Curious about what to do if you are injured in a bicycle accident? Check out some of the most frequently asked questions we hear:
Do I need an attorney after being hit by a car?
An accident involving a cyclist and a car, or truck, is often quite serious. A bicycle does not afford the rider the same safeguards a vehicle does, and the cyclist is well-outclassed in terms of weight and resilience to injuries caused by an accident. If you have significant injuries, it would be advisable to consult an attorney regarding your accident.
Dealing with an insurance company, especially after an accident, can be onerous. People often take the first settlement offer made or accept a refusal of compensation just so they can move on and not have to deal with the issue. This is a huge mistake that might end up costing you thousands of dollars. You should not have to pay for medical bills stemming from an accident in which you were not at fault.
When working with a qualified and experienced attorney, you will have the peace of mind of knowing somebody is on your side throughout the process. If you are injured by a driver when on your bike, seeking consultation from a qualified attorney is the best action to take.
I just got hit by a car while riding my bike – what do I do?
Move yourself to a safe area. If you are injured, call the police and make sure to get a report. When in doubt about the extent of your injuries, go get checked out at the hospital. Exchange information with the person who hit you. If possible, take pictures and get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses. Here’s more information on what to do after a car vs. bicycle collision.
Does Car Insurance Cover a Bicycle Accident?
The short answer, in most cases, is YES. The policy of the driver who hit you will cover any damages or injuries caused by the insured driver. This includes injuries to other drivers or passengers in a vehicle, injuries to cyclists or pedestrians, or physical property damages that occur (like to your bicycle). Also, if you have a car insurance policy, such policy may provide you with additional coverage.
Could Damage to My Bicycle Be Covered?
Yes. If you are in an accident and the driver was found to be negligent, you are well-within your rights to seek compensation, not only for your injuries, but for damages to your bicycle.
What if the Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance or Flees the Scene?
If you are hit by a driver who flees the scene, or by one who does not have insurance coverage, you may be covered by your insurance company depending on the type of policy you purchased.
How Much is My Case Worth?
The answer to this question is long and complicated. To truly understand the value of your case, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. There are a number of factors that will go into the case valuation, including:
- Current and future medical bills. An attorney will consider future treatment you may need and will incorporate that into your case’s value, along with medical expenses that have already been incurred.
- Property damage. As we have already established, if your bike (or any property you were carrying) is damaged in the accident, you have the right to seek compensation.
- Lost wages. If you have to miss work due to an injury you suffered, you are entitled to be compensated for the time missed. This requires accurate tracking of time as well as exact calculations of the wages lost.
- Pain and suffering. An injury that causes long term issues can negatively affect your quality of life. The difficulties produced are real, but there is no receipt to attach an exact value. Scarring, depression, untreatable physical pain, and even anxiety can all qualify as pain and suffering.
What About Legal Fees? Can I Afford an Attorney?
Many personal injury attorneys work on what is known as a contingency fee, which means you only have to pay a fee if the lawyer is able to recover money on your behalf. This means that you do not have to pay legal fees or costs up front, and only pay the attorneys an agreed upon percentage of your settlement or judgment.
Getting hit by a careless driver when you are on a bike can be a frightening – and often painful – experience. Make sure you take the necessary steps to care for your injuries and receive fair compensation.