Hundreds of individuals are injured in bicycle accidents in Utah each year. Some cyclists sustain life-threatening or disabling injuries in crashes involving motor vehicles. If you have been injured in a Utah bike accident, you may be wondering what your rights are regarding compensation for your injuries and damages. Let’s explore some of the steps you can take after a bicycle accident in Utah that can help protect your legal rights to fair compensation from an at-fault driver.
5 Things to Do If You’re Involved in a Utah Bike Accident
- Contact the Police Immediately
- Document the Bicycle Accident Scene
- Seek Medical Attention As Soon as Possible
- Avoid Discussing Your Utah Bike Accident
- Contact a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer
The steps that you take after being injured in a Utah bike accident can significantly impact your rights to receive compensation for your personal injury and damages. If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, it’s important to take the following actions.
1. Contact the Police Immediately
After all traffic accidents, including a bicycle accident, you need to contact law enforcement to report the bicycle crash. Calling 911 is typically the quickest and easiest way to report a bike accident in Utah. The 911 operator can quickly dispatch emergency medical services and a police officer from the correct law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the crash scene.
When a police officer arrives, provide a short statement regarding the facts that lead to the bicycle accident without accepting any fault for the bike crash. Until an injury attorney investigates the auto accident, it is impossible to know for sure whether you were partially to blame for the cause of the bicycle accident.
2. Document the Bicycle Accident Scene
While waiting for the police and EMS to arrive at the accident scene, try to document the accident scene, if you can do so safely. Take photographs and record video of the bicycle accident scene immediately after the bike crash. This can provide crucial evidence for proving fault and liability. Try to capture all the details of the accident, including the position of the motor vehicle, your bicycle, and the surrounding area.
Also, ask bystanders and eyewitnesses if they are willing to provide a statement. If you can record the statement on your cell phone, that could be helpful. Always make sure that you ask witnesses for their names and contact information. The police officer may not speak with everyone at the accident scene, and some witnesses leave the scene of a vehicle accident before police officers arrive.
3. Seek Medical Attention As Soon as Possible
Receiving prompt medical attention is important for your health and your personal injury case. Because you cannot be 100 percent sure that you did not sustain serious injuries, it may be best to allow yourself to be transported to the hospital by ambulance. Refusing medical treatment or transportation to the emergency room is typically noted in the police officer’s accident report.
If you do not go directly to the hospital after a bicycle accident, see a doctor as soon as possible. To recover compensation for a Utah bicycle accident claim, you must prove that the driver of the motor vehicle was responsible for causing the bike accident. You must also provide medically verifiable proof that you sustained injuries as a result of the bicycle crash with a motor vehicle.
Insurance companies like to use your actions against you. If you experience any delay in seeking medical treatment, fail to follow up with doctors, or fail to follow a medical treatment plan, they will use that as an excuse to deny or undervalue your claim. The insurance company will allege that the personal injury case is not valid or strong because a victim would have sought medical treatment if he or she were truly injured in a Utah bike accident.
That’s why you should always visit a health care provider immediately after a bike accident. Follow through with your medical treatment until your doctor releases you from care. Failure to follow through with medical care could result in a lower settlement amount for your personal injury claim.
4. Avoid Discussing Your Utah Bike Accident
The insurance adjuster for the driver may request a written or recorded statement after a car accident in Utah. It is typically not in your best interest to speak with the insurance company for the other person after a motor vehicle accident. Any information you provide to the insurance company may be used against you later in your accident injury case.
Insurance adjusters are highly trained, skilled, and experienced accident investigators. They understand how to ask leading questions that could result in a response from the accident victim that could be misunderstood or twisted in favor of the insurance provider.
For instance, if you have small children, the insurance adjuster may comment about how getting out of the house each day with small children is challenging. You laugh and state that most mornings you are frazzled and rushed by the time you get the kids to school and back home to take your bicycle ride that you can barely think straight. The adjuster may claim that you were not paying attention at the time of the bicycle accident and are partly responsible for your Utah bike accident. Of course, this assumption is not true, but it may be enough to put a cloud over your case that lowers the value of your claim. It is just an example of how a talented insurance defense attorney could twist a simple statement.
5. Contact a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer
Do I need an attorney after a bike accident?
