Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Clients in St. Louis, Missouri
Bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injuries and deaths than occupants of motor vehicles, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cyclists in Missouri were involved in 565 crashes in 2014 including 489 that caused injuries and four fatal accidents, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reports. Many of those were preventable accidents caused by other drivers.
Cyclists in the St. Louis area may wonder exactly what to do if you are involved in a cycling accident. The following steps are important to take if you are involved in a bicycle involving a car or other motor vehicle. Following these steps will improve your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries if the crash was caused by another driver’s carelessness or disregard for safety.
Call the Police and Report the Accident if You Are Injured
If you get hurt in a bicycle accident, you should call the police so that there is an official report of the accident. In some cases, the investigating officer will issue a citation to the at-fault driver. If an at-fault driver is issued a ticket for causing the accident, this fact can be used to support your claim for compensation for your injuries. Do not to let an at-fault driver talk you out of reporting the accident to police even if the driver promises to pay your expenses out of pocket. If the driver leaves the scene and there is no police report, you will have a much more difficult time proving the driver caused your injuries, if you later decide to pursue compensation.
Ask the Officer How You Can Obtain a Copy of the Report
You want to ensure that you have access to a copy of the accident report. When you speak to the police, ask about how you can obtain a copy of the report and when it will be available.
Request Emergency Medical Care if Needed or Visit a Doctor and Receive an Evaluation
The rush of adrenaline after a crash may mask injuries. Even if you do not feel as though you have sustained serious injuries after a bicycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention. As a fact sheet from the Mayo Clinic highlights, some serious injuries sustained in accidents, such as concussions, may not be immediately obvious to an untrained eye. A doctor’s report describing your injuries resulting from the bicycle accident will be important evidence to support a claim for compensation.
Take Photographs of Your Injuries, Damage to the Bicycle, the Other Vehicles Involved and the Accident Scene
Since most of us have smartphones with cameras, it is relatively easy to take photographs at the scene of an accident. Be sure to take photos of your injuries, damage to your bicycle, and pictures of the surrounding scene. You should take multiple photographs from different angles, which can provide useful evidence supporting your claim.
Exchange Names, Contact Information, and Insurance Information with Others Involved in the Accident
Do not leave the scene of the accident without obtaining the names, contact information, and insurance information for anyone involved in the crash. You will need this information when contacting your own insurance company and when you file a claim for compensation.
Get the Names of Any Witnesses Who Saw the Accident
Witnesses to a bicycle accident can be extremely helpful to support your case. Get names and telephone numbers for any witnesses at the scene of the accident so that your personal injury attorney can speak with them later about the accident.
Report the Accident to the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
You will need to contact your insurance company after an accident, but it is also important to report the accident to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your bicycle accident attorney can help you to determine the best course for seeking compensation.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer to Understand Your Legal Options
Attorney Ben Sansone is a dedicated cyclist and is committed to helping members of the cycling community who sustain serious injuries due to another party’s negligence Even the most careful cyclist can suffer serious injuries in a collision caused by a negligent driver. If you have been injured in a crash, a bicycle injury lawyer in St. Louis can assist with your case. Contact Sansone, Sumner & Lauber today to learn more about how we can help you.