According to the U.S. Census Bureau,1 the percentage of people who bike to work in Chicago increased from .5 percent to 1.3 percent between 2000 and 2010. Getting to work is just one reason to ride a bike, however, and people throughout the area ride a bike for recreation and exercise as well. As a result, there are thousands of bicyclists riding throughout the area at any given moment.
While the health, financial, and environmental benefits of bicycling are undeniable, riding a bike also puts you at risk of involvement in accidents that can cause serious injuries, including TBIs,2 broken bones, and serious tendon and ligament strains and tears.
The things that you say and do after an accident can have an impact on your ability to recover compensation. Here are three things you should NOT do after involvement in a bicycle accident in the Chicago area.
In life, it is often appropriate to apologize even if something is not your fault. For example, if someone bumps into you on the train or grocery store, it may be reflexive for you to say “I’m sorry” or “pardon me.” While this is certainly considered polite by many people, apologizing after an accident can be viewed as an admission of fault and should be avoided.
Once in a while, we will hear about a driver trying to convince an injured biker to not file a police report. This is a bad idea. Contact the police and let them investigate and prepare a report. If a report is not made, it’s very easy for a defendant to later change his or her story or to even deny involvement in the accident.
Don’t fail to contact an experienced bike accident lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. So many things can go wrong when trying to handle a claim on your own. It’s so easy to be taken advantage of, and often unrepresented accident victims unknowingly damage their own case. You certainly don’t have to use the services of an injury law firm, but you might as well call for a free consultation and learn how they can help. Click here to learn more.
Written or Recorded Statement
While the defendant’s insurance adjuster might sound very convincing, you are not required to give a written or recorded statement. Giving a statement is not recommended. These statements can later be used against an injured bicyclist. If the insurance carrier continues to demand a statement, contact an experienced injury lawyer for guidance. If you’ve filed a claim with your own insurance carrier, while they are entitled to a statement, it is not recommended that you do so without first obtaining the guidance of counsel.
If you are active on social media, involvement in an accident may certainly seem like a post-worthy event. It is important to keep in mind, however, that insurance companies can use the things that you post on social media as evidence. For instance, if you post a picture of yourself out with friends shortly after the accident, it could be used as evidence that your injuries are not as serious you are claiming.
Accept a Settlement Offer Before Speaking to an Attorney
After an accident, you may be contacted by the at-fault party or his or her insurance with a settlement offer that seems reasonable. It is important to understand that once you accept a settlement, you will be unable to bring a claim to recover compensation later. For this reason, you should make sure that any settlement you accept is sufficient by discussing your situation with an attorney.
Call Abels & Annes, P.C. Today to Speak with a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident, it is highly advisable to speak to an attorney as soon as you can. In many cases, victims are able to recover compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. To discuss your case with a Chicago injury attorney, call our office today at 312-924-7575 or contact us online.