As experienced personal injury attorneys in Utah, we see how insurance companies treat Utah bike accident victims. Acadia Law Group understands how to fight back against unfair and unjust insurance tactics used to lower and deny valid accident injury cases. We also know how to maximize the value of bicycle accident claims when riders sustain severe and catastrophic bike accident injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, disfigurement from road rash, complex fractures, loss of limbs, and internal organ damage.
Our Utah lawyer investigates your bicycle accident to determine how the accident occurred and gathers evidence proving fault and liability for the person who was operating the motor vehicle. We prepare a strong case to prove that you deserve full compensation for all damages incurred because of the negligent and reckless actions of another party.
How much is my bicycle accident case worth?
Working with an injury attorney can help you receive the maximum compensation available by law for your personal injury claim. However, the value of insurance claims depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to:
- Whether you are partially at fault for the cause of the accident
- The severity and type of your injuries
- The amount of your financial losses and expenses
- How long it took you to recover from your bicycle injuries
- Whether you sustained permanent impairments or disabilities because of the crash
- The availability of insurance coverage for your accident claim
In most bike crash cases, when the driver of a motor vehicle is at fault for the collision, the bicyclist is entitled to receive compensation for economic losses and noneconomic losses (pain and suffering).
Examples of economic or financial losses include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to the crash or the rider’s injuries. Noneconomic or pain and suffering damages refer to your physical pain, scarring, emotional distress, disabilities, permanent impairments, mental anguish, and loss of quality of life.
An experienced Utah personal injury lawyer understands how to maximize the value of a bicycle accident claim. Our legal team works closely with clients to document financial damages carefully and completely. Our lawyers review each element of the bicycle accident, your injuries, and your prognosis to arrive at a fair but just value for your pain and suffering damages.
What Are My Rights as a Bicyclist in the Event of an Accident?
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle, you might be entitled to compensation under Utah personal injury laws.
The same laws that protect accident victims in traffic accidents protect cyclists who are injured by a car, truck, or motorcycle. If the driver of the motor vehicle caused the accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your physical injuries, financial losses, and emotional distress. You are also entitled to compensation for property damage to your bicycle, which could total thousands of dollars for some riders, and any other personal property damaged in the accident.
However, you must prove that the driver’s actions, omissions, or other wrongdoing was the cause of the bicycle accident. A Utah bicycle injury attorney takes several steps to protect your legal rights after a bicycle accident including but not limited to:
- Investigating the bicycle accident, including gathering evidence from the accident scene; searching for videos (i.e. traffic cameras, surveillance cameras, etc.) and interviewing eyewitnesses
- Working with your medical providers and doctors to determine the extent of your injuries, including permanent impairments
- Documenting financial and noneconomic damages
- Filing an insurance claim with the driver’s insurance provider
- Researching applicable Utah bicycle laws, personal injury statutes, and traffic laws to prove fault
- Working with experts and accident reconstructionists, when necessary, to prove fault
- Protecting you from insurance tactics used to lower the value of your bicycle accident claim, such as pressuring victims to provide statements, sign medical release forms, and accept settlements that are much lower than the value of your claim
Drivers owe a duty of care to bicyclists to avoid causing accidents. For example, motorists should avoid dangerous driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and drowsy driving, which can increase the risk of a traffic accident. However, bicyclists must obey Utah traffic laws and Utah bicycle laws.
A favorite insurance tactic used by many insurance companies is to blame the rider for the accident. If the insurance company can blame the rider for any portion of the bike crash, Utah’s comparative negligence laws allow the bicyclist’s compensation for the accident to be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the cyclist. A personal injury attorney can help you fight these allegations to protect your legal rights after a bicycle accident in Utah.
When Can You Seek Legal Compensation for A Bicycle Accident?
You have the right to seek legal compensation for a bicycle accident whenever you sustain injuries or damages in a bicycle crash caused by another party. A Utah bike accident attorney can provide the legal advice, support, and guidance you need after being injured in a bicycle accident.
Contact Acadia Law Group today by calling 1-800-653-4600 or using our online contact form. Request a free consultation with a Utah bike accident lawyer to discuss your accident and learn how our team of legal professionals can help you with your bicycle accident case.