When someone else causes a cyclist serious injuries, you can hold that party accountable for all of the resulting losses. After a bike accident, you can seek compensation for your losses. But how much are your injuries from a bicycle accident worth?
Below is some general information about possible injuries and losses. To discuss your specific claim, consult a bicycle accident lawyer today.
How Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Many areas of the United States are striving to become more bike-friendly. Cities are installing miles of bike lanes and greenways, and more and more people seem to ride bicycles as their everyday transportation.
However, as the popularity of cycling increases, safety does not necessarily follow. About 130,000 people continue to suffer injuries on bicycles across the U.S. each year, and about 1,000 people lose their lives. Many of these accidents happen due to the negligence of drivers or other parties.
Bicycle accidents can happen for various reasons, resulting in serious injuries or even fatalities. After a crash and injuries, you must determine the cause of your accident. This allows you to identify who should be liable for your losses.
Driver error is the primary cause of bike collisions in the United States. Bicyclists have the right to safely share the road and act as vehicles, whether or not a road has a bike lane. Unfortunately, drivers are often not attentive, and they fail to act safely around bicycles.
Some examples of driver negligence that lead to bike crashes and injuries include:
- Distracted driving and not noticing a cyclist
- Passing too closely to a bicycle
- Following too closely
- Trying to make right turns ahead of a bicycle (right hook collisions)
- Opening a car door into the street or bike lane without looking (dooring accidents)
- Aggressive driving because a bicycle is slower
- Impaired driving
Cyclists cannot presume drivers to keep them safe. As many precautions as a cyclist might take, they can still end up with serious injuries due to a negligent driver.
Always learn about your legal recourse following a bike accident and injuries. While nothing can turn back time and remove your injuries, seeking compensation can ensure you cover your expenses and get justice for the pain and suffering you experience. Discuss a possible claim and what your case is worth with a bicycle accident lawyer today.
Injured Bicyclists Have the Right to Seek Compensation
Injured bicyclists have the right to seek compensation if their injuries happened due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another party. This includes compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.
Bicyclists are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries in an accident, as they have little protection and are often sharing the road with larger, faster-moving vehicles.
Serious injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Road rash
- Crush injuries
- Internal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
If you have a bicycle accident, seek medical attention right away even if you do not think the injuries are severe. Some injuries, such as concussions, may not be immediately apparent and can have worsening effects without treatment.
After seeking medical attention, you should consult with an experienced bike accident attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. The attorney can investigate the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
To prove negligence and liability in a bicycle accident case, the injured bicyclist must show that the other party had a duty of care to the bicyclist, that the other party breached that duty by acting negligently or recklessly, and that the breach of duty caused the bicyclist’s injuries.
A driver’s duty of care is to comply with all traffic laws and drive safely to avoid causing injuries to cyclists. A breach of duty can be violating the law or making one of the above-listed errors. Cyclists must demonstrate they suffered injuries and losses due to the driver’s conduct. If they can establish negligence, the injured bicyclist can recover damages for their losses.
Injured bicyclists need to take action as soon as possible after an accident, as there may be time limits on seeking compensation. Additionally, evidence and witness testimony can become more difficult to obtain as time passes, so beginning the legal process as soon as possible is beneficial.
Bicyclists have the right to seek compensation if they suffer an injury due to the negligence or wrongful actions of another party, but this compensation does not come automatically. By working with an experienced attorney, cyclists can protect their legal rights and pursue the compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages.
Your Compensation Depends on Your Injuries
In a bicycle accident, the extent of compensation that is appropriate depends on the injuries sustained. The more severe your injuries, the more value your case has. This is because more severe injuries often require more medical treatment, rehabilitation, and time away from work. They also can cause significantly more pain and suffering. That said, cyclists deserve full compensation for any degree of injury that results in losses.
Some injuries may only require an ER visit, a few doctor’s appointments, or a couple of weeks of physical therapy. Other injuries might require much more. You deserve compensation for all of your medical expenses and related injuries. If you missed work for any period of time, you deserve to recover that income. You also deserve compensation for the pain and suffering you felt during the time your injuries remained.
Some injuries can justify more substantial compensation. Catastrophic injuries will permanently alter your life, as they result in irreversible effects and impairments. Many people with catastrophic injuries will have lengthy hospital stays, multiple surgeries, and disabilities. They might need lifelong medical care and might never work again.
