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
Injured Bicyclists Have the Right to Seek CompensationInjured 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
Calculating Bicycle Accident LossesCalculating 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 CrashesWhen 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 fThe teame. 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 CalculationsWhen 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 WorthThe 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