1. Take photos: of your bike, of the vehicle, of the location prior to movement, of the vehicle’s license tag, and of other eyewitnesses/fellow cyclists (so you don’t forget who was there). And quickly transfer these photos to the cloud or other safe place; leaving them on your phone makes them safe only until you lose or destroy the phone; don’t take this risk.
2. Seek immediate medical attention, even if not transported to an ER, make immediate plans to be seen by a doctor—not your primary care doctor, who will run the other way as soon as they hear it’s an accident case. Under Florida law, understand two things: first, when on your bike and struck by a motor vehicle, your own auto insurance comes into play, including the portion that pays your medical bills (PIP), even if the driver was at fault, and potentially your uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage; and second, that under Florida law, if you do not see a doctor and have your injury and EMC (emergency medical condition) declared within fourteen days of the date of accident, your auto PIP will only pay a maximum of $2,500, not the $10,000 you purchased under your PIP coverage for medical care. Is that fair? No! Is it the law? Yes!
3. DO NOT give a recorded statement to the at fault party’s insurance rep/adjuster without me, or another attorney looking out for you, present and participating. It’s a one sided game: they always want you to give a recorded statement, but NEVER allow their insured to give one to us. You do have an obligation to communicate with your own carrier, but even then, I always advise your attorney be on that call as well.
4. DO NOT post any information about your accident or your injuries and care on social media. You must assume anything you say will be a part of the at fault party’s file on you. Many of my athlete clients make the mistake of talking about future races, how great they are healing, neither of which may in reality come to pass, but once posted, it’s there for them to use against you. We are all positive self motivators, and believe if we say something long and often enough, it will be reality. Don’t let such “positive speak” be the death knell of your legitimate injury claim.
This type of information can be invaluable to you or your fellow athlete training partners. Make a copy of this article and keep it in your fanny pack; share with your friends. If you or they need it, this information can make the difference in whether or not you will be able to protect yourself from the reckless drivers we see on the road daily.
Be safe out there!