One minute you're riding around LaPorte County Roads minding your own business, the next you've been rattled by a bicycle accident in the middle of Michigan City with not a lot of solutions to your new problems. Who will pay for your medical bills? How will you make rent if you can't work? What about your bike? Don't let these questions stress you out.
Michigan City bicycle accident attorney Guy S. DiMartino has handled cases all across the state of Indiana and can handle yours too. He will make sure your medical bills are paid, your work income will be taken care of and your bike is fixed or replaced. Indiana insurance companies have an incentive to lowball your financial needs after a bicycle accident, so always go to an experienced bicycle accident lawyer first before you even get the accident claim process started.
In 2016 there were 868 motor vehicles on bicycle accidents in Indiana.
Even if you're a safe biker that follows the rules of the road and rides defensively, an accident can find you. No one chooses to have their life altered by a bicycle accident, but you can choose whether or not you want to be protected. Make sure you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your vehicle to the fullest amount that you can afford.
What You Should Do After a LaPorte County Bicycle Accident
Call 911: Having law enforcement and medical professionals on the scene will make sure that you have the proper reports filled out. Make sure you get a copy of the police report (Indiana Standard Crash Report).
Get insurance information: If you are able, make sure you get insurance information from the other driver. If you own a vehicle and have med-pay insurance under your vehicle coverage, it may extend and pay your medical expenses from your bike accident.
Collect evidence: When you are able, you need to collect evidence. Don't assume law enforcement or paramedics will document the scene and your injuries. Sometimes law enforcement is lazy and months down the line it will be impossible to recreate this evidence This information will come in handy if you decide to make an insurance claim or if you are forced to file a lawsuit.
See your doctor: In case you've suffered a serious concussion or another injury not totally obvious, go see a doctor immediately following your accident. Your healthcare provider will be able to fully assess any injuries that happened during your bicycle accident.
Call a LaPorte County Bicycle Accident Attorney: Don't go through the accident claim process alone. Let a bicycle accident lawyer deal with the insurance company for you while you recover from your trauma.
Indiana Auto Law and How it Affects Your Bike Accident Claim
Because you were in an accident with a vehicle, odds are your med-pay coverage under your own insurance will cover some or all of your medical expenses. Many folks get angry that they have to go through their own insurance with concern that their insurance will go up. This is untrue. If you want your medical bills paid and you don't need to want to be sent to collections, your medical bills need to be paid. Many folks believe the other insurance company will pay their medical expenses, this is untrue. The other insurance company is not required to your medical expenses as you go. Your medical expenses, if you can prove liability, will be paid at the end of your case.
This leads us to another important topic when it comes to bicyclists and that is insurance.
Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage protects a driver if they've been hit by another driver who does not have insurance or doesn't have enough insurance. Depending on the language in your policy, you may be entitled to underinsure or uninsured coverage if you are injured by a car while riding your bike. UM, coverage will make sure you're not left up the creek without a paddle.
Following Too Closely: You see this all the time on busy LaPorte County roads with people rushing to their work. Traffic jams are often caused when drivers want to follow each other too closely on busy roads, which can lead to vehicles rolling into bicyclists.
Distracted Driving: 33 percent of all bicycle accidents in the country are caused by drivers leaving their lanes. So, what causes us to leave our lane and collide with the bicyclist next to us? Texting while driving, eating while driving -- any kind of distracted driving can lead to trouble on the roads.
Rolling Right Turns: We have a lot of busy intersections here in LaPorte County. If you approach a right turn, it's easy to not look both ways when making your turn. Just like that, you've struck a bicycle rider or even worse, a pedestrian, because you never took a complete stop at the intersection.
Failing to Keep a Lookout when making a Left Turn: Many drivers look right through bicyclists when pulling out of a side street or shopping center.
Traumatic Brain Injuries: Concussions fall under the TBI category, which can be caused by any major blow to the head. TBI's focus only on hidden head injuries, which means you can't physically tell someone has an injury by looking at their head. These injuries normally manifest themselves in the form of headaches and can develop into nausea, dizziness, light sensitivity, hearing and mood changes.
Broken Bones: A broken bone is a fairly straightforward injury, though no less debilitating than the other three kinds of bicycle accident injuries we see. Ribs can crack from deployed airbags, ankles can break from a rear-end collision after getting caught under a pedal -- there are a number of scenarios we see from our LaPorte County clients.
Whiplash: The most common neck injury associated with bicycle accidents is whiplash. When the impact force of a bicycle accident causes your neck to sway violently back-and-forth, it causes trauma to your brain and neck which can lead to stiffness, immobility in your neck and blurred vision.
Spine/Back Injuries: The same high-impact bicycle collisions can lead to concussions and whiplash can also lead to strains in your spine. When the ligaments are torn from their attachments on your spine, this can lead to herniated discs and spinal stenosis. Back injuries are often the most debilitating, causing widespread pain throughout the body because of the number of nerve endings built up in your back.
Guy DiMartino has been practicing personal injury law and bicycle accident law in Indiana for years. He's dealt with practically every insurance company in Indiana and has been in hundreds of claims and lawsuits.
It takes an experienced attorney to know when to settle and when to walk away. If you're too aggressive, you can turn up in court and walk away with nothing. If you're too passive, you can leave money on the table.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a bicycle accident in Michigan City, Westville LaPorte, call bicycle accident attorney Guy S. DiMartino today.