You might think that auto insurance claims apply only to car and truck accidents and not to bicycle accidents or motorcycle accidents. But, if you are injured in a bicycle or motorcycle accident caused by the driver of a passenger car, light truck, commercial truck or bus in New York, you may seek insurance compensation.
The New York accident attorneys of Cohen & Jaffe in Long Island may be able to help you pursue compensation after a bicycle or motorcycle accident. We conduct thorough investigations of accidents and the injuries our clients have suffered. We determine who should be held liable for the accident and the total amount of money the accident has cost our client, including the cost of medical bills, loss of income and the repair or replacement of a bicycle or motorcycle.
What to Do After A Bike Accident
All accidents are unique, but they have some similarities. One similarity is that, if you are able, there are steps you should take to protect your opportunity to file a successful injury claim. If you are too badly injured, a companion may be able to help with what you should do after a bike accident.
First, assess your injuries and, if you can, the well-being of others in the accident. Call 911 to report the accident to police and request an ambulance if you are injured. Explain clearly that you were hit by a car while riding a bicycle or a motorcycle, the location of the accident and whether you or others are injured.
Ask the driver who hit you for the information you would normally exchange in a car accident:
- Full name and contact information
- Auto insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license or permit
- Vehicle make, model and year
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- License plate number.
Cooperate and give the driver your contact information and other information.
Document the accident with photos, including damage to your bike, damage to the car or truck, skid marks, your injuries and any environmental factors that may have contributed to the accident. Use your phone to get video of any witnesses to the accident stating their name and contact information and describing what they saw.
Then sit tight and wait for emergency responders. Don’t get sucked into an argument with the driver about who caused the accident. Be polite and professional and point out, if necessary, that the police will sort things out.
When emergency responders arrive, answer questions truthfully, but do not say anything to suggest you are at fault or to downplay your injuries. If EMTs say you need to go to the hospital, then you should go.
If you don’t go to the hospital in the ambulance, see a doctor within 24 hours at the latest. Sooner is better. This is for your own safety. Some serious injuries don’t show symptoms until hours later. A doctor’s exam also sets the basis for an injury claim.
How To Build A Strong Insurance Claim in 5 Steps
To file a bicycle or motorcycle accident personal injury claim, you’ll need to show some compensable damages that you suffered in the accident and who was responsible for the accident. An insurance adjuster will try to limit the amount the insurance company pays out to settle the claim.
When it’s you with your injuries and damaged bike against the insurer with their lawyers and fine-print policies, you will be at a disadvantage. Having the help of an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney on your side can make the difference.
To build a case, you should:
- Keep all doctor appointments. Follow your doctor’s orders for treatment and medication to the letter. Failing to do so can be used as evidence that you were not badly injured.
- Save all receipts. Save everything related to the accident, from medical bills to bike or motorcycle repair or replacement estimates, and texts or emails about being out of work or missing other obligations. Build a record of everything the accident has cost you.
- Be wary of the insurance company. The insurance company – even your insurer – wants to pay you as little as possible. Notify your insurance company about the accident, but do not provide a written or recorded statement without the advice of an attorney. A quick settlement offer that looks like a good deal usually isn’t. Insurers know what they have paid for similar claims and what they can get away with. If you have an attorney, take advantage of their services and refer the insurer to your attorney any time they contact you.
- Contact an experienced accident attorney. You should put your efforts into No. 1, your health and well-being. In addition to investigating the accident to build a solid claim for you, Cohen & Jaffe can handle all paperwork required to file an insurance claim. We can notify creditors that a claim is underway, which keeps them off your phone and away from your door.
- Stay quiet about your claim. In the age of social media, we remind clients not to discuss the prospects of a legal claim online and to avoid posting photos or other information that can be used to argue that you were not as badly injured in the accident as you claim. Stay off social media and tell those who ask that you just can’t talk about it.
Contact an Experienced NYC Motorcycle / Bicycle Accident Lawyer
At the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, we know that injuries from bicycle and motorcycle accidents can be severe and disabling. We also know that cyclists and riders often get blamed. We will fight to recover full and fair compensation for you, including money for:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Damage to your bike or costs to replace a bicycle or motorcycle
- The unjust pain and suffering you have endured.
Contact us online or by phone at (516) 358-6900 to speak to an experienced Long Island motorcycle and bicycle accident attorney today. We provide free consultations, including appointments in the evening or on weekends. We pursue claims related to accidents in Long Island and nearby areas including Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens.