Even for the most experienced riders, riding alongside traffic is inherently dangerous. If you were hit by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle, you are likely recovering from serious injury. Unlike cars, bikes don’t have a “crumple zone,” which means they offer virtually no protection against hard impacts.
Fortunately, cyclists who end up injured through no fault of their own are usually entitled to compensation. Before you can request payment, however, you’ll need to determine who was responsible. Then you need to gather the necessary evidence to prove it.
While every bicycle accident claim is unique, most require the following evidence when assigning blame:
1. The official police report
If the police attended the scene of the accident, they probably wrote a report. While this document does not replace the need to conduct your own investigation, it should include officers’ first impressions of the accident and why they believe it happened.
Because police are trained to assess accident scenes, their statements carry considerable weight. If they suspect the motorist who hit you was drowsy or distracted, for example, and noted it, their report will bolster your claim unless the responsible party presents enough evidence to prove otherwise.
2. Scene images
Accident reconstruction experts can assess photographs of the wreckage to piece together what happened in the moments leading up to the collision. Video footage can also be extremely valuable when putting together your application.
If you have a helmet camera, keep the recordings from that day in a safe place. It’s also possible that the incident was captured by nearby surveillance systems or dash cameras on passing vehicles.
3. Eyewitness statements
Eyewitness testimony, while not considered incontrovertible evidence, can at least corroborate your own account of events. If you were able to obtain the names and phone numbers of other motorists, their passengers or pedestrians who were in the area at the time, give them to your legal team, so they can ask you statements.
4. Medical records
In order to recover compensation, you will have to demonstrate a direct link between the accident in question and the injuries you suffered. As long as you saw a doctor soon after the incident, your medical records should help prove it.
However, if the accident exacerbated pre-existing conditions, be prepared to present additional evidence. Before the adjuster agrees to cover the related damages, he must be satisfied that your conditions would not have worsened had it not been for the negligence of the person responsible.
Discuss your claim with a bicycle accident attorney in Minneapolis
If you have been seriously injured in an accident while riding your bike, turn to Bradshaw & Bryant for help. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident to identify all responsible parties, so that we can take the necessary steps to hold them accountable. To schedule a free case study with a Minneapolis bicycle accident attorney, call 800-770-7008 or fill out our online contact form