A bicycle accident is a fearful experience. An unprotected human body on a fragile piece of equipment is no match for a speeding automobile or hard pavement. Even the most careful and experienced bicyclists can easily find themselves on the wrong side of the handlebars.
The statistics are frightening. There are over half a million injuries associated with bicycles each year, according to national data collected from hospital emergency rooms. Even more sobering, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a bicyclist is fatally injured every 6 hours, and nearly half of all the people killed in bicycle accidents are children under the age of 16.
Unfortunately, many serious bicycle accidents involve inattentive car drivers. While collisions with cars account for only one third of all bicycle accidents, they account for the majority of catastrophic injuries and deaths. In most cases, the driver’s fault consists of failing to yield to the cyclist, backing out of a driveway, opening a car door as a cyclist rides by, running a stop sign, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or simple inattentiveness.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to the following benefits: medical bills, wage loss, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress and disfigurement.
As with any accident involving vehicles, there are a number of steps you need to take to ensure everything with your claim goes as smoothly as possible.
For your medical problems, see a doctor as soon as possible. Often times, an injury from a bike accident can be underestimated. You may feel fine now, but some injuries, particularly neck and back injuries, can become quite painful and debilitating in the long-term. A paper trail is also important throughout the process.
Get as much information you can about your bicycle accident. Key items include the names, numbers and addresses of all the people involved, including witnesses. You will also need to keep track of insurance information and the reporting process. Make copies.
Please do not talk to anyone about your bicycle accident other than law enforcement personnel. Anything you say to insurance company representatives or investigators could make it harder for you to settle your claim. It is also a good idea not to sign anything, particularly some kind of release form, without talking to a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer first. This is just a smart way for you to protect yourself.
It is important to know what to do to protect the legal rights of yourself and your loved ones. Selecting the right attorney is an important decision. You should choose someone who is experienced, aggressive and dedicated to working to get fair compensation for your injuries. Over the past we have successfully handled thousands of injury and death cases. That is why you should contact the Law Offices of Doyle & O’Donnell.