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Bicycling is an incredibly popular activity in California. Regardless of whether or not a person is a recreational bicycle rider or if they use their bicycle as their primary method of transportation each day, the fact remains that bicyclists face a higher risk of injury in the event of a collision occurs. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, there were 155 bicyclist fatalities and more than 11,000 bicyclist injuries during the latest reporting year across the state. Here, we want to discuss what you need to do in the aftermath of being involved in a bicycle crash in California.
Steps to take following a California bicycle accident
The aftermath of a bicycle collision can be chaotic, but the steps that you take can affect the outcome of any insurance settlement or lawsuit resulting from the incident.
Seek medical care immediately. If you have been injured in a bicycle crash, you need to seek medical care for your injuries. Even if you do not feel much pain in the aftermath of a bicycle collision, please understand that the signs and symptoms of many injuries may not appear for hours or even days after the crash occurs. If the injuries are serious, call 911 to get treatment from emergency medical personnel. Even if the injuries are not life-threatening, you should go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility to be evaluated by a doctor.
Wait for the police to arrive. It is crucial that you wait for the police to arrive at the bicycle crash so they can conduct a preliminary investigation and file a police report. Insurance carriers often rely on information in a police report in order to make a determination about possible settlements. A police report will also ensure that there is official documentation of every party’s statements.
Gather as much evidence as possible. If you are able to do so safely, and you do not need to seek immediate medical care, you should use a smartphone or other device to take photographs of everything at the scene. This can include causes of the crash, damages to any vehicles, any injuries, debris around the scene, and more. You also need to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses as well as the driver’s license number and insurance information of any other driver involved.
Continue all medical treatment recommended. Even after you seek initial medical treatment after a bicycle crash in California, you need to continue any medical care recommended by your doctor until you have reached maximum medical improvement. Discontinuing care could signal to insurance carriers or at-fault parties that you are not really injured and do not need any payments for your losses.
Contact an attorney. If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a bicycle crash caused by the careless or negligent actions of another, you need to seek assistance from an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled Orange County bicycle accident lawyer in California will be able to evaluate your case, use their resources to gather and preserve evidence, and help negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
A bicycle crash can be a scary experience, but the steps that you take in the immediate aftermath of the incident, as well as the days and weeks that follow, will determine how successful your insurance settlement or potential lawsuit will be.
DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo uses contingency fees to provide some of the best legal representation for personal injury cases in Orange County. If we do not earn you a verdict or settlement, you will not incur any legal fees for our time. This gives us every incentive to maximize recovery for you.