A bicycle accident claim, filed with an insurance company, can help you to recover damages following a crash. Whether you suffered a right hook accident, a dooring accident, or other common type of bicycle accident, you’ll need to review how to recover compensation. The following provides a brief review of the claims process, and things that you’ll need to consider when filing.
Who was at fault for the accident?
Determining fault in a bike accident claim will have a significant impact on how you file. If you caused the accident, then you should file your claim with your car insurance company; if the other driver caused the accident, then you should file a claim with their insurance company.
Even if you were on your bike, if you have a car insurance policy, it’s likely that your insurance policy will provide you coverage. If you carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage or medical payments coverage, these coverage types can help get you compensation. Knowing the specifics of your policy is crucial when filing a bicycle accident claim.
Seeking Medical Help and Filing a Claim for Bodily Injury Damage
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, it’s likely that you’ll need to file a claim for bodily injury damage. To do so, the very first step is seeking medical attention. Getting care is not only critical to your wellbeing, but it also necessary for knowing how much of a compensation amount you’ll need for your bicycle accident claim.
Assuming that the other driver was even partially at fault for the crash, you should file your bodily injury claim with that driver’s insurance company.
Documenting All Medical Treatment
Not only will you need to receive medical treatment, but you’ll need to document all treatments.
Keep notes on these treatments.
- Initial date of your injury
- Date you first received treatment
- How the injury occurred
- The prognosis issued by your doctor
- Estimated length of treatment
- Any medications or surgeries
- Dates of all appointments related to the accident
Filing Your Claim
Once you’ve documented the above and sought medical treatment, it’s time to file your claim. The earlier that you file your claim, the better. Your insurance agent should lead you through the process.
He or she may walk you through filing on the phone, or have you file your claim on your own. Always be as truthful as you can when filing a claim, and don’t sign anything without an attorney present.
Proving the Fault of the Other Driver
Proving the fault of the other driver can be one of the most difficult parts of filing a claim for damages. If the insurance company believes that you were even partially to blame for the accident, they may try to deny you coverage or reduce your compensation amount.
To prove fault, you’ll need to gather and document all evidence related to the accident. If there were any witnesses to the crash, their testimony could also be essential.
The fault is based on negligence, or the failure of the driver to act reasonably. Speeding, drinking while driving, failure to yield, and aggression are all examples of negligence that can be used to pin the fault on the responsible driver.
Negotiating a Settlement Amount
Once you’ve submitted your claim, the insurance company will offer you a settlement amount. Never accept the first settlement amount offered. Instead, it’s likely that the offer will be lower than you deserve. Often, you can recover a more appropriate compensation amount through negotiations.
Call an Attorney for Assistance in Filing a Bike Accident Claim
An attorney can help you to file your claim and negotiate your settlement amount. If the insurance company refuses to budge or if the policy amount isn’t enough, the attorneys at Walker, Billingsley & Bair can help you file a personal injury lawsuit for damages.