Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
As the cost of traveling by car increases many individuals are relying on different types of transportation to travel to different destinations. It is estimated that there are over a 500,000 injuries associated with bicycles each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that someone dies from a bicycle accident every 6 hours. Many of these deaths are children under the age of 16. There are many causes of bicycle accidents, some of the most common are:
5 Common Reasons for Bicycle Accidents and Injuries
- A cyclist being struck by a car who failed to see the cyclist
- Drivers who ran a stop sign
- Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Vehicles driving too close to a cyclist and sideswiping them
- Injuries suffered because of a manufacturing defect in the construction of the bicycle
Bicycle Injuries can Include:
Brain Injury, Paralysis, Broken Bones, Internal Injuries, Soft Tissue injuries
Regardless of the personal injury, if the driver was at fault you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. It is important to document all medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering as a result of your injuries. All this information should be kept to document the full extent of the losses your have suffered.
If you and your bicycle were hit by a vehicle
Document Everything for your Bicycle Accident Case!
The first thing you should do is determine the full extent of your injuries. Immediately call 911 if serious injuries have been sustained. Always notify the police and have a police report filed. It may be difficult to determine immediately the full extent of your bicycle injuries. Gather the driver's information. This includes their name, insurance information, address, driver's license number and the cause of accident. Keep all records. Do not discuss the accident with the driver. Make sure the police report includes the driver's statement and all witness statements. Also, if the driver is ticketed for the accident this can be useful evidence if the case is settled with the insurance company. Seek medical attention and document all of your injuries. This can include photographs, medical tests and medical records. Ensure that the accident scene is fully investigated. This can include photographing the scene, documenting skid marks, photographing your bicycle and documenting all of your injuries.
Bicycle Injury Compensation and Settlements
Can I receive compensation if the vehicle never hit me?
It may be possible to receive compensation for your injuries even if the vehicle did not actually make contact with you. If the driver's negligence resulted in a bicyclist making an evasive action to avoid a collision the motorist may still be held responsible for the accident.
What type of compensation can I expect to recover for my injuries?
A bicycle accident claim is like other personal injury cases. Insurance companies will have adjusters and investigators who will determine what amount of money should be paid to the injured party. The payment they will offer will compensate you for monetary losses such as medical expenses, rehabilitation cost, property damage and lost wages. They may also include non-economic loss such emotional distress and pain and suffering.
A Bicyclist also has responsibilities to follow traffic laws. If you fail to follow traffic signs, signals or display the proper safety reflectors you may be partially at fault for an accident. You still may however, be able to recover damages for your injuries. An expert bicycle personal injury attorney can be an advocate for you and work with the adjusters to ensure they offer a settlement that fully compensates you for your losses. If your bike accident lawyer and the adjusters can not reach a fair settlement value then you may file a personal injury lawsuit to argue your case in court.
Who will pay for the cost of my bicycle injuries?
If the driver negligently caused the bicycle accident and you have suffered injuries you may be able to recover the cost of your injuries from their insurance company if they have coverage. If they do not have insurance, you may be able to recover damages from your own uninsured motorist coverage. Most auto policies will cover you if you have a bicycle accident.
How is my attorney paid?
In most personal injury cases the lawyer is paid on a contingency fee basis. This means you will only owe legal fees if you receive compensation for your personal injury claim. In most cases if there is no recovery there will not be a fee. In addition your injury attorney will probably also be responsible for paying for any up front court costs and expert witness fees. Discuss with your attorney his willingness to pay these upfront court costs to ensure that you will have a strong personal injury case if it does go to trial. It is important to talk to your personal bicycle injury lawyer regarding their fees and make sure you understand their fee structure.