Seeking Legal Assistance If You Have Been the Victim of a Bicycle Accident
The California Dream. California offers not just its beautiful beaches, but also beautiful weather. Both locals and tourists alike are drawn outside to spend their day at the beach, enjoy a glass of their favorite drink, or sometimes, go bicycle riding. While the latter may sound really enjoyable, sadly, collisions happen. If you are a victim of a bicycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may need to speak to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer, like Ryan L. Maughan, Esq. of RLM Law.
RLM Law has experience with a wide variety of accidents involving cyclists. Accidents can occur through solo crashes or from sharing the road with motor vehicles. Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles generally happen when one or more parties are being careless. For example, an accident could happen because a driver was not paying attention, or a cyclist was listening to music and did not see the car coming. Cyclists are in extreme danger when drivers fail to see them, such as in the driver’s blind spot. Other examples of hazards are dangerous conditions on the road itself. If the latter, this could place the blame on the local government entity responsible for the road’s maintenance or signage. However, trail immunity may shield a government entity from responsibility if the accident occurs off-road such as a trail.
Immediate Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
If a car hits you while you are riding your bike on the street, you should call the police and wait for them to come. They will write down what happened in an official report. This is extremely important if you are injured so there is a record of what happened and the parties involved. Further, if you choose to hire a lawyer, you will want to provide this report to them as evidence. If you are well enough to speak with the officer, providing a statement can be helpful. If you don’t, the officer may not be able to figure out who is at fault. That can cause problems if you decide to bring a claim later. The officer’s report will also include the drivers’ statements and statements from any witnesses to the collision. It is also best to obtain the driver’s information, such as name, contact number, and insurance company information, at a minimum. You should also collect the names of any witnesses. When the officer completes their report, you can check to see if any mistakes were made on the report, as mistakes can happen.
It is very important to seek medical attention after an accident if needed. This is because you might not be aware of how injured you actually are. You might feel fine immediately after the collision because of the initial shock and adrenaline, but in reality, you could have injuries that will develop and worsen over time if they are not treated. For example, concussion symptoms might take a while to show up and can escalate over time. Having a doctor conduct an examination and assess for any injuries is generally a good idea if you suspect you may be injured. This way you will also have documented records of any injuries in the event you need them later on to substantiate your damages. You may also want to take pictures of your injuries, from different angles, and write down how you feel physically after the accident. This will help you preserve a record of the injuries if needed down the road.
In addition, you may not want to move the bicycle, or any other damaged property, after the collision so the extent of the damage can be documented. But only if doing so does not cause an impediment to other riders.
When to Consult a Lawyer
If you are offered a settlement from an adverse parties insurance company, it could be a good idea to discuss the offer with a lawyer first to ensure it is in your best interest. Further, it is not usually a good idea to speak with the other party’s insurance company without a lawyer representing you.
Most people do not like to think about going to court. This is often true for people who have been injured in an accident and deserve compensation. And they might end up settling for less money than they deserve or end up dropping the case altogether because they believe it will be too difficult to go through with the legal process. But at RLM Law, we are always ready to fight for our clients.
Regardless of who is at fault, if you are a victim in a collision between a driver and a cyclist, you have the legal right to be compensated for the damages it has caused you. As such, it is always best to seek help from a knowledgeable lawyer, like Ryan L. Maughan of RLM Law. RLM Law knows how to handle bicycle accident cases and will fight for your rights to help you recover your damages.