Hit by a Car While Riding a Bicycle?
Call a San Diego Bike Accident Lawyer with a Passion for Representing Cyclists
According to California law, a bike is a vehicle, meaning that cyclists must follow the same laws and have the same rights as motorists. However, unlike car and truck drivers, bike riders are especially vulnerable in the event of a crash, particularly a wreck involving an automobile. Without the protective shell and safety features of a vehicle, a cyclist may suffer serious injuries or wrongful death. After a crash, you may face thousands of dollars in medical bills, weeks or months of lost wages and other expenses. Additionally, you may be unable to return to cycling. While you may be able to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s provider, it can be difficult to get fair compensation. The insurance company may undervalue your bicycle, downplay the seriousness of your injuries or try to blame you for the wreck.
San Diego bike accident lawyer Frederick M. Dudek is as passionate about cycling as he is about the law. He regularly rides to work and proudly supports the Blind Stokers Club. If you are hurt in a bicycle accident, then he can help defend you against the insurance company’s tactics and will work to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve. As a cyclist himself, Frederick understands the physical and emotional toll a bicycle accident can take. Therefore, he takes a particular interest in advocating for Californians injured in cycling accidents. In a free initial consultation, he can explain your legal options and answer your questions with no further obligation.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
If you are hurt while riding, taking certain steps can help you avoid difficulties when you later file a bike accident claim. Steps to take immediately after a bicycle accident include:
- Call an ambulance. Your first priority after any type of bicycle accident is your health. Many bicycle accident victims require immediate, life-saving treatment at a hospital. However, even if you initially feel fine, allow the EMTs and medical professionals at a hospital to check you for injuries that may not appear right away.
- Speak to the police. A police report can be valuable evidence in an insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit. Give your side of the story, but only stick to the facts as you know them. Do not speculate as to what may have happened if you are unsure.
- Take pictures. If you are able, take photos or a video of the crash site, including your injuries and damage to your bicycle.
- Get information from the driver and witnesses. Write down the name and contact information for the at-fault driver as well as anyone who witnessed the accident.
Once you are safe at home or recovering in the hospital, you should take additional steps to protect your claim. As soon as you are able, you should:
- Contact a lawyer. A lawyer can advise you on what to do and what mistakes to avoid. Additionally, he or she can take over all communication with the insurance company.
- Keep a record of all medical treatment. Preserve hospital and doctor bills as well as keep a journal of all treatments and medications you receive.
- DO NOT give a statement to an insurance adjuster. You do not have to give a statement to a car driver’s insurance adjuster. Instead, direct any calls to your lawyer or refuse to answer questions until you have time to get legal advice.
- DO NOT repair your bicycle. Your lawyer and the insurance company will need to examine the extent of the damage to your bicycle.
How Can a Bike Accident Lawyer Help After a Crash?
After a bicycle accident, you may be able to recover compensation through an insurance claim or lawsuit. However, navigating these legal processes is difficult, even without the added stress of your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death. A bike accident lawyer can handle the technical aspects of filing a claim and can give you the best chance of a fair recovery by:
- Explaining California bike laws. Your attorney can advise you of your rights according to bicycle laws and regulations. You can get this legal guidance with no obligation in a free initial consultation.
- Preserving evidence. While you focus on healing, your lawyer can visit the crash scene, speak to witnesses, examine your bicycle and take charge of other evidence.
- Working with experts to find fault. Accident reconstructionists and other experts can strengthen your claim and help prove your damages.
- Handling negotiation and/or litigation. A lawyer can relieve the stress of handling a legal claim. Additionally, knowing that a professional is looking out for your best interests can give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on healing.
- Finding the true cost of your accident. Since Frederick Dudek is a cyclist himself, he has insight into the sport and the costs associated with repairing or replacing your bicycle. Additionally, he has the experience necessary to handle the tactics insurance companies use to downplay your injuries.
Learn More in a Free Consultation with a San Diego Bike Accident Lawyer
If you sustained serious bike injuries or lost a loved one in a cycling accident, then our law firm may be able to help. As a San Diego bike accident lawyer, Frederick M. Dudek has the experience and industry knowledge required to evaluate your situation and offer you legal guidance. Call (858) 530-4800 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation today.