It seems like every week we’re hearing another story in Minnesota of a pedestrian or a cyclist who suffered injuries after being struck by a vehicle. If you’re struck by a vehicle, you’re probably going to be disorientated and running on adrenaline, but it’s important that you try to remain calm and follow some steps to ensure you can get compensated for your injuries. Below, we explain what cyclists and pedestrians should do if they want to maximize their compensation award following an accident.
What Cyclists Should Do After Being Hit
If you’re hit by someone opening their car door or a driver doesn’t see you when turning right at a red light, you’ll want to follow some specific steps to ensure you get the medical and monetary help you deserve. Here’s what you’ll want to do:
1. Stay on scene and call the cops – Don’t just try to shake off an injury and get along with your day, because the adrenaline coursing through your veins could be masking a serious injury. Even if you think you’re okay or that your injuries are minor, call the authorities and give your statement of what happened.
2. Get medical help – If you suffered serious injuries, this may need to be the first step, but either way one of your first actions after getting struck by a vehicle needs to be getting medical attention. Let the doctor know what happened, what hurts, and get a complete diagnosis. If pain develops after leaving the doctor’s office, schedule a second appointment. It is not uncommon for injuries to arise 24-48 hours or longer after an accident, and you’ll need to ensure all of your injuries are accounted for and documented.
3. Lawyer up – The next thing you’ll want to do is to contact a personal injury lawyer in your area. Personal injury law is complicated, and you’ll want to focus on your recovery, so trust the claim process to your personal injury lawyer. An injury professional will be able to make the strongest case for your injury, which will help to maximize your award amount.
4. Don’t settle too quickly – We understand that you want to move forward and get on with your life, but be wary about jumping on the first or second settlement offer. If the other side is making an offer, there’s a good chance that they see fault in their actions, and odds are they just want to get you to accept a modest offer and limit their liability. Don’t jump at $7,000 when a lawyer can get you $70,000. Since a personal injury lawyer earns a percentage of your award, they want to get you the biggest award possible, so you can trust their judgment if they believe you could win a lot more than what’s being offered. At a minimum, run an offer by your lawyer before signing anything.
5. Document everything – Finally, keep track of everything related to your case, as this will help both you and your lawyer should you need to testify or present evidence before a judge. Keep details about call logs, witness information, medical appointments, injury-related expenses and anything that even remotely pertains to your case. The more prepared you are, the stronger the case you’ll be able to make, which can increase your payment amount.
For more tips about what to do if you’ve been struck by a vehicle, or to move forward with your cyclist injury claim, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today.