Both of the above situations should result in full compensation for the injured party, which requires careful calculations. To determine the compensation appropriate in your case, always consult with an experienced bicycle accident attorney who can evaluate your situation and advise you of your legal options. Seek help from an attorney who has handled cases like yours involving similar injuries.
Ultimately, the amount of compensation you might recover will depend on the specifics of your case. Your lawyer should consider many factors when determining the amount of compensation to request, and must have evidence to support their calculations of what your bike accident claim is worth.
Calculating Bicycle Accident Losses
Calculating the losses resulting from a bicycle accident can be a complicated process, and losses may include medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Medical expenses are one part of the damages that the victim can claim. Medical expenses include emergency room expenses, doctor’s visits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, medical devices, and long-term care if necessary. Medical expenses can add up quickly, especially if the victim needs ongoing medical treatment.
Lost income is another crucial part of the damages that the victim can claim. If the victim cannot work due to injuries from the bicycle accident, they can claim compensation for the time they were unable to work. Lost income can include the victim’s wages or salary, commissions, bonuses, benefits, and other forms of compensation that the victim should have received had they not suffered an injury.
Property damage is another loss that the victim can claim. If the victim’s bicycle or other personal property sustained damage or destruction in the accident, they can claim compensation to repair or replace the property.
Pain and suffering damages are also a significant part of the damages the victim can claim. Pain and suffering damages aim to compensate the victim for the physical and emotional pain they have endured as a result of the accident. Pain and suffering damages can include physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, and reduced quality of life.
To calculate bicycle accident losses, injury victims should always consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate the case and determine the full extent of the damages suffered. The attorney might work with medical experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and other professionals to assess the complete economic and non-economic losses that qualify for compensation.
Once they calculate all damages, the attorney will negotiate with the responsible party’s insurance company on behalf of the victim to obtain a fair settlement. In some cases, if the insurance company does not offer a reasonable settlement, the case may go to trial.
Overall, calculating bicycle accident losses requires a thorough evaluation of the victim’s medical records, employment history, and the impact of the accident on their physical and emotional well-being. Anyone involved in a bike accident claim should consult with a legal professional to determine the reasonable value of their case.
Wrongful Death Damages From Fatal Bike Crashes
When a bicyclist is in a fatal accident due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, the surviving family members may seek wrongful death damages. These damages can help provide financial compensation for the loss of their loved one and the associated costs.
Wrongful death damages in a fatal bike crash may include compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, and lost income of the deceased. In addition, the surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for the loss of the value of the relationship with the deceased such as loss of love, companionship, guidance, and support.
Calculating wrongful death damages can be challenging and requires the knowledge of an experienced bicycle accident attorney who handles wrongful death claims. The right attorney can help to determine the full extent of the damages and negotiate with the insurance company or other responsible parties to ensure that the family receives a fair and just recovery.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims varies by state, so families should seek legal guidance as soon as possible to ensure they file their claim within the appropriate time frame.
While no amount of compensation can replace the loss of a loved one, wrongful death damages can help to ease the financial burden on the surviving family members and provide a sense of justice and closure after a tragic bike crash.
Never Trust the Insurance Company’s Calculations
When you are trying to settle a bicycle accident claim, remember the insurance company’s primary goal is to pay as little as possible. Insurance adjusters are trained to minimize payouts and may use tactics to undervalue a victim’s damages. Even though you have serious injuries or lost a loved one, the insurer’s primary goal is to save the insurance company money whenever possible.
As such, you should never trust the insurance company’s calculations about what your bicycle accident claim is worth. Insurance adjusters may use various methods to reduce the amount of compensation they pay to the victim, including denying the claim, delaying payment, or offering a low settlement amount. Insurance companies may also try to use tactics such as blaming the victim for the accident or claiming that the victim’s injuries are not as severe as they claim.
Victims almost always benefit from the assistance of a bike accident attorney. You cannot trust the insurance company to do the right thing, even if they promise they are on your side.
Schedule Your Free Consultation to Know What Your Claim is Worth
The best way to know what your bicycle accident is worth is to seek a no-cost consultation with an injury attorney.
They can review the facts and:
- Identify who should be liable for your losses
- Calculate your past and future economic losses
- Calculate your pain and suffering
- Demand the value of your claim from the proper insurance companies
- Negotiate with the insurance company, responsible party or their attorneys
- File a lawsuit in civil court if you cannot reach a fair settlement agreement
The person you should trust is your attorney, not an insurance adjuster. Allow personal injury law firm in San Jose to handle the legal process while you focus on recovering from your injuries.