This is the next post in a series of articles discussing issues that commonly arise in Fort Worth, Texas bicycle accident cases. Our previous article provided an overview of the topics to be discussed throughout this series. It also emphasized the importance of retaining a law firm as soon as possible after an injury has occurred. Doing so will help ensure that an investigation takes place quickly, evidence is adequately preserved, and that you are represented in settlement negotiations. In this post, we will address another important issue: the need to seek medical attention immediately following a bicycle accident. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident, we recommend contacting a law firm as soon as possible to help preserve your rights.
If a cyclist is injured in a collision with a motor vehicle as a result of the driver’s negligence or willful misconduct then the victim is entitled to recover damages from the responsible party. We have previously written about how a law firm will attempt to prove the defendant’s liability. The victim must present objective evidence to demonstrate that the driver’s actions caused the collision and that the victim suffered injuries as a result. Such evidence may include police reports, witness statements, phone records, and expert testimony. Once liability is established, the victim must present evidence related to their injuries in order to estimate the damages they suffered as a result. Evidence will likely include medical records, including information from first responders to the scene, emergency medical treatment, and ongoing treatments or therapies. If the victim is taken from the scene in an ambulance and receives immediate treatment, there can be little question that the injuries suffered were the result of the accident. On the other hand, if the cyclist declines emergency treatment and delays seeking medical help for days or weeks after the fact, it may be difficult to prove that the injuries were caused by the accident. Victims can be sure that defense counsel will suggest that their injuries were not severe if immediate medical care was refused or that they were caused by intervening events or pre-existed the crash. For these reasons, it is imperative that an injured party seek medical attention as soon as possible after a bicycle accident.
Consider the following example. A cyclist is struck in the head by a sideview mirror on a commercial truck. A bystander calls 911 and the parties provide their statements to the responding police officers. After being quickly evaluated by the paramedics on the scene, the rider is luckily lucid and appears to have escaped serious injury. He decides to accept a ride home from the police officers rather than go to the hospital for further treatment. For the next few days he suffers from mild headaches, but still does not seek medical attention. A week later, the headache is unbearable and he calls his physician. He is diagnosed with a cracked skull and brain trauma. While it may seem obvious to the cyclist that his injuries resulted from the collision, the trucker’s insurance company and defense counsel disagree. They use the timeframe between the accident and the diagnosis to suggest that the injuries could have been caused by another event. They argue that such a serious injury should have prompted urgent medical treatment and insinuate that the damages are not directly related. Seeking immediate medical attention may have prevented the defense from making these arguments.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle crash, please seek medical attention as soon as possible. Once you have done so, it is important to retain a law firm quickly. Doing so will allow the law firm to take prompt action to preserve your legal rights. In addition, we suggest locating a firm with multiple attorneys who are Board Certified in Personal Injury Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This advice is true whether the accident occurred in Fort Worth, Dallas, or other areas of Texas.