help. If another person or party was responsible for the accident and you suffered property or bodily damages, contact Bulluck Law Group. We have experienced lawyers who have extensive knowledge of Florida bicycle accident laws. We can offer you a free consultation to discuss your case, and if you choose to hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you receive compensation for your accident.