Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists are legally entitled to share most American roadways with few exceptions other than some expressways and major highways. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional cyclist or you only ride once a year you have rights if you are injured by another when legally riding your bike.
Every day in this country bicyclists are seriously injured while riding their bikes. Many injuries are so serious that they can permanently affect a person’s life and happiness. Unfortunately, as a result of bicycle accidents so of the most common injuries include back injuries, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, concussions, and broken bones.
Bicycle accident cases can be even more complicated because the cause of the accident is often disputed. Contributing causes to the accident could be road defects, unsafe road conditions, another person’s negligence, a stray animal, or equipment failure. Also, the injuries and damages sustained as a result can affect the victim for years or even permanently. That’s why it is important to discuss your claim with a qualified personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a bicycle accident. You could potentially be entitled to lost wages, lost future income, medical coverage, and even pain and suffering.
How to Hire a Bicycle Accident Attorney
After a bicycle accident you are probably going to need to consult a lawyer, especially in the accident involved injuries. A qualified bicycle lawyer will be able to advise you and review your case and injuries so that you can properly calculate the compensation you are entitled to. You might be asking how an accident attorney can help you. Well, they specialize in doing the following:
- They fight for the compensation you are entitled to, and they usually don’t get paid unless you do damages
- They fight for your lost wages
- They fight to get medical bills paid or reimbursed
- They fight to win and advance your claim for personal injury
Lawyers who specialize in bicycle accident cases protect the rights of victims and work hard to make sure that victims of bicycle accidents are properly compensated. They typically do not charge for consultations and can meet with you to discuss the strength, weaknesses, and potential compensation potential of your claim. Experienced bicycle attorneys will review you case and damages and advise you on your options.
Bicycle Accident Attorney Fees
Typically, lawyers who handle bicycle accident cases work for a contingency fee which means they only get paid if they win your case for you or settle for an amount you agree with. Generally, most attorneys who are willing to take your case on a contingency basis will charge somewhere in the 25-40 percent range.
The attorney will generally cover the costs to prosecute the case and will only get reimbursed for those costs if they win the case. Costs and expenses typically include expert fees, filing fees, travel expenses, and deposition transcript fees.
What to do after an Accident involving a Bicycle
- Immediately Seek medical attentions.
- Get statements from any witnesses.
- Get the names and contact information for any potential witness.
- Obtain a copy of the police report. Review the report and document any inaccuracies.
- Take video and photos of where the accident occurred. If your bicycle is damaged, do not have it repaired. If you have to get your bicycle repaired, document the damage as best you can. Save the receipts for the repair.
- Photograph and if possible video your injuries.
- Photograph the car that struck you.
- Obtain all the necessary contact information of anyone else involved in the accident including their names, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information.
- Contact a bicycle accident attorney and schedule a consultation.
- Make sure you retain a lawyer before speaking with any of the insurance companies or any lawyers hired by anyone but you.
- If the insurance company approaches you with a settlement contact a lawyer immediately so you can have your claim evaluated before making such an important decision.
What Commonly Causes Bike Accidents
Aggressive and distracted drivers are the most common causes of bicyclists accidents. This type of behavior is generally negligent, and the victims of these drivers are usually entitled to recover compensation for their losses. Here is a list of most common causes of bicycle accidents:
- Reckless driving
- Running a stop sign or red light
- DUI (Driving under the Influence)
- Being Distracted
- Messing with the radio
- Turning Illegally
- Failure to yield
- Texting or talking on a cell phone
How to Win a Personal Injury Claim Resulting from a Bicycle Accident
Just filing a claim for personal injuries will not guarantee that you receive what you are entitled to. In order to win your claim, you have to be able to prove with evidence that you have met the elements of a personal injury claim.
Because you are the one filing the claim, you are the plaintiff, which mean you bear the burden to prove that your injuries where sustained in an accident and that someone else negligence caused the accident. Now you are probably asking yourself, how do I prove all of this? Well here is a general idea of what you need to do in order to prevail on a personal injury case.
- One: you have to be able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the driver of the car at fault owed you a duty. Generally, this is undisputed. Example: if a driver runs a red light and you are injured, you have to prove that they breached their duty to you when they ran the red light.
- Two: you have to prove that the driver’s negligence caused your injuries and damage. Example: the driver running the red light directly caused you to suffer from whiplash.
- Third: you have to prove you have been damaged as a result of the driver’s negligence. Example: your whiplash has caused you pain, suffering, and lost wages because you had to miss a week of work.
Most of the times, the person at fault has insurance which means you are not dealing with the actual person but with the insurance company which has almost limitless resources. This is a David and Goliath situation and you need to make sure that you hire the best lawyer you can find so that they properly protect your interests and rights and get you the compensation that you are entitled to.
You should look for an attorney in your area that has significant experience with bicycle accident claims. An experienced attorney will review the facts of your specific case and evaluate the strengths or your claim and the weaknesses so that you can develop a strategy to recover the most amount of money possible. A qualified attorney that knows and practices in this area of the law is in the best position to help protect you and your claim.