Take It from a Bicycle Injury Attorney: Never Say “I’m Fine”
Take it from a bicycle injury attorney: one of the worst things you can do in the moments after you bicycle crash is to say, “I’m okay.”
It makes sense why people say they’re okay — they don’t want to make the driver feel bad, and they might be embarrassed or in shock and just trying to get away quickly — but nevertheless, it can still have long-term damaging effects if you rush off and ignore any possible injuries, or downplay ones that you’ve already noticed.
Not only can it be bad for your health to ignore potential injuries after a bicycle crash, it can cost you a lot financially, too.
Downplaying your injuries can cost you
If you tell the driver that you have no injuries or that your injuries aren’t that serious, they (and their insurance company, more importantly) can use that against you. They can use your statements from the scene to avoid paying for any injuries you later want to receive coverage for.
Remember, insurance companies are for-profit businesses. They want to avoid paying out money to you, and they will look for evidence that you might be asking for more than you deserve so that they don’t have to pay.
It’s natural to want to brush off your injuries and get on with your day. However, doing so can prevent you from getting compensation for expensive injuries. Keep in mind that you should simply keep your mouth shut about your injuries or your fault for the accident at the scene; all you are obligated to do is get the driver’s insurance information and give your report to the police.
Wait until you talk to a bicycle injury attorney — or at the very least until you have had some time to collect yourself post-crash — before you talk to the driver or the insurance company about your injuries.
Small problems can become big problems
Even if you don’t feel your injuries at the scene of the crash, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. Right after you crash, the odds are good that you’re in shock and experiencing a rush of adrenaline, which can prevent you from feeling even very serious injuries.
It’s also common for injuries to develop and become pronounced in the days and weeks following a bike accident. For example, you might not notice a sprained ankle until the next day when you’re putting your shoes on.
You should always take your injuries seriously after a bike accident, and pay close attention to anything that seems off or is bothering you in the days after your crash. In general, the faster you act to treat any injuries, the better and more completely they will heal; if you put off treatment, you could end up with issues that never fully heal or cause problems for the rest of your life.
The more information and history, the better
If your injuries do turn out to be serious or long-lasting (some bicycle crash injuries never heal, or otherwise alter your lifestyle forever), it is best to have a long record of your condition, starting as soon as possible after the crash.
Having proper care and documentation will help you both heal and make the best possible case for coverage of your injuries, if you pursue a case. The more information and evidence you have about your injuries, the stronger your case.
If you have any doubt, see a doctor and consult with a lawyer
At the end of the day, the most important thing is making sure that you take the best possible care of your health after a traumatic event like a bike crash. It is always best to know exactly what injuries you are truly dealing with and what the best course of action is.
A bicycle injury attorney can help you make sense of all your medical bills and documentation after a crash, and can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle crash, you can call Bay Area Bicycle Law to talk confidentially and for free with a lawyer who specializes in bicycle cases. Call 415-466-8717 today.