Collecting Evidence for a Bike Accident Claim
Bicyclists in Colorado Springs are at the mercy of the drivers around them. You might hope that they will always follow the law and avoid driving recklessly, but the unfortunate truth is that it is very easy for a driver to slip up and catastrophically injure a bicyclist. Following a collision with a car, you deserve full compensation for all of the trauma you have gone through. But to get the money you need to heal and move on with your life, you need to build a strong case against the driver – otherwise, their insurance company will fight tooth and nail to minimize your claim.
The Value of Evidence in an Accident Claim
While it may be obvious to you that a negligent driver caused your injuries, their insurance company does not see it that way. To the company, your bicycle accident claim is a major expense that could impact its profit margins. Forget paying out what is fair and reasonable for your injuries — you should expect a lowball settlement right out the gate from an insurance adjuster. They may seem sympathetic and even friendly, but their goal is to get you to accept a quick, small settlement rather than fight for the full value of your injuries.
One of the ways they do this is by poking holes in your claim. They may argue that your injuries were caused in another accident, that they are minor, or that you are in some way at fault for the collision. To beat these nefarious tactics, you need to work with a dedicated Colorado Springs accident attorney who can help you collect evidence to support your claim. This evidence can be used in an insurance negotiation to put pressure on the adjuster to agree to a higher settlement amount, or to convince a jury to award you compensation if your case goes to trial.
Important Evidence After a Bicycle Accident
There are certain types of evidence that are invaluable in any accident claim, well as others that are unique to bicycle accidents. All could prove extremely important in your case. These include:
- Police Reports: An accident report from the Colorado Highway Patrol (CHP), El Paso Sheriff’s Department, or Colorado Springs Police Department can hold a lot of weight for a personal injury claim. These documents can explain how the collision occurred, who was at fault, if the at-fault driver violated the law, and how serious the bicyclist’s injuries were. Your attorney can assist in obtaining a copy of the report and reviewing its details.
- Medical Records: Alongside police reports, your own medical records have a huge role in your claim. Whether you visited an emergency room or saw your physician later, a copy of your initial report can show how severe your injuries were right after the collision and what treatment is absolutely necessary. You should also continue getting treatment and keep copies of all doctor’s reports to show the full extent of your injuries.
- Accident Photos: Accident photos can help your lawyer and an accident reconstructionist understand how the collision occurred. Cellphone photos, traffic camera pictures, and other images can provide important clues. Photos can include the vehicle that injured you, your bike, your injuries, tire tracks, damage to nearby property, local traffic signs, roadway designs, and other details about the scene. Colorado Springs’ red-light cameras capture snapshots of intersections every two minutes and may capture key details if the driver ran a red light before hitting you.
- Accident Footage: In addition to photos, videos can be incredibly valuable while filing a claim. Even short videos pulled from social media or traffic cameras can show that the driver acted negligently. If the driver ran a red light, a Colorado Springs traffic camera may have captured a short video of it that could help in an investigation. GoPro footage, either your own or another cyclist’s, should also be collected.
- Witness Statements: Statements from pedestrians, other cyclists, or nearby drivers can help paint a picture of what happened in the collision. However, there may be conflicting details, so you should speak to your attorney about how to carefully review witness statements.
- Black-Box Data: Whether you were injured by a semi-truck or a passenger vehicle, the incident may have been captured by the vehicle’s black box. Most modern cars have black boxes installed in them for manufacturers to spot product defects, and modern semi-trucks are legally required to have EDRs These devices can be accessed with a subpoena and the data within can explain how the accident occurred.
- Your Bike: One of the biggest mistakes a cyclist can make is to throw out or repair their bike immediately after a collision. Just as you should not scrap your car after a collision, you should avoid getting rid of your bike before an accident reconstructionist has a chance to look it over. A reconstructionist can study your bike to determine impact points, the speed of the other vehicle, and the severity of the collision. Instead of repairing or throwing it out, you should tuck it away until you speak to an attorney.
- Your Clothing: Clothing worn during an accident is another important piece of evidence that you should never throw out or clean before an accident expert can look over it. Your clothing may have paint marks from the vehicle hit you, blood stains, and other impact marks that show that your accident was severe.
- Fitness Data: While often overlooked, fitness devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches contain important data about bicyclists and their injuries. Even if you were just a casual cyclist, your fitness may help show how serious your injuries are after a collision. Your attorney can compare data from before your accident to afterward to show that the collision has negatively impacted your health and limited what activities you can do.
Building a Strong Case for Compensation
These are just some of the key pieces of evidence a Colorado Springs personal injury attorney at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., will look for, and there may be other information that can help your bicycle claim. To ensure every detail is included in your case, you should only trust your claim to a dedicated team of lawyers who will leave no stone unturned or clue uninvestigated. We can use our considerable knowledge of the claims process and Colorado Springs bike accidents to advocate for your best interests. Call us today at (719) 475-2555 to get a free case evaluation and learn what we can do for you.