Cycling is a popular transportation method in big cities due to the convenience associated with lower transportation costs and bundling a workout with commuting. Also, bicycles are the world’s most eco-friendly transportation method.
However, sharing the road with motorists and pedestrians leaves cyclists vulnerable to road accidents. According to statistics, 325,173 nonfatal and 1000 fatal cycling accidents occurred in the US in 2020.
Although the volume of cycling-related accidents is lower than car crashes, cyclists involved in such accidents can make third-party compensation claims. Therefore, a compensation claim guide is below for cyclists injured during road accidents.
Gather Evidence From The Scene
Like with any injury compensation claim, an investigation comes before the relevant body can award the claim. Such studies entail gathering evidence to establish which party caused the accident.
Although you can hire a lawyer for a bicycle accident to use their resources and connections to gather evidence, this might take time. Second, the evidence might not be available after people disperse from the accident scene.
Despite feeling shaken, perhaps even numb after the accident, try gathering yourself and taking the vehicle’s license number and the driver’s insurance information. You can also take photos and videos of the accident site to investigate.
Lastly, try talking to bystanders and encouraging those willing to record what happened; you can also request witnesses for their names and contact details. Such information should help speed up the investigation aspect of making a claim. Moreover, it should also prove negligence on the crashing vehicle or road maintenance service, validating your claim.
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Seek Medical Attention
Seeking medical attention can precede gathering evidence if your injuries limit your movement and cognitive functions. However, you should not seek medical attention after gathering evidence, even if you cannot see or feel apparent signs of body trauma. A road accident is a traumatic or acute stress situation and stimulates maximum adrenaline production. Adrenaline is a hormone the body releases during stressful situations.
One study on adrenaline and pain shows that adrenaline releases endorphins and other innate body painkillers, masking pain. Also, adrenaline after-effects last approximately an hour after an emergency, depending on the stress intensity.
Therefore, you may not feel pain after a cycling incident due to the adrenaline, but this does not mean that there is no injury. So, visit a doctor to address potential adverse health issues like fractures, internal bleeding, spinal injury, and brain trauma. Moreover, medical receipts are vital in supporting your compensation claim; the level of injury can help you or your legal team push for the maximum claim. You can call first-responders for a checkup at the accident scene if you cannot go to the hospital.
Report The Accident To The Police As Soon As Possible
One essential document you will need to have while filing your cycling accident claim is a police crash report. A crash report details the events leading to the crash, the damage extent, and police expert opinion on the accident.
The insurance body will need the crash report to verify that indeed an accident occurred and, most importantly, that the offending party was on the wrong side. Police officers have experience collecting evidence from accident scenes and have better judgment of the details to include in the crash report to improve your odds of receiving the claim. Second, they can follow up on unprecedented situations like a hit-and-run.
Therefore, ensure you report the accident to the police as soon as possible; the recommended duration to file a police report is within 28 days from the day of the accident. You can retrieve a copy of the crash report from the police precinct where you reported the incident.
Establish The Financial Cost Of The Accident
Insurance companies are never willing to part with money for claims, so you need to establish the physical health and financial costs associated with the accident to get a fair settlement. Such costs include:
- Financial loss from inability to work due to bodily or psychological harm
- Degradation in quality of life
- Property damage to your bicycle
- Cost of alternative transportation means
- Medical expenses, including medication, rehabilitation, and home care costs
- Home and vehicular adaptations to facilitate injury
However, you need receipts to prove the above and validate your reasoning in claiming compensation that will restore you to your original status. Consulting a legal expert specializing in injury and compensation claims is advisable.
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Seek Legal Advice but Consider the “No win, no fee” claim
Insurance companies will eat you up alive to avoid paying claims. Therefore, consult a licensed legal officer specializing in claims to help streamline your claim, file it, follow up, and ensure maximum compensation. Moreover, most legal entities dealing in claims offer the “no win, no fee” policy, meaning that you do not pay any legal fees if the courts deny your claim.
Lodge A Personal Injury Claim
Proceed to lodge your claim once you are on the same page with your legal counsel. Moreover, note that you can file a claim for a loved one incapacitated during a cycling accident. However, note that compensation claims vary in value and the waiting period, depending on the extent of harm; follow up with your legal counsel until the process ends.
As a cyclist, you have the right to compensation after a road accident regardless of whether the offending party has active insurance coverage. Therefore, use that avenue to get the compensation you deserve.