Personal Injury Lawyer
When a person gets into an accident with a car driver while riding a bicycle, it can be a terribly scary experience. It can be difficult for the bicyclist to keep his or her wits about themselves after being clipped by a car. The steps taken in the moments after an accident can have a huge influence on how well a bicyclist recovers from the incident. If the driver was responsible for the accident, the bicyclist may be entitled to compensation by taking legal action with the help of a personal injury lawyer Harrisonburg, Virginia offers against him or her for damages and losses.
Q: Is calling the police always necessary for bicycle accidents?
A: Yes, always call the police no matter the severity of the impact. Police can assist at the scene and file an official report of what happened. This piece of evidence can be impactful if the bicyclist wants to file a lawsuit against the driver. Sometimes, the bicyclist may not feel the extent of his or her injuries until a later time. What may appear as a mild injury could develop or be a sign of something more serious. And, the more serious the injuries, the more it will cost in medical bills to treat.
Q: If the officer writes a police report, do I have to exchange details with the driver still?
A: Yes, do not assume that the officer will take down all of the driver’s information. Exchange details just as if you were part of a car vs car collision. Get the name of the driver, address, form of contact, driver’s license number, vehicle description, license plate number, insurance carrier, and policy number. Do keep in mind that the driver may try to provide you with incorrect information, as a way to hopefully elude responsibility. Ask to see the driver’s license and insurance card for yourself, to prevent from receiving incorrect details.
Q: How soon should I get an exam from my doctor? Should I wait to see if everything is fine?
A: It may be in your best interest both health-wise and financially, to see a doctor as soon as possible after the bicycle accident. The reasons for this, are that you may have sustained serious injuries that have yet to show symptoms, and it can strengthen your lawsuit if you have documentation that medical care was sought with a sense of urgency.
Do not wait to see how you feel in a few days or weeks, because certain latent injuries could have worsened and then require more extensive treatment. For example, you may have sustained a back injury but only after several weeks or months may aches and pains start to finally be felt. Waiting to get treatment for certain injuries can eventually turn into chronic conditions.
Q: Should I consider hiring an attorney or can I handle this by myself?
A: It is encouraged that victims of bicycle accidents talk with a legal professional, if only to get some guidance when in the beginning stages of filing a lawsuit. However, many people find they need support throughout the process, as legalities can be complicated and confusing to understand for the average person.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and getting clipped by a car as a bicyclist.