Bicycle Accident Lawsuits: What to Expect
Being involved in a bicycle accident is a terrifying experience. Once the accident happens there will be a lot of healing to do, both physically and mentally. A bicycle rider is no match for a vehicle and this can result in serious and catastrophic injuries. Typically the driver of the vehicle is at fault, ignoring the safety laws in place for bike riders.
Dangerous lane changes and being distracted are the most common causes of car on bike accidents. The minute the accident happens will be when you need to start collecting evidence for your case, but be sure to seek immediate medical care before anything else.
Your bike accident lawsuit will be something an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer should handle. From evidence to witness statements, the process can become very overwhelming.
After the Accident
- Seek medical attention
- Call the police, file a police report
- Obtain all driver contact information
- Take photos if possible of scene and injuries
- Get witness statements
- Take notes before you forget any details
- Do not speak to any insurance adjuster
- As soon as possible, hire a local bike accident lawyer familiar with the area
The Legal Process
Depending on the extent of your injuries your case may settle or go to trial. In both situations, the case usually begins in the same way - your attorney will communicate with the insurance company to give details about the circumstances surrounding your accident and injuries, and how badly you were affected by the situation. This includes not only medical bills but time off work, property damage, and any other disability you may suffer as a result of your accident. Once paperwork has been delivered and all the facts of the case are clear, your attorney will demand an amount that they believe is fair from the insurance company. There will often be negotiation between the insurance adjuster and the attorney, unless the evidence for that amount of compensation is overwhelmingly powerful.
If negotiations fall through however, your attorney will work with his team to file a lawsuit and start the discovery process. Many times cases do settle out of court unless the insurance company feels very strongly that they have a strong defense and a reason to deny you adequate compensation. In complicated cases your lawyer may hire expert witnesses to prove that you were not responsible for your injuries and that the insurance company owes you for their clients' mistakes.
Your attorney will ask for compensation to cover your treatment and pain and suffering in most cases. He will also factor in current and lost wages, all your medical costs now and in the future, physical therapy and ongoing rehabilitation as well as any long term care you might require.
An experienced injury attorney will take all of these factors into consideration to completely protect your interest. If you don't have complete faith in your attorney consider switching to one who will have your best interest.
Bicycle Safety Tips to Remember
If you've been injured in a bicycle accident chances are you are now far more cautious than before. Always keep these tips in mind when riding your bike on public streets.
- Make sure your bicycle is fully operational.
- Always inspect your bike before use. If you are unable to make an evasive maneuver, your chances of being involved in a collision increase.
- Wear a helmet.
- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that wearing a helmet reduces your risk of head injury by 85 percent.
- Stay in control.
- Keep both hands on your handlebars. Your ability to make evasive maneuvers is drastically reduced when riding with one hand.
- Make yourself visible.
- Whether you are riding during the day or at night, wear bright colors. Always equip your bicycle with a light or reflective device when riding at night.
- Avoid Road Hazards
- Keep your eyes open for construction areas, animals, puddles, and other obstacles. When riding in groups, make sure that the person leading keeps those behind him informed of upcoming hazards.
Ready to Seek Advice?
Contact our experienced bike accident lawyers to find out what you may be entitled to. We never charge a fee unless we win your case so you'll know that we are only being paid for work we perform.
We also shield you from liability by advancing all costs until your case settles. We've represented more than 10 people and collected over $250M in verdicts and settlements. Contact us today for a free consultation. Call 1-800-561-4887.