Do’s And Don’ts Of Building A Florida Bicycle Accident Claim
Bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in Florida. This is mainly because of the great weather. Unfortunately, this means bicycle accidents are quite common in Florida. In fact, Florida has been ranked number one in the U.S. in the number of bicycle deaths from vehicle crashes. The FLHSMV estimates that in 2021 alone, there were more than 190 fatal bicycle crashes in the Sunshine State. When it comes to injuries, each year, thousands of people suffer injuries in bicycle accidents in Florida. The FLHSMV estimates that in 2021, there were over 5,900 injuries from bicycle accidents in Florida. But why are these numbers so high, despite Florida having bicycle laws meant to protect bicyclists and curb unsafe driving behavior? Despite laws being in place, many people ignore these laws. Many drivers fail in their responsibilities to cyclists.
When parties fail in their responsibilities to cyclists and cause bicycle accidents that result in injuries or death, they can be held liable have to compensate victims. If you suffered injuries in a Florida bicycle accident due to another person’s negligence, you can file a personal injury claim and obtain compensation. However, to have any chance of recovering the compensation you deserve, you must put together a compelling claim. But what does putting together a persuasive bicycle accident claim entail? The following are a few tips to help you;
Do Seek Medical Attention Promptly
If you haven’t still seen a doctor, ensure you see a doctor as soon as possible. Seeking prompt medical attention is more than just about ensuring your injury does not worsen or become life-threatening. Seeking prompt medical attention can also help prevent disputes from arising after you file your bicycle accident claim. For example, if you fail to seek prompt medical attention, the at-fault party’s insurance company might argue that you suffered your injuries in a different accident. It could also argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim or you were not committed to mitigating damages from the bicycle accident.
Don’t Post About Your Accident on Social Media
For many, posting on social media is second to nature. However, it is advisable that you avoid posting about your bicycle accident on social media. You can be sure that the at-fault party’s insurance company will monitor your online activity. Something you post can be used against you.
Do Preserve Evidence
Did you take pictures and/or videos at the accident scene? Did you gather witness statements or contact information? Did anyone admit fault? If you did, store your evidence safely. The evidence you have is what will help you prove your claim.
Don’t Give the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement
If the insurance adjuster from the at-fault party’s insurance company calls you and asks for a recorded statement, it is best to refrain from saying anything on record. Whatever you say to the insurance company on record can be used against you. This is especially true if you talk about the severity of your injuries or the extent of your damages before you have reached maximum medical improvement(MMI). Before reaching MMI, you cannot know the seriousness of your injuries or the extent of your damages, so you could inadvertently say something that turns out to be inaccurate.
Do Keep a Journal
In a Florida bicycle accident claim, you are entitled to recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Non-economic damages such as emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, or mental distress can be hard to prove. Keeping a daily journal can help you prove your non-economic damages. Start writing in a journal about how your injuries affect your everyday life. Write down all the challenges you face on a daily basis. Remember, no detail is irrelevant.
Don’t Admit Fault
You might think you did something that led to your bicycle accident. If you believe this, talk to an attorney and not the other party or their insurance company. If you admit fault to the opposing party, they may try to deny you compensation even if you are only partially at fault. Speaking to an attorney will ensure that, even if you are partly to blame for your accident, you can still seek compensation for some portion of the damages.
Do Hire an Attorney
Lastly, ensure you hire an attorney if you are looking to file a bicycle accident claim. A bicycle accident attorney has the experience and skills needed to build a strong case.
Contact a Florida Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you suffered injuries in a Florida bicycle accident due to another party’s negligence and need help putting together a compelling compensation claim, contact our Florida bicycle accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro.