Obviously, we want to know the facts of the accident, what direction you were going, where it happened, and the overall version of the story. We want to know of any witnesses, if people came upon the scene later, and when it happened. This way, we can send an investigator out to look at and photograph the scene before it changes.
If we get there in time, we can see skid marks or debris in the roadway. We look for evidence to show the location of the point of impact. Skid marks can show reactions of the various drivers in an accident and help us determine the speed of the vehicles, either the car or the bike.
We want to know if the police were called. If they were, we’ll get a copy of the police report. We want to know if the client has spoken to the insurance company, and we would typically advise them not to. This is not because they would say something dishonest. However, they might be having a low-pain day after the accident when they give a statement.
For example, the insurance company might ask: “How are you feeling?” The person might say he’s feeling pretty good. However, a day, week, or month later, they’re feeling poorly. At this point, the insurance company argues, “You’ve recovered previously. The problems you’re having now are unrelated to this accident.” It’s usually best not to give multiple statements.
We want to know the type of injury and who the medical providers are. We want to know if you were taken by ambulance, what hospital you went to, what doctors you’ve followed up with, what your medical bills are, etc.
Often, the client doesn’t know the medical bills. They might not know the terminology of the injury they have. We get the medical records and bills and determine this for ourselves.
If there is a wage loss claim, we want to know where the injured party worked. We want to know how long they worked there and what they’re being paid. We want to have evidence of their loss of earnings.
We want to know about the person. We want to know what his lifestyle was like before the accident. We want to know if he was active or inactive, old or young, outdoorsy or sedentary. We want to determine how this injury affected their lives, their family life, their work life, and their personal life.
In addition, we’d obviously want to know who the other side was and if they have insurance information. Often times, the client doesn’t know who the other side was, especially if they’re taken away in an ambulance. We determine this through police reports and witness statements.
What Are Examples of Bicycle Accident Cases That Are Not Worth Pursuing?
If the injury is extremely minor, like if the bike falls over, the person has a scratch on his leg, he doesn’t go to the hospital, and he doesn’t go to the doctor, his case has very little value. Thus, it’s not worth hiring an attorney and asserting a claim.
The cost of pursing the claim is more than the value of the case. It’s not worthwhile. When the client is obviously at fault, there’s no sense in presenting the claim. They’re not going to get any money.
If there are major problems with the case involving criminal activity, alcohol, or drugs, minor injuries or even modest injuries are probably not worth pursuing. I’ve had very large injuries that involved people doing something wrong, like using drugs. I’ve still seen large settlements.
Once, I had a FedEx truck who hit a crack addict. This guy was a lifelong drug user, a significant drug user. A FedEx truck blew the stop sign and hit him. We were able to get a very large settlement. If it had been a very small injury, I wouldn’t have taken the case.
What is The Role of Social Media In A Bicycle Accident Case?
Typically, we tell clients not to use social media while they’re in a lawsuit. I had a case recently in which a person claimed she couldn’t lift groceries, walk her children around the block, do housework, etc. Then, on social media, she posted that they walked a marathon. She walked 26.2 miles, and that just killed her case.
People are trying to be honest. However, sometimes they say it one way, and it’s taken out of context. However, they’ll convey the thought that they can’t enjoy life the same because of these injuries. They can’t play with friends, socialize, or be active.
Then, you look at social media and see pictures of them dancing at a party, drinking, or driving dune buggies. This impeaches their statement. The less social media that the other side has; the better.
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