Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Mississippi Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Mississippi: Bicyclists in Mississippi have been on unequal footing with cars and trucks on the roadway for too long. Recently changes in the law provide additional protections for bicyclists in Mississippi and have classified bicyclists as a vehicle for the purposes of passing and yielding the right of way. Those who have been injured by a car hitting their bike need to speak with a Mississippi bicycle wreck attorney to protect their claim.
What to do After a Bicycle Wreck – From a Mississippi Bicycle Wreck Attorney
If you are riding a bike and are hit by a car or truck, what should your next steps be? If you come upon the scene of a wreck where a bicycle rider has been injured what should you do?
This article seeks to answer these questions and provide a resource that can be printed and taken with you so you will have this information when you need it most.
Mississippi Bicycle Laws:
– Vehicles must leave a safe distance while passing bicycles in the roadway of no less than three (3) feet. [§ 63-3-1309]
Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-405. Duty of driver involved in accident resulting in injury or death or property damage to give information and render aid; liability for rendering aid.
“The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving and shall, upon request and if available, exhibit his operator’s or chauffeur’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with.”
What to do after a Bicycle wreck with a car or truck.
Stay at the scene
The documentation provided by a police officer is absolutely necessary to make a claim for property damage or personal injury. If you don’t stay at the scene in your vehicle after causing injuries or property damage, you may be cited for a hit and run. (see Mississippi hit and run statute below.)
Get the license plate number of the vehicles involved in the wreck
This information will be important and is the only clear identifying information about who owns the vehicles involved in the incident. Any Mississippi bicycle wreck attorney will be very interested in this information because of the need to identify who was in the wreck and who may be responsible.
Get your bearings
Check on the individuals involved in the wreck. If anyone is unconscious, was thrown from their bicycle, is pinned under an obstacle, or has pain in the neck or back, these individuals should not be moved until an ambulance or authorities arrive.
Call the police
If there is a wreck involving injuries or property damage of more than $500.00, Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-411 (2014) requires that the drivers of the vehicles are required to call the local police department. It is usually best to call no matter what.
Don’t move the objects
The police officer who arrives at the scene will be gathering information and seeing where the vehicles are located post-wreck. This may be very important in the officer’s narrative account and diagram of the scene of the wreck. For this reason, it is recommended that you leave the vehicles where they are as much as possible.
Gather information, especially for witnesses
If there are any witnesses at the scene, get their names and cell phone numbers. Third-party witnesses can be very helpful in proving how the wreck occurred because they do not have any vested interest in the wreck. Also, gathering insurance information, name, address, and phone number for any drivers.
Know that anything you say can be used against you in court
Some insurance policies have limitations on coverage when drivers admit liability or say the wreck is their fault. Generally it is a bad idea to guess who or what caused the wreck, just state the facts of the wreck as you remember them.
Trying to explain how a wreck occurred to anyone other than the officer is usually a no-win situation because anything you say or do may be admissible in court as an “admission” or “statement against interest.” People often do not have a perfect memory of what was said but saying nothing about how the wreck occurred will hopefully minimize any issues in court.
Take several photos of the scene of the wreck, of your property damage, of your injuries, and of any skid marks (or lack thereof) leading up to the scene of the wreck.
Refer to your insurance policy
You have been paying for insurance coverage, so if the time comes for you to make a claim, you should use your coverage. Medical payment coverage may provide reimbursements for your medical expenses. Your collision coverage may pay for your own property damage, and if you have uninsured motorist coverage (which is very worth it) on your car or vehicle then you may be protected even when the other individuals involved in the wreck do not have insurance.
Often we hear concerns about insurance rates rising as a result of making a claim. If you are concerned about this please allow us to provide you additional information on this topic.
Understand early settlement offers
Be careful of immediate settlement offers from an insurance company. Some injuries become more pronounced a few days after the wreck. Many claims are settled with early, very low offers which are likely unable to account for the ongoing issues, lost work, and pain related to your injuries. At the very least, give yourself a period of time to be sure no additional aches or pains emerge.
Read every document that the insurance company asks you to sign
Make sure you are not releasing your personal injury claim when dealing with your property damage. Sometimes language releasing a personal injury claim creeps into a release for property damage, and those claims could be released forever.
For more information on Bicycle claims contact us.
Consider getting a free consultation with a Mississippi Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A personal injury attorney can explain to you the benefit of being represented in your claim, explain the process, and put your mind at ease. Contact us today.
Printable Version of these summarized rules: pdf