What Should You Do After a Kansas City Bike Accident?
Bike accidents can be debilitating depending on the individual context. Therefore, the first thing a bicyclist should do is call the police and obtain emergency medical assistance if necessary. Riders should also call the police if minor injuries occur. It is important to request a copy of the officer’s police report after involving the authorities.
While awaiting law enforcement, exchange insurance information with the driver involved. Record their car information as well, including their vehicle identification number (VIN) if the driver is uninsured.
If you are well enough, gather evidence. This means approaching nearby witnesses and asking for their contact information, taking pictures of the location and damages caused by the accident, and even recording your own account of the event.
Having a solid account of the bicycle accident makes giving your statement to insurance companies and other involved parties easier. Notably, it prevents your story from changing as your memory becomes less fresh. This acts as insurance for yourself because you won’t have to worry about answering questions about faulty details when you truly might not remember certain things.
After leaving the scene, take several days to 1) get your injuries examined and treated and 2) call your insurance company to notify them of the accident. Some car insurance companies offer bike-related accident coverage, but not all do. In some cases, bicyclists might want to contact an attorney to see if they have grounds to file a personal injury claim to address their damages. Our bike accident attorneys are happy to explain your rights in more detail during your free consultation.
Who Is At-Fault in a Bike Accident?
The at-fault party in a bike accident is not always straightforward, especially because Kansas follows comparative negligence laws. These laws dictate how the court decides the percentage of blame each party shares in the incident. Kansas practices modified comparative fault, meaning the plaintiff can recover damages only if their fault rating is below 50%. Though Kansas doesn’t deem either party as solely at-fault, the court does separate each party by dictating who can press charges and who cannot.
How Can A Kansas City Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help You?
A Kansas City bike accident lawyer is not always necessary, but they are an invaluable help when it comes to negotiating settlements. When pressing charges, a claim does not immediately go to court. Oftentimes, the defendant’s insurance company negotiates a settlement, or dollar figure, via claims adjusters.
Because claims adjusters’ jobs are not to help you gain the most compensation out of a case, they can tend to work in the interest of their employers – insurance companies. Inexperienced plaintiffs fall victim to claims adjusters, especially when they immediately place an offer on the table. A claimant without an understanding of how to calculate their damages could accept the offer immediately, even though the first offer is generally lower than the amount you might get with an experienced attorney.
Hiring a skilled Kansas City bicycle accident attorney who is familiar with personal injury law helps in more aspects than settlement negotiation. Lawyers launch investigations into their cases. They offer resources and services like witness interviewing, contacting expert witnesses, investigating accident scenes, and more. Essentially, an attorney comes with a multitude of tools and advice that can propel your case to success.
Bike accidents can cause extreme damage due to the immense differences between motor vehicles and bikes. Though both parties can sustain damage, more than likely the bicyclist will sustain more severe injury. If you were involved in a bike accident, consult an attorney via free consultation to inquire about what steps to take in addressing your damages.