When an automobile accident involves a bicyclist, the chance of injuries and fatalities are far greater than in a normal car accident. The impact of two tons of metal hitting a person on a bicycle can leave a victim unable to work or get from place to place independently. According to a report by the editor of Biking in LA, 26 people were killed in bike accidents in 2017. There are not enough bike lanes and the city is currently trying to rectify the situation. There are a few things you can do to avoid getting into accidents and several steps you should take if you are injured.
How to avoid a Bicycle Accident
Although you have probably heard it before, a responsible bicyclist should always wear bright clothing, padding, and a helmet. It is a good idea to ride in a group and to carry a cell phone in case there is an accident. It is advisable to stay off the road when it is raining and get a light for your bike if you ride in the dark. Los Angeles is putting in bike lanes on streets that were once considered dangerous for bicyclist. It is best to stick to streets that have bike lanes if it is possible.
What to do if you are injured in a Bike Accident
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you are probably dealing with a lot of pain and wondering how you are ever going to pay for your hospital bills. Although dealing with medical appointments can be a full-time job, it is important to properly document all the details of your accident and have regular communications with your insurance company. It is also important to document all expenses related to the accident.
As with any car accident, you must stay at the scene until the police arrive. It is also a good idea to collect the names of any witnesses. If your injuries are too severe to collect names at the scene, there are several other ways to get names of witnesses. You can put notice out on social media asking for witnesses and you can put flyers up at the scene of the accident asking for any witnesses to call you. Call your insurance company immediately and give them every detail that you can remember. Be sure to get a copy of the accident report as soon as possible and make sure that nothing was left out.
Get a receipt for every single thing that is related to your injury. Obviously, you want to collect receipts for medical visits and prescription medications, but you should also document other related expenses. Save all of your pay stubs during your period of recovery to document any time you lost from work. If you had to pay for child care to go to medical appointments, be sure to get a receipt from the child caretaker. If you get massages or have any kind of wellness treatment that may be considered physical therapy, you should save those receipts as well. If you have planned and paid for a vacation or business trip that you could not take due to an accident, be sure to bring along receipts for the trip and documentation of any money paid out that was non-refundable.
Insurance companies have one goal and that is to keep as much money as they can. They have entire legal departments devoted to looking for any loophole in the law that will excuse them from paying on a claim. Many insurance companies will even hire private detectives whose job it is to photograph an injured person moving in a way that a doctor says they cannot. The will also try to catch a claimant participating in an activity that would suggest they are not really injured.
Seeking money for emotional pain and suffering is becoming increasingly difficult in the United States. Big companies have gotten together to form entire organizations dedicated to protecting themselves from paying out money on for intangible damages. The state of California is one of 33 states that has enacted some type of tort reform and the United State Congress passed medical malpractice tort reform just two years ago.
Corporations and the lobbyist and publicist who work for them have done an excellent job of turning public sentiment against injured people who want to be compensated for something that is hard to see and even harder to prove. Awards for anything other than monetary damages are often considered punitive, and the people who seek such awards are perceived as greedy from the public’s point of view. Insurance companies realize this and are usually unwilling to pay out any money for pain and suffering.
If you want to make sure that you will get the money you should after an accident, you must hire a good personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.
Finding an Attorney
Your attorney should be someone who has years of experience with traffic accidents and who understands insurance law. It is easy to be intimidated by the legal team of an insurance company, but the attorneys at Bauman Law have the knowledge and integrity to fight for the money that you deserve. The firm has resolved more than 6000 cases in the state and has a staff of over 30 lawyers and paralegals. Good research by a devoted team of professionals can make all the difference when negotiating with insurance companies. Having a bicycle accident can interrupt your journey, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the road.