Following a bike accident in Providence, most people make a huge mistake that unfortunately, costs them their compensation. If we started counting the number of clients who have walked into our Providence law offices citing the same story, we would probably be here all day. So here’s a scenario…
Jon gets into a bicycle accident with a car driver. The accident isn’t serious because neither Jon nor the driver is injured. However, Jon’s bike is damaged and he can’t ride it safely. The driver, feeling generous, offers to pay for damages to the bike. The only problem is, he doesn’t want to go through his insurance so he tells Jon to send him the bill once he gets an estimate of how much the repairs will cost. Jon naively accepts the generous driver’s offer and he walks away. A few days later, he calls the driver with an estimate. The driver tells him that’s too expensive and he hangs up on him never to be heard from again.
We get these types of stories from cyclists all the time and they have no idea what to do next. We get why it would be easy for you to make the mistake of striking a deal with the driver on the spot. First, the driver will obviously try to get your sympathy by trying to sound as remorseful as possible. They will say they are sorry and promise to make everything right.
Second, the idea of side stepping the whole insurance process sounds like a great idea because the thought of signing forms, hiring a Providence bike accident attorney and waiting to get compensated sounds complicated and time consuming. Why not take the easy route and get paid straight away?
And that is how people are duped into missing much deserved compensation. There are two main reasons why a driver might offer to pay for damages to your bike straight from their pocket.
They Don’t Know What They Are Getting Into
If they know they were at fault in the crash, all they can think about is keeping their insurance premium as it is by offering to pay for damages. The problem with this approach is that they never stop to think what they are getting themselves into. So you part ways relieved that neither of you got seriously hurt. However, the driver’s noble desire to make things right quickly fades as soon as they realize that a bicycle can cost more than $200 in repairs. They often feel like you are trying to rip them off or something close to that.
They Do Not Want Their Insurance Premiums To Increase
If you hit a cyclist with your car, your insurance premium goes up if they file a claim. That’s just how things work. If you are a careless driver, your premiums will be higher. It’s not anybody’s obligation to help you avoid the downside of this system simply because they were on a bike while you were in a car.
How to Avoid Making This Mistake
Always Get the Driver’s Insurance Information
Unless you want to be continuously screwed over by “generous” drivers, always ensure that you get their insurance information. You can always file a claim if they try to back down on their “generous” offer to repair your bike. You should also ensure that you record their license plate number.
If the driver refuses to give you their insurance information, call the police and tell them what happened. You don’t need to threaten them, just make the call.
Once you have their insurance information, call the insurance company as soon as possible and tell them what happened. They will ask you for a write up of the damage and an estimate from the bike shop. You’ll also be asked to submit pictures of the bike. It really should be a simple process but most insurance companies will try to complicate it by bringing up other issues like trying to blame you for the accident or trying to deny you compensation. This is why you should consider hiring an attorney to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
If you have been injured in a bike accident in Providence and you would like to find out more about your case, give us a call at 401-751-0101 or visit our offices today for a free initial consultation.