When you’ve been run over by a car as a cyclist, you’re going to have significant medical bills and other damages that need to be compensated. Get everything you’re owed by working with a San Jose bicycle accident lawyer.
A bike accident can happen suddenly. You are out riding your bike, adhering to the rules of the road and minding your own business; then, all of a sudden, you are hit by a negligent driver who was checking his or her phone. Bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles often leave victims with life-altering injuries, incredibly high medical bills and overall changes to their daily lives.
If you were involved in a bicycle-car crash and are not sure how to move forward, one of our San Jose bicycle accident lawyers from Bohn & Fletcher, LLP can help you. We will use our extensive knowledge regarding state and federal laws and our experience with cases similar to yours to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. That leaves you with more time to focus on your recovery and moving forward with your life.
San Jose Bicycle Accident FAQ
After a bicycle accident, you will probably have a lot of questions regarding the legal and insurance claims process. This is especially true if you have been injured by another party operating a motor vehicle and believe that the accident could have been prevented if the other party had been driving more carefully.
Should I see a healthcare professional after my bicycle accident?
If you haven’t already gone to see a medical professional after your bicycle accident, do so as soon as possible. Many people who have been involved in a bicycle accident make the mistake of avoiding medical attention because they believe their injuries are not serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor.
Between the shock experienced after the accident and the adrenaline that is released when your body is under extreme stress, it is common to not realize how you are injured until hours or even days after the accident.
Injuries may present long after the accident. When you submit the details of your injuries to the insurance company to request compensation for the costs associated with medical bills, hospital stays, physical therapy, and so on, the insurance company’s insurance adjuster will request documentation that shows you sought immediate medical attention after the accident.
The insurance adjuster assigned to my claim keeps calling me. Should I answer?
You may feel tempted to speak with the responsible driver’s insurance company after your bicycle accident. After all, one of the purposes of auto insurance is to provide those injured compensation when an insured causes harm . While it might seem relatively harmless to provide the insurance company with a statement regarding the accident, defer all communication to your bicycle accident attorney.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses so insurance adjusters will look for different ways to reduce the value of a claim. In addition to this, the insurance adjuster will also be looking to determine which party is at-fault for the accident after a claim has been filed. Even in cases in which the at-fault party seems obvious, there is a chance that a statement you provide can hurt your chances of receiving just compensation for your losses.
If I was the victim of a hit and run bicycle accident, who pays for the damages?
In a situation where the driver that struck you on your bicycle fails to stop and chooses to flee the scene instead, it can be helpful to understand who will pay for the damages incurred because of the accident. There are a few different answers to this question, all depending on the circumstances of the collision.
If you were fortunate enough to record the license plate information and car description, the police might track down the hit and run driver and collect their insurance information. In that case, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy would typically cover the expenses of the accident.
In a situation where nobody who witnessed the accident could catch the license plate of the driver who fled the scene of the accident, your insurance company might handle the insurance claim and the payment for your damages resulting from the accident if you have certain coverages.
If you were hit by a driver who did not stop and so did not provide their contact and insurance information, it is best to check the coverage that is provided in your insurance policy, and then contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney to discuss the next steps.
Can I talk about my accident on social media?
We share many of the details of our lives on social media. When it comes to talking about your bicycle accident on social media, however, it is a different story. Although it can be very tempting to talk about your accident on social media, it is best to refrain from doing so.
It might seem harmless, but the details that you share on social media can be used against you by both the insurance agencies and the at-fault party, in an attempt to reduce the value of your claim or even dismiss your claim altogether. Small details that presently seem insignificant could hurt your chances of collecting maximum compensation for your injuries later on. For this reason, refrain from commenting on the accident online, or even posting at all.
The reckless driver’s insurance company has offered me a settlement. What should I do?
The insurance company has a process for evaluating claims that are submitted after a bicycle accident. Part of this process is considering the value of the compensation due. If the insurance company is offering you compensation to quickly settle the insurance claim, you may feel tempted to take this monetary compensation and put the past behind you.
