What to do after a Missouri bicycle accident by a Springfield Bicycle Accident Lawyer
What if someone pulls out from a driveway while talking on their cell phone.
Before anything like this happens to you (and I hope it will not), let me walk you through what you need to know..
What to DO (and DO NOT) after a Missouri bicycle accident:
DO call the police. That doesn’t mean they will always show up; they may not show up if you are uninjured. But are you sure that you are not injured? How do you know? A knee, shoulder, or hand injury may not develop for a day or two. What about that head knock? I’ve had many cases that began with the cyclist feeling “OK” immediately after the crash, only to have pain show up a few days later. So instead of emphasizing that you are OK, see if you can get the police to respond. If they ask if you are injured, tell them that you were hit pretty hard and need a medical exam.
DO NOT volunteer that you are “OK.” or “Fine” Ever. If an entirely legitimate injury develops later, it will look fishy to the insurance company if you initially assured the driver that you were OK. If you feel you have to say something at the scene, be vague about your sensations, and be clear that you need to go to a doctor for a medical evaluation.
DO get the driver’s insurance, license, and contact information. If the cops don’t show up, you are taking his word that he will pay. Remember, he’s a complete stranger to you. You don’t know him well enough to take his word about anything. Get his plates, ask to see his driver’s license and insurance information, get his phone contact (have him call you to verify the number — but that is no guarantee either with pre-paid phone numbers). Take pictures of his car, license plate, driver’s license, vehicle, collision scene, your bike, and damage to vehicle.
DO get witness information. Ask any witnesses for their names and phone numbers in case you need somebody to say what they saw.
DO go to a doctor afterward. If the doctor gives you a clean bill of health, that’s great. But if you tell everybody that you’re fine and don’t go to a doctor, and then injuries begin to show up afterward, you will have a harder time convincing the insurance company that you’re not faking it and that their driver injured you.
DO preserve your evidence. You may want to get your bike repaired right away — DON’T!
Leave your bike in exactly the state it was in after the crash. Take photos. Have a mechanic take a look at it but don’t fix anything. What you need is the mechanic’s expert opinion about the condition of the bike after the crash. Keep your bike in exactly that condition until after you settle with the insurance company.
In my experience, insurance companies are more responsive to cyclists who have been hit by their insured when there is a physical injury — even a minor one. Conversely, I have noticed a trend of property damage-only claims being denied or ignored by insurance companies. So while you never want to fake an injury (that’s insurance fraud), you have no reason at all to play down an injury. Let your doctor decide what injuries, if any, you have suffered.
I know firsthand the hazards cyclists face on the roads in Missouri and Arkansas, because I deal with them myself. So when clients come into my office with serious injuries, their lives turned upside down, their ability to ride put on hold, I can relate. I fight aggressively for all my clients but I hold a special place in my heart for fellow cyclists who were doing nothing more than exercising their legal right to share the road and paid a price that no one should have to pay.
I am a Missouri Bicycle Accident Lawyer and I am a cyclist. If you’ve been hurt by an impatient, aggressive, distracted, impaired, or careless driver, you can count on me to fight to see that justice is served.