Bike accidents often leave riders with more serious injuries than you would expect of injured drivers or passengers in a car. Without a vehicle protecting them from injury, cyclists can sustain very serious injuries in crashes, potentially leading to life-altering injuries.
If you were hurt in a crash, you should be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other expenses caused in the crash. You should also be entitled to compensation for lost wages if your injuries force you to miss time at work. Getting these damages, however, is often more complex than you might expect, and help from an experienced attorney is often indispensable.
For a free evaluation of your accident case, call our bicycle accident lawyers today at Legal Care New Jersey by dialing (732) 838-9769.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Lakewood, NJ
After being hurt in a bicycle accident, you might be too injured to do much of anything. If you are taken away in an ambulance, if you are unconscious, or if you are having trouble getting your thoughts together, focus first on getting medical attention before dealing with the aftermath of the crash. If your injuries can be stabilized at the scene of the crash and you have time to collect some evidence and take a few other steps, you should take care of the following issues:
Getting evidence of what happened, who was involved, where the accident happened, and more can all be incredibly helpful later when you take your case to our bicycle accident attorneys. With photos and good notes on what happened, your attorneys will be in a stronger position to win your case.
Get a Copy of the Police Report
The police should be called at the scene of any accident involving injuries, and they should prepare a police report for any crash. This report contains a lot of the same information about the accident that you might be able to collect at the scene. Still, it is important to get the report as well. Often, the police officer will get a chance to take statements from others that you might not have access to, such as the driver and any witnesses. Additionally, any statements that back up your assertion of the events is helpful. Lastly, police reports are excellent resources if you were too injured and had to leave the scene of the accident in an ambulance.
Seek Medical Care
As mentioned, you should focus on your injuries first at the scene of the bicycle accident. If you can be treated by EMTs and resume evidence collection, do so. If you have to leave the scene for treatment, focus on your health and safety first before worrying about evidence. In many cases, you might have a recommendation from EMTs or emergency room staff to seek follow-up appointments with specialists or with your primary care physician.
You should follow all recommendations and stick to all treatment schedules. This is vital because it creates records of treatment to show how bad your injuries were, plus it mitigates damages. If your injuries go untreated, there is perhaps no evidence that you were even injured, and if you let your injuries get worse, you will often be responsible for your worsened condition instead of the defendant.
Call a Lawyer
Working with an attorney can provide you with peace of mind that an experienced legal professional is on your side. Our attorneys have experience handling these kinds of cases and getting bike accident victims the damages they need. Trying to deal with insurance companies on your own can often lead to denied claims or unpaid damages.
Getting Compensation for Bicycle Accident Injuries in Lakewood, NJ
Damages are often available for an auto accident – including bicycle accidents – through one of two systems: insurance and lawsuits. In many cases, you could be entitled to partial compensation through both systems, and you should seek help from an attorney to determine how to proceed.
Insurance Claims for Bike Accidents
If you are covered by a no-fault auto insurance policy, you are typically required to claim compensation through that system, and you might be barred from a lawsuit. If you drive a car, you are required to carry an insurance policy, and this should cover your bike accident injuries as well. If you do not drive but have a member of your household that does, their insurance might cover your accident and provide damages.
No-fault insurance pays some damages toward your medical bills and lost wages, but it does not pay pain and suffering damages. There are also caps and special rules about how much reimbursement you can get under each policy.
The terms of your policy will usually dictate when you can reach beyond this compensation to file a lawsuit. “Basic” and “standard” policies typically have a limited right to sue, meaning that you must prove you have legally “serious” injuries to file a lawsuit. This typically means having permanent injuries or substantial scarring, though a displaced fracture should also suffice. If you have an “unlimited right to sue” policy, then you should be able to file a lawsuit even if you have minor or moderate injuries.
Filing a Lawsuit for Bike Accidents
The chance to file a lawsuit can help you surpass these limitations and get additional damages. If you take your case to court, you can usually sue for pain and suffering, immediately opening another area of recovery for your injuries. In addition, you can recover compensation for any bills and expenses related to the accident that were not covered under your insurance.
This is often the only way that victims of bicycle accidents can be compensated in full for their accidents. Plus, there is no requirement that forces you to take a lawsuit all the way to trial. Most injury cases are settled, including lawsuits – meaning that your lawyers could be able to negotiate a fair settlement of your lawsuit to get you additional damages without having to go through the time and expense of trial.
Call Our Lakewood, NJ Bike Accident and Injury Attorneys Today
If you were hurt in a bike accident, call Legal Care New Jersey’s bicycle accident lawyers at (732) 838-9769.