Bike accident victims are forced to cope with severe injuries, mounting bills, and overwhelming pain. On top of all this, they are expected to fight for insurance compensation without making a single error that could hurt their case. All this pressure is not only unreasonable, it's unfair to innocent victims—especially since they will be going up against people who don't have their best interests at heart.
Our legal team's goal is to take the stress out of your recovery and level the playing field between you and the insurance companies, whether or not you have hired us to help with your claim. That is why we're letting you know the pitfalls that are lurking around every corner, preparing you for these potential mistakes so that you may avoid them.
What NOT to Do After You've Been Hurt in a Bike Accident
The single biggest mistake people make after an accident is failing to contact an attorney for sound legal advice. This one mistake is especially damaging because it has the power to prevent every mistake on this list, plus countless more throughout the course of your case. Fortunately, it is an easy error to correct. If you have not already done so, you should call our experienced bicycle crash attorneys to make sure you have a strong claim for compensation.
We can help you avoid common missteps after a bike accident injury, including:
- Trying to get back on the road. If you rely on your bike for transportation or are a die-hard rider, you may be attempting to get back to your daily rides as fast as possible. This is a problem for a number of reasons. First, it requires you to repair or replace your bike, helmet, and other riding equipment that was damaged in the wreck, essentially destroying evidence in the case. Second, it gives the insurance companies leverage to deny your claim because your injuries aren't that bad. Biking takes strength and energy, so if you get back on your bike, you are essentially saying you are not seriously injured. Finally, your credibility can be called into question if you have been told not to ride by your doctor and choose to ignore your treatment plan and medical advice.
- Talking to the driver's insurance company. If the driver who struck you reports the crash to their insurance company, somebody from the company will be contacting you. The only purpose of this call is to record you saying something that can be used against you. It will not help process your claim or get you paid—it is only so they can reduce the amount they are legally responsible for paying you. If you take their call, you could unknowingly admit to breaking a cycling law or something else that results in shared liability for the accident.
- Signing legally-binding agreements. You should never sign anything an insurance company sends you without having an attorney look it over first. Even if a document seems straightforward, it can include fine print full of conditions and legalese that will negatively impact your case. For example, your signature could allow an insurer to look at your complete medical records or waive your right to seek additional payment for worsening injuries after a settlement.
- Attempting to settle your case on your own. Even if the insurance company agrees to a figure that seems reasonable now, you may not know the full extent of your injuries and damages for years to come. Never agree to an amount, or indicate that you would be satisfied with a certain figure, before you are sure of the actual damages that you will face in the future. Our attorneys have experience negotiating with insurance companies and know how to calculate future damages so that you are not underpaid for your suffering.
At GriffithLaw, we understand that injury victims are reluctant to take on an additional financial burden after the trauma of an accident. That is why we provide injury clients with a free initial consultation and represent their interests on a contingent fee basis, meaning we do not collect anything unless we secure a recovery for you. To learn more about your claim, download a free copy of our book, The 10 Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Tennessee Injury Case.