Just like motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents can result in serious personal injuries. In the event of an accident or crash, bicycles provide almost no safety to a cyclist. Bicycle accidents and bicycle crashes are rapidly increasing as biking emerges as a means of transportation and leisure in city life, and this is also true in Kansas City. Bicycling accidents most often come in two common forms: (1) being hit by a motor vehicle, and (2) defects or hazards in the roadway. Although a collision with an automobile is probably the greatest hazard cyclists face, defects or other hazards in the road also pose a potential risk. Additionally, in many accidents, the bicyclist is a child.
The Kansas City bicycle accident lawyers of Bautista LeRoy LLC have successfully handled every type of bicycle accident. Whether a bicycle accident is a solo accident or involves a collision with a motor vehicle, the accident is usually the result of someone’s negligence. Most often, the fault and negligence rest with the motorist, cyclist or the governmental entity responsible for maintaining the road, or some combination of the three.
If a responsible party is a motorist, or the accident happens because of some defect in the roadway, the cyclist has a legal right to be compensated for his or her injuries. Negotiations with the driver’s insurance company will always focus on fault and the severity of the cyclist’s injuries. The insurance company will frequently fault the cyclist because insurance companies dispute cyclist rights, and insurance companies will also downplay any resulting injuries. Insurance companies will often not pay for any damages in a cycling accident, and insurance companies do not take your claims seriously without legal representation.
First, contact law enforcement. Get a police report! Do not leave the scene. Some cyclists do not realize that they have been injured until many hours after the accident. What might seem like minor injuries, later develop into serious and permanent injuries. By then, it may be too late to identify the at-fault driver. Second, seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries. This is proof that you were injured, and the medical records generated by the medical provider will help establish the extent of your injuries. Additionally, take photos of your injuries. Third, do not negotiate with the at-fault driver. Just get the driver’s name, address and insurance information. Fourth, contact a lawyer experienced in handling bicycling accident cases. Once the accident report is complete, you and the lawyer can make sure that it is accurate. The accident report should include the driver’s statement as well as all other witness statements.
The law enforcement report should also include the cyclist’s statement. Regardless of whether an accident report is written, make sure that you have the driver’s name and contact info, as well as the names and contact info of any witnesses. If you are physically unable to gather this information, ask a witness to do it for you. Fifth, the accident scene should be investigated for information about how the accident occurred. This may include skid mark measurements and other damage to the roadway. You and/or your attorney should also photograph the accident scene, speak with additional witnesses, and measure and diagram the accident scene. Sixth, leave your bike and other damaged property in the same state it was directly after the accident.
Take photos of all your damaged equipment and accessories. Seventh, do not communicate with the insurance company before consulting with an experienced bicycle accident attorney. When you communicate with the insurance company, they are just gathering information to be used against you later. The insurance company is seeking to gather the information that can be used to blame the cyclist for causing the accident.
At Bautista LeRoy LLC, we have extensive experience investigating and prosecuting bicycle injury claims. When you hire our firm, we will advance all costs associated with representing the client. If we do not win your case, the firm takes on the losses of the litigation costs. In fact, we only get compensated when we win the case. Simple as that. Give us a call at 816-221-0382 or chat with use by clicking on the chat box in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.
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