Every year, careless and inattentive drivers cause serious injuries and deaths by striking cyclists. Injured bicyclists may be able to recover financial compensation for their medical bills and other losses in Arizona by filing insurance claims or injury lawsuits against the at-fault drivers. Take the following steps to improve your chances of recovering compensation if you get hit by a car while cycling in Arizona.
Don’t Admit Fault
Never admit fault for the bicycle accident to the other driver, the police or an insurance company’s claims adjuster. There may be elements at play that you don’t initially know about, such as a road hazard or the driver’s comparative fault. Instead of letting the driver off the hook by admitting fault outright, wait for an investigation of your cycling accident to determine fault for you. If the investigation finds the driver to be even partially at fault, his or her insurance company may owe you financial compensation.
Call the Police
Always call 911 after a bicycle accident in Arizona. The police can investigate the scene of your crash for evidence such as eyewitnesses, skid marks on the road or proof that the driver is at fault. Although most bicycle accidents are serious enough to require a police report, you should call the police even for a minor accident to receive a police report. An insurance company will ask for a copy of this report, which will contain important information about the collision.
Collect Information at the Scene
You can strengthen your injury claim by collecting evidence while you are still at the scene of your cycling accident. If you are too injured to collect evidence yourself, ask the police or someone you trust to do so for you before it gets cleaned up by the city. If you can, gather the following information and evidence to support your claim:
- The driver’s name, number and insurance information
- A description of the driver’s vehicle
- Photographs and videos of the crash scene
- Pictures of any road hazards, such as a pothole
- Traffic or business camera surveillance footage
- Eyewitness names and phone numbers
- Your police report number
- A description of what happened
Preserving and collecting evidence to document your bicycle accident is important for your insurance claim or lawsuit. The more evidence that you gather against the motor vehicle driver, the greater your chances of recovering compensation from his or her insurance provider.
Visit a Doctor or Hospital ASAP
Never wait to go to a doctor or hospital after a cycling accident. An insurance company will check to see how long you waited as a way to potentially blame you for the extent of your injuries. Prompt medical care is also important for your own physical safety, as a doctor can diagnose an injury that you haven’t yet noticed, such as a traumatic brain injury that has delayed symptoms.
Contact the Driver’s Car Insurance Provider
Initiate an insurance claim by calling the driver’s insurance company and giving the representative the driver’s name and policy number (if you have it). Remember, the insurance company is not on your side. Keep your answers short and simple, don’t give the company a recorded statement, and don’t accept the very first settlement. These are ways that you can protect yourself from accepting an inadequate amount of money for your injuries and losses.
Consult With a Bicycle Accident Attorney
Before you say yes to an insurance company, consult with a bicycle accident lawyer near you for legal advice. A lawyer can help you understand the value of your claim and pursue maximum financial compensation through all available means, including a personal injury trial, if it comes to this. Contact a Glendale bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your cycling accident to fully protect your legal rights throughout the claims process.