As a cyclist, it’s critical to your health and well-being to stay safe during your commute or weekend ride. Yet, no matter how safe you cycle, crashes can still occur. As a cyclist, you have legal rights if you have a crash while on the road.
How to Protect Your Rights at the Scene of the Crash
Although adrenaline will be high after a bike crash, it’s important to know how to protect your rights in the moments immediately following the crash.
First, don’t admit guilt or apologize for the crash. If the other party asks you if you’re injured, simply state you’ll be receiving medical attention. Any admission can be used to establish fault later on.
If the police officer that assists you asks you to give your account of the crash, don’t hesitate to do so. State the facts of the crash and remember that no detail is too small.
Some cyclists choose to use Go-Pros, head cams and other types of recording devices while biking as a means to record evidence of any close calls or a crash with a motorist.
Your Rights After a Bicycle Crash
As a cyclist involved in a crash, you have the same rights that people in passenger vehicles do. Minnesota is a no-fault state, which means your own auto insurance is responsible for paying for your medical treatment, regardless of who’s at fault.
If your own insurance doesn’t cover all of your medical expenses after a severe crash, you may qualify for no-fault benefits under several other exceptions. In addition, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you incur at least $4,000 in medical expenses, your injuries result in a scar or disfigurement or you suffer a permanent injury.
Tips for Building a Solid Bike Crash Case
It’s important to reach out to a professional personal injury attorney should you pursue a lawsuit. Here are some things you can do to help solidify your case:
Gather evidence: If you’re able, take photos of the scene and your bike on your mobile device. Or, if poor road conditions are to blame, take photos of those as well. Jot down the driver’s name and contact information for future contact, if applicable. If there are witnesses, ask for their name and contact information to add to your record.
Write down what happened: While the crash is still fresh in your mind, write down exactly what happened. Try your best to include every detail, including any conversation between you and the at-fault party, if applicable.
- Keep track of healthcare documentation: As you receive medical treatment, keep track of documentation provided by your doctor outlining your care as well as bills and correspondence.
Still Have Questions? Speak to a Knowledgeable Attorney.
Bicycle crashes can cause severe injuries and lead to more questions than answers. Get the information you need from a knowledgeable bike crash attorney.
Attorney Daniel J. Brazil of Brazil Law Group is an experienced personal injury attorney with offices located in Uptown. He has a passion for the outdoors, especially cycling and climbing. Learn more about Dan and his practice by following him on Twitter (@LawDanielBrazil and #MplsBikeAttorney).
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And, really, isn’t it just fearmongering?