Miami is known for its beaches. Bicycle riders in the area are at large for the same reason. People, both residents, and tourists, prefer using a bicycle to commute. As a result, a Miami bicycle accident may be more common than you think. More the bicycle riders, the greater the accidents. In Miami, bicycle accidents have shown a downward trend in the recent past. However, they are still too many not to care.
If you are in Miami and involved in a bicycle accident, taking the right steps, like hiring an accident attorney in Miami, after the accident can save you from a lot of trouble.
Things to do after a Miami bicycle accident
Call the police
All bicycle accidents must be documented. For this, calling the police is the first step after a bicycle accident. Call the police if you can or ask somebody to do so. Stay at the scene of the accident until the police come.
The police officials, once at the scene of the accident, start the investigation. The officials prepare an accident report as the first responders. The police report acts as the major evidence of the accident. They are also responsible for recording the drivers’ statements in the accident.
Driving away from the scene before getting your statement recorded will make the bicyclist lose the right to file for compensation.
Seek medical attention
Once the police arrive at the scene, call 911 to get medical attention. If the police see any injured party, the ambulance is called immediately. Even if you don’t see visible injuries, it’s better to get medical attention.
In some cases, it may take a few days for the injuries to show up and cause pain. Therefore, to avoid any unforeseen circumstances where it becomes difficult to establish the link between the injury and the accident, it is better to get complete medical attention immediately after the accident.
Give the statement
Going by the rule, the smaller vehicle in the accident also has the upper hand. For instance, the bicyclist is regarded as the not-at-fault party in an accident between a bicycle and a car.
The police officials, therefore, only record the other driver’s statement and do not feel the need to interview you. However, if you are present at the scene of the accident, you should not skip the officials’ questions and share your side of the story.
Specify all the minor details during the interrogation, such as the injuries suffered. The don’ts of the interrogation include – accepting your fault, holding the other driver responsible outrightly, being rude, and indulging in minimum conversation as possible.
Even minor injuries should be reported as they can turn serious later on.
Don’t think collecting evidence is only the work of the police or your attorney. While at the accident scene, you have the right to collect evidence as long as you don’t tamper with it.
While collecting evidence, you can take pictures and videos of the scene of the accident. Talk to the witnesses and note down their contact addresses. You can also look for other driver’s information like the driver’s name, contact address, vehicle number, driving license number, and others.
However, you should not converse with the driver’s insurance company.
If you are injured enough not to do so yourself, you can ask a witness to do the same for you. You can also look for nearby CCTV cameras to extract the day’s recordings later.
Keep your evidence
While you must prove the other party’s fault with evidence, you also must protect your innocence.
First things first, keep your bicycle with you and do not allow anyone else to use it. Document the vehicle damage, submit the same to the police and share it with your attorney. Next, keep other evidence like keys, helmets, and clothing that entails that the accident was not your fault.
Don’t get your vehicle fixed; wash your clothes before producing them as evidence in a court of law.
Hire a personal injury attorney
If the other driver’s insurance company isn’t cooperating with the settlement amount, you can hire a bicycle accident attorney in Miami to drag the case to court.
Sometimes, the coverage provided by the insurance company is insufficient to cover the damages. The victim can move to court to recover the amount of damages by filing a lawsuit. However, it’s advisable to have an attorney by your side.
Filing a lawsuit is not like eating a piece of cake. It involves a lot of paperwork. Moreover, presenting the case before a court of law is the essential job of an attorney. Hiring an attorney provides you with peace of mind.
They handle everything from talking to the insurance company, filing a lawsuit, gathering evidence, and submitting requests to dealing with the defense lawyer.
Contact your insurance company
Even if you are unsure if your bicycle damage is covered under the insurance cover, you should still contact your insurance company to confirm.
Sometimes your uninsured motorist coverage can cover the damages caused to your vehicle. The insurance company may also help you uncover other circumstances whereupon you may receive compensation.
However, it is important to contact your insurance company immediately after the accident not to diminish the chances of receiving coverage.
What about the insurance company of the other driver? It is advisable not to communicate with them directly. Insurance adjusters are clever and know their ways to get the compensation reduced. They may use the conversation against you in a court of law that may lose your right to get complete compensation.
Once you hire an attorney, it is their duty to talk to the other driver’s insurance company.
Know your damages covered
A bicycle accident can lead to serious injuries that may require long hospitalizations, constant medical care, and medical bills.
Knowing what damages you can cover through a lawsuit is important. Your attorney should accompany you in the recovery of all possible damages like medical bills, hospitalization bills, medical equipment costs, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, mileage reimbursement costs, and more.
It may be easier to mention them all, but only an experienced attorney knows the skills to recover them. It isn’t as easy. You get your choice of the settlement amount. You have to fight for it with proper evidence. Only an experienced personal injury attorney in Miami can perform such a task.