However, it is always best to work through the claims process with your experienced San Jose bicycle accident attorney. Often, insurance companies only consider part of your losses, and won’t tell you about other types of compensation you may be entitled to.
For example, the sum of the damages might be much greater once you factor in lost wages, future medical treatments, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Your attorney can review the details of your case and put together a thorough estimate of the total value of your claim. Insurance companies routinely start by offering lower than fair amounts that they can, and often refuse to consider reasonable counteroffers.
By accepting the first settlement amount that the insurance company offers you, it is unlikely that you will be recovering the fair amount for your claim.
Bicycle riders who were struck by a motor vehicle and injured often face expensive medical bills and lost wages due to time off work. If you are in this unfortunate position, please contact our San Jose bicycle accident lawyers today to learn more about your options and how we can help you.
What Rights Do Bicyclists Have on the Road?
One of the most common reasons bicyclists find themselves the victim of an accident is due to the negligence of car drivers. There is a common stigma regarding bicyclists sharing the road with drivers: Car drivers often falsely believe they have the right-of-way, no matter the circumstance. However, that could not be further from the truth. The reality is that bicyclists are awarded the same rights and privileges while they are on the road as their automotive peers.
As such, motorists are required to grant you the right-of-way and adhere to the same safety standards as they would for any other motorist. If they do not and you are injured as a cyclist, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages and injuries with the help of a San Jose bicycle accident lawyer.
How Is Fault Determined in a Bicycle Accident?
The evidence that is collected at the scene of the accident will help immensely in building your bicycle accident case. Evidence that may be used to help your case can include witness statements, pictures of the site of the accident, pictures of any injuries you sustained immediately after the crash and the police report that was filed at the scene.
The following are some of the most common factors that will be considered when investigating the negligent driver:
- Right-of-Way Violations – An automobile driver must respect a cyclist’s right-of-way. For example, if an automotive driver made a left-hand turn when you had the right-of-way and you were injured as a result, then the motorist could be held liable.
- Speeding – There is a massive difference between the size of a car and the size of a bicycle. When speed is a factor in a bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle, the injuries are consistently more serious and could even result in wrongful death. If a motorist was speeding and hit you while you were riding your bike, then he or she could be held responsible for damages.
- Distracted Driving – All it takes is one small bump from a car going 30-35 miles per hour to a bicycle to cause serious injuries for the cyclist. If the driver wasn’t paying attention, whether due to cell phone use or looking for something in the car, your San Jose bicycle accident lawyer will find any available evidence to prove the distraction.
These and other factors will be considered when you file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver. As mentioned, if you are able to at the time of the incident, then it is advisable that you take pictures and gather contact information from any witnesses. The more evidence gathered, the better your chances of receiving a favorable outcome.
Bicycle Collision Statistics in San Jose
We Help Victims Win Compensation for Wrongful Bicycle Accident Injuries — Call Today
Your San Jose bicycle accident lawyer will be crucial in helping you obtain the most compensation for your damages. Our firm will ensure that you are not intimidated into accepting an unsatisfactory payout during the negotiations process. If a fair pre-trial settlement cannot be achieved we are ready to take your case before a jury to demand a fair award for your losses.
Some of the types of damages your attorney may be able to win for you are as follows:
- Medical bills (past future)
- Physical Pain (past and future)
- Property damage (including funds to purchase a new bicycle)
- Loss of income (and future earning potential)
- Mental suffering (including ongoing emotional distress)
After your bike accident, your energy should be focused on fully recovering and putting the pieces of your life back together. Do not take on the stress of handling the claims process alone — let the legal team at Bohn & Fletcher, LLP help. When you retain the services of our firm, you are not just investing in the skills, experience and knowledge that our attorneys have to offer —you are investing in the best possible outcome for your case.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with one of our San Jose bicycle accident lawyers, then give us a call at 408-279-4222. You can also reach us through our online contact form at the bottom of this page.