Potholes are an extreme nuisance for cyclists. Not only can they cause popped tires and bent rims, they can also throw you off your bike, which is potentially fatal when you're riding in traffic. If you have a cycling accident due to a pothole, you may be able to get compensation from the local government organization responsible for maintaining the road or path on which you were riding. Here are five things you can do to get the biggest settlement possible.
Ride with a Helmet Cam
Cycling with a helmet-mounted camera makes it much easier to prove who was at fault when you have an accident. If a car is driving dangerously and causes you to wreck, you'll have the whole incident on film, including the driver's license plate. In the case of wrecking due to a pothole, you'll be able to prove that you were riding safely and following all of the traffic laws prior to the crash. You'll also have video evidence pinpointing the pothole as the location of the accident.
Call an Ambulance if You're Severely Injured
Bicycle wrecks can be every bit as dangerous as automobile accidents. If you hit a pothole and wreck, the first thing you should do is assess your injuries. If you're severely injured, call an ambulance immediately. When the authorities arrive, point out the pothole so that they document it as the cause of the accident. Before leaving the hospital, ask for copies of every medical document available to your case so that you can get compensated for the expenses later on.
If you're not injured badly enough to need an ambulance, the first thing you should do is talk to any witnesses nearby. Even if you have video evidence, it's best to have witness testimonies to further back up your claim. Take video and written statements from witnesses saying that they saw you wreck because of the pothole. Get a copy of each witness' contact information in case you need them to verify their statements later on.
Take high-quality photos of the pothole as well as the surrounding road or path. Use a ruler to measure the depth of the hole and photograph it as well. Additionally, take detailed photos of any damage caused to your bicycle and any injuries you sustained. Even if your injuries are minor, you may be entitled to a larger settlement due to pain and suffering.
Bring in the Professionals
No matter how much evidence you have, navigating a legal case against a government organization is extremely tricky. If you try to do it alone, you may wind up receiving an inadequate settlement or no settlement at all. Contact a reputable personal injury attorney, such as at Abkarian & Associates APLC, to handle the case for you. Present them with all of your evidence, then let them do the heavy legal lifting.