Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Do I Do If I’m In an Accident?
- Stay calm.
- Assess the situation. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. If there is a lot of damage, call the police nonemergency line. Ask for an officer to respond. You will need a police report of the accident.
- Take quick smartphone pictures of the accident scene and the people involved.
- If it's safe to move your cycle or vehicle, move it to the side of the road. If it’s not safe, and you can, warn oncoming traffic that there is an accident scene.
- Speak to the other driver only to get contact and insurance information and to see if s/he needs medical help. Do not admit fault or say you’re sorry - this can be used against you.
- Get other driver’s:
- Phone number
- Make, model and year of the vehicle, or of bike
- License plate number
- Insurance carrier and policy number
- Get the names and basic contact information from all passengers and witnesses.
- Take pictures, using your smartphone, of:
- Damage to the vehicle and/or bike
- Accident location
- People involved with the accident
- Road conditions
- Get the responding police officer's full name, badge number, and the accident report number. Request a copy of the report or find out where and when you can get it.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Do not engage in a lengthy conversation. Just report the facts of what happened.
- Get medical attention as soon as you can. You may feel okay at the scene because of the adrenalin flooding your system. But many people who are injured do not realize it right away.
- Get the names of the people treating you, and the medical record number. Follow medical instructions: If you are told to get further treatment, such as x-rays, do it quickly and get copies of any medical reports.
- Secure your bike, helmet, clothes and kit. Do NOT get them repaired.
- Call Two Wheel Injury Lawyer at 415.979.0480 for a free accident consultation as soon as you are able. Know your legal issues and options options before talking to an insurance company or signing anything!
Do I Need a Motorcycle or Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
An experienced cycling lawyer is your advocate, knows the law and how to best present the facts of your case, and can negotiate hard with insurance companies. Insurance companies keep databases of their dealings with every lawyer they come in contact with. Lawyers who have a record of negotiating fair and hard, going to trial, and winning are in a good negotiating position for their clients. An experienced cycling attorney can evaluate a case expertly, help an injured cyclist get medical care, deal with insurance companies, and get the highest possible monetary damages.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire an Attorney?
Two Wheel Injury Lawyer Debra Bogaards works on a contingency fee basis. You pay a percentage of the settlement as legal fees. You never pay anything out of your pocket. If she doesn't win, then you do not owe legal fees. The fee percentage is reasonable and subject to state bar rules and standards, as well as state laws.
Do I Have a Case? How Do You Determine Its Worth?
Every accident is different, and each is evaluated on its facts and the legal issues it involves. During your free initial consultation, we assess damage to your bike and personal items - helmet, gloves, pants, shirt, etc.; the nature and extent of your injuries in terms of medical bills and future medical expenses; payment for lost wages, including overtime and other benefits, plus future loss of earnings; compensation for pain and suffering including loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium with your spouse or partner, inability to perform daily tasks, scarring, residual symptoms and permanent disability. This last is the area where experienced cycling attorneys are most valuable. In rare cases where the other party’s negligence was outrageous, punitive damages also may be awarded.
Should I Talk To Insurance Companies About My Accident?
You have to talk to your own insurance company because your policy requires you to report all accidents. However, before you do, you may want to consult with an attorney to understand how to present the facts of your accident to best advantage. For free advice, call Two Wheel Injury Lawyer at 415.979.0480.
You are under no legal obligation to talk with the insurance company representing the other person. Don't talk to them if you intend to hire an attorney - talk to an attorney first to go over the issues involved in your accident.
How Do Motorcycle/Bicycle Accident Attorneys Get My Case Started?
We start by thoroughly interviewing you abut what happened, and making sure that you have the medical care you need. We contact all insurance companies involved, and get coverage information to determine the maximum benefits available to help you. We make arrangements to interview witnesses; take photographs of your visible injuries, property damage (bike and personal clothing) and the accident scene. If necessary, we will retain an accident reconstruction engineer or other expert.
How Long Will It Take To Settle or Try My Case?
It is usually faster and better to settle, if the opposing insurance company offers sufficient compensation for your injuries. Many cases settle quickly, and others take longer depending on the facts and complexity of the case, and whether expert testimony is needed. If you have serious injuries, they will take time to heal and a medical determination can be made whether you have any permanent disability. Trying a case is a long process, but is sometimes necessary to obtain fair compensation when an insurance company will not negotiate or settle. You need an experienced attorney who is ready and willing to go to court for you, and not settle because it is easier. How to proceed is always the client's decision, based on an attorney's advice. Hiring an attorney after a cycling accident does not prolong your case. Attorneys can usually make the process move faster, and secure greater payment than if you try to negotiate with insurance companies yourself.
What If the Other Driver Is Uninsured?
If you have an automobile insurance policy, you will be covered by its Uninsured Motorist/Under Insured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage if you are injured in a cycling accident and the other driver is un-or underinsured. Your insurance company may tell you otherwise, and this is another area where having an attorney as your advocate is useful. Filing against your own insurance carrier can be complex. For example, if you file a claim under UM/UIM, you must have permission from your own insurance company before you accept a settlement check from the other operator’s insurance company in any amount. If you don’t have its consent, you may be unable to claim against your own UM/UIM coverage.
How Do I Contact You?
For a free consultation with attorney Debra Bogaards of Two Wheel Injury Lawyer, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415.979.0480.