If you are involved in a bike accident that was not your fault in Boston, you should never decline medical attention. In far too many cases, cyclists decline offers of medical assistance from first responders.
When a Boston bike crash victim does accept the offer to be checked out by EMTs or paramedics or to go to the hospital, there may be a variety of reasons. One possibility is the individual does not realize the full extent of their injuries immediately following the accident. They may be in a state in a shock or they may be in too much pain from seemingly superficial injuries like cuts and scrapes from the pavement to realize that is the least of their problems. In other cases, they may too embarrassed to admit they need help.
As our Boston bike crash injury lawyers can explain, you should never decline immediate medical attention. Many injuries are not immediately apparent. Some injuries like bruises and sprains will get worse over time and not having prompt treatment can make matters a lot worse.
Further, a delay in treatment can complicate your settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Following a Boston bike crash that is not your fault, the driver’s insurance company will have a claims adjuster contact you. The claims adjuster is an employee of the insurance company who is trained to get plaintiffs to enter into a settlement as quickly as possible for as little money as possible. These insurance care are after all large companies that want to maximize profits. The more money they make, the happier shareholders are and that means bigger bonuses for company executives. They accomplish by taking as much in direct premiums as possible while also paying out as little in claims as possible.
The insurance company adjuster will try to get you to make a recorded statement within 48-hours of the accident in most cases, and try to get you take a quick offer such as paying for your emergency room bills. They make this offer because they know most bike accident victims need money quickly and they do not want these people to have to think about the situation logically and seek a free consultation with a Boston bike crash lawyer. While paying for your emergency room bill might seem like a good offer, there will be many other losses suffered such as pain and suffering, future medical expenses, lost wages, and other types of special damages.
What a claimant should do is politely tell the claims adjuster they are not going to make any statements or accept any offers until they speak with an attorney. This is not only allowed, but it is the smart course of action to take. This not to say you will not ever have to make a recorded statement because if you ultimately refuse, they company may be able to deny your claim based upon failure to cooperate, but they cannot demand you do so immediately before you can speak with a lawyer.
Once you have an attorney, he or she will first send a letter of representation (rep letter) to the insurance company to let them know you have an attorney and they are not allowed to contact you directly. Then will then elevate the claim to an adjuster who is authorized by the company to negotiate claims with personal injury lawyers. At this point, your attorney will gather all medical records and relevant documents like the police report and bills and send a demand letter to the insurance company.
A Gap In Treatment
One thing the insurance company will use to undervalue a claim is a gap in treatment. They claim that if you were really as injured as your attorney is saying, you should have sought prompt medical attention rather than declining offers from the paramedics to go to the hospital. While this doesn’t mean you do not have a valid claim, you should go as soon as possible to avoid this situation.
Not Realizing the Full Extent of Your Injures
According to a recent news article from Billboard, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was in a serious bike accident, yet he decided to go to a pub instead of seeking prompt medical attention. Sheeran said that after he crashed his bike, he knew he was in pain but decided to got right to the pub and had a few beers. Later that evening after he fallen asleep, he woke up in tremendous pain. He went to the hospital and was diagnosed with a broken wrist, elbow, and one broken rib. He ended up with a cast on his wrist, and sling and had to cancel several of his upcoming performances. While it is not all that common to suffer such severe personal injury and not realize it, this goes to show a person in shock may not be aware of the full extent of the damage and why there is such a need to seek prompt medical attention.
Seeking prompt medical attention will also create a medical record that can be very valuable when your attorney crafts a detailed demand letter. It will be necessary to explain the full extent of all injuries, and if the plaintiff had made the same claims of pain to an emergency room nurse of doctor, that will make it much more difficult for an insurance adjuster to deny or undervalue a claim by arguing that the injuries were not the result of the Boston bike crash.
According to the American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) bike crashes result in over 900 deaths each year. Bike crashes also result in more than 23,000 admissions in hospitals across the country and more than half a million emergency room visits each year.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Boston bicycle accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-789 BIKE (2453).
Ed Sheeran Didn’t Realize How Badly He Was Hurt in Bicycle Accident, So He Went to a Pub, Then Home, October 10, 2017, By Gill Kaufman, Billboard
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World Day of Remembrance Personal for Our Boston Bicycle Injury Lawyers, Nov. 27, 2017, Boston Bike Attorney Blog