Preserving Evidence After a Bike Accident
From the moment you experience a bike accident, every action you take can have a significant impact in determining your rights and options in the days and months to come. If you have been involved in a bike accident, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
Santa Ana, California, Bicycle Accident Lawyers
The following is intended to help you preserve evidence and protect yourself after a bike accident.
While most bicycle accidents do not involve cars, those that do can be scary and often seriously harmful to the cyclist. If you are on a bike and get into an accident with or because of a motor vehicle, it is important to do your best to keep calm and follow these recommendations.
1. Wait for the Police After a bike accident, it is very important to wait for the police at the scene of the accident, even if you don't think you are injured. Because of the adrenaline involved in such an accident, many cyclists do not know the extent of their injuries until after they have left the scene. Make sure the police file a report most accurately reflecting what took place in the accident. Make sure your statement is given to the officer on scene-sometimes they take a report from the motor vehicle driver and not the bicyclist. Make sure to report all injuries.
2. Don't try to negotiate or argue with the driver. Many drivers may initially accept blame and apologize, only later to rescind responsibility, denying they were responsible or even that they were involved! (Another important reason to file a police report). Any statements you make to the other involved parties can have an impact on your rights later on to obtain compensation for your losses. In bike accidents, saying less is more.
3. Obtain Driver and Witness Contact Information If possible, get the motor vehicle driver's name, address, phone number, driver's license number, vehicle license number, and insurance information. If witnesses are present, ask for their contact information as well. Don't assume the police will remember to collect all of this information. If you have suffered injuries, see if a witness can collect this information for you.
4. Document the Accident and Your Injuries Being involved in a serious accident can make it difficult for people to recall details of the accident later on. Do your best on-scene to note as many factors as you can about what happened-such as time of day, location, weather, road and traffic conditions, how the accident occurred, and all other pertinent details.
Also, seek immediate medical attention for any injuries, even for seemingly minor injuries. The medical report can later serve as proof that you sought medical attention for your injuries.
If possible take photos at the scene of the accident and take photos of your injuries, the damage to your bicycle and other property, and the location of the incident.
5. Preserve Evidence Be sure to leave your bicycle and other damaged property in the same condition after the bike accident. Don't fix anything, wash anything, throw anything away, have anything inspected, or send your property to anyone other than your bicycle accident attorney.
6. Seek Advice from a Bicycle Accident Attorney Bike accidents often involve complex legal issues. A qualified bicycle accident attorney can evaluate your claim-ideally very soon after the accident-to determine how best to preserve and protect your legal rights and options. Your attorney can investigate the accident, advise you on how to proceed, negotiate with involved parties (including insurance companies), and represent you in a case to help you obtain compensation for your losses and suffering.
Santa Barbara County Bike Car Injury Law Firm: Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have been involved in a bike accident, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Please contact the bicycle accident attorneys at Aitken Aitken Cohn for a free evaluation of your case.