A Vancouver bicycle accident lawyer assists victims who are involved in bike accidents. The reason for these accidents is varied. However, some of the most dangerous types of bike accidents involve collisions with vehicles.
If you are involved in a bike accident, it is important that you take the steps necessary to protect your health and legal interests. The steps that you take immediately after an accident can have a direct correlation with your ability to recover and the amount that you can recover for your accident. Some steps that a Vancouver bicycle accident lawyer may recommend include:
Call the Police
It is critical that you call the police after being involved in an accident involving another party. This is primarily so that the police can identify the parties who may be legally responsible for the accident. The police officer can take a report to document the cause of the accident in case this is ever questioned.
Additionally, a law enforcement officer can ask for emergency assistance in case you are injured. Even if you believe that you have not sustained an injury, you may not know this for certain. Additionally, many cyclists do not realize for hours after the accident that they have actually sustained an injury. A cyclist may believe that the injury is only minor only to find out later that this “minor” injury developed into a serious and long-lasting problem. Finally, another advantage of contacting the police is that the driver may be ticketed. This information can help your case later on.
Talk to Police
Be sure that you talk to the police. Sometimes, they only get the version of events from the driver and skip talking to the cyclists. Ensure that everything is documented by talking to the police. If you are injured and are unable to talk to the police, ask that your statement be used to supplement the report. Give the police information about all of the injuries that you have sustained.
Even if you think you were responsible for the accident, avoid talking to the other driver. Most important, do not apologize. Such admissions of guilt can later negatively impact your case. Stick to just getting identifying information and insurance information. Your Vancouver bicycle accident lawyer can take the lead on any further discussions.
Obtain Contact Information
Get contact information from the driver. This includes his or her full name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and insurance information. If any witnesses saw the accident, obtain contact information for these witnesses. If you are injured and cannot get this information yourself, ask a bystander to complete this task for you.
Document Your Story
As soon as you are able, document your version of events. This can help you preserve your recollection of details about the accident. Explain the events leading up to the accident, the direction each party was traveling, how the accident occurred, the time that it occurred and conditions related to the road, the weather and traffic. Give this document to your bike accident lawyer.
Document Your Injuries
Seek medical attention as soon as possible. This step will help you establish that you were injured and the medical records will demonstrate the severity of your injuries. Have medical personnel photograph your injuries shortly after the accident. Continue taking periodic photos of the injuries until you are fully recovered. Consider completing a journal in which you document your pain and other symptoms.
Preserve the evidence in your case by leaving your bike in the same position as it was in after the accident. Do not have it repaired. Photograph its condition and position in case it is moved. Keep the clothing that you were wearing at the time of the accident. Also, keep the equipment that you were wearing, such as your helmet or knee pads.
Seek Legal Advice
As soon as possible, talk to a personal injury attorney about the accident. Look for someone who has experience with bike accidents. A personal injury attorney can fulfill many important roles within the scope of the representation. He or she can talk to the insurance companies and negotiate a settlement. Additionally, he or she can offer advice about how you should proceed with the case. If you would like more information about what to do during the aftermath of a bike accident, contact a Vancouver bicycle accident lawyer from The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff. Call (360) 693-2919 to schedule a confidential consultation.