Recovering Damages in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
A bicycle accident can be catastrophic to the rider. As a bicyclist, you are far less protected than the driver of a car, and your injuries can be very severe. If you’ve been seriously injured in a bicycle accident that was not your fault, you are eligible to recover damages. An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you get a fair settlement that compensates for the losses and injuries you’ve incurred.
Types of Damages
There are two main types of damages you may incur after a bicycle accident. The first type is the one that most people think of – the economic damages. This includes expenses you may have, such as your medical bills, lost wages, property damages (to your bike), and any other out of pocket expenses you may incur as a result of your bicycle accident. These damages are easy to quantify and prove. You have medical bills, statements from your employer, and repair bills or replacement costs for any damaged property. However, this isn’t the only type of damage you can recover after a bicycle accident. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional damage, and loss of enjoyment of life. While you may know that you are suffering, you may not know how to calculate these damages in a way that will quantify them in a settlement. Your attorney can help you determine how to calculate the full extent of your damages, and pursue a claim to recoup them.
Before you can recoup any damages, you need to prove that the other party was liable in your bicycle accident. Your attorney can help gather the evidence that will be needed. This will usually include photo and video evidence from your accident, witness statements, and other evidence that can help prove that the vehicle driver’s negligence caused your accident. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will not only know what evidence to collect, but the best way to go about collecting it.
Factors that Can Influence Your Damages
A bicycle accident attorney can review the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident and will likely be able to offer a settlement range for what can be expected. However, this assessment will not be able to be reliably determined until later in the case. The reason being, this will depend on the extent of your injuries, which is never completely known until you have fully healed, or reached your maximum medical improvement. At that point, the question of permanency of your injuries can be answered. Medical experts will need to be involved to help answer that question, as well as whether you have suffered an impaired earning capacity or whether you will continue to have ongoing pain and suffering in the future. Some of the factors that can affect your damage recovery will depend on the cause of the accident and the percentage of fault assigned to you. If the police that investigated the accident, or insurance company that is adjusting the claim, attempt to assign you a portion of fault in the accident, your damages may be lowered, usually by the percentage of fault assigned to you. Your attorney can help explain what will go into calculating the damages and what you can expect, and in some cases, reduce the percentage of fault assigned to you through a more thorough investigation.
Settlement vs. Trial
Many bicycle accident cases will never go to trial. It’s more likely that your attorney, through the proper documentation of your claim, will be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. This should allow you to obtain enough money that will allow you to move forward. In some cases however, a fair settlement can’t be agreed upon out of court and your attorney will move forward with a lawsuit to recover damages. When you need to move forward in this way, you need an attorney that is experienced in litigating bicycle accident cases.
The first step after a bicycle accident is getting medical attention. Your next step could be hiring a bicycle accident attorney to help you through the process of documenting damages in order to obtain a fair settlement. Whether your case settles out of court or goes to trial, you need an experienced bicycle accident attorney to guide you through the legal process. If you’ve been seriously injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, we can help you. Contact Arthur Law Firm (419) 782-9881 right away for a free consultation.