A bicycle offers a fantastic way to get fresh air and exercise while journeying to your destination. Bicycle riders shouldn’t have to worry, as drivers around them should respectfully share the road as they should. Unfortunately, careless drivers can cause bicycle accidents.
If you’re involved in a bicycle crash, it’s common to wonder how much your case is worth. Because every case is unique, you can’t find that information online or anywhere else. Instead, rely on a Philadelphia bicycle accident attorney for personalized information and guidance.
Liability for Bicycle Accidents
If another driver causes your bike crash, that driver should be financially responsible for your resulting injuries and losses. The city or other governmental entities may have let hazardous road conditions persist.
Once you know who is at fault, you must consider whether negligence or intentional actions resulted in your accident. Usually, you must establish the elements of negligence (duty, breach, causation, and damages) in bike accident cases.
A bike accident lawyer can investigate your crash to determine fault. Then, using their experience and skills, they’ll seek favorable monetary recovery from that party or their insurance.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents?
Bike accidents can happen for several reasons.
Often, these crashes result from negligent driving, including:
- Speeding and aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failure to yield
- Unsafe lane changes and turns
Other factors can also result in a bicycle crash, including road construction and dangerous road conditions.
Determining the cause of your bike accident is critical, as this can provide answers regarding fault. You must know who caused your collision to pursue financial recovery from the right party.
Pursuing Compensation After a Bicycle Collision
The journey toward compensation depends on your situation. If a driver is at fault for your accident, you will usually start by pursuing compensation through their auto insurance company.
Filing a collision claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance is the first step. The insurer’s adjuster must then investigate your accident and resulting losses. They’ll determine whether to approve or deny your claim. If approved, they’ll provide a settlement offer.
Should your claim be denied or the insurer fails to make an adequate settlement offer, you may need to take further action and file a personal injury lawsuit. By filing a legal claim, you’re involving the courts to continue your pursuit of favorable recovery.
A bicycle accident attorney can determine the best path toward compensation based on the details of your situation.
What if My Accident Was a Hit and Run?
Many bicycle accidents are, unfortunately, hit and runs. A hit-and-run collision means the person who caused your accident fled the scene rather than staying to render aid and give you their information.
Hit-and-run cases can be tricky to navigate, particularly because you don’t know who the at-fault party is. If you’re in a hit-and-run bicycle crash, speak with a knowledgeable lawyer.
An attorney can work with law enforcement to try to find the person responsible for your accident. They can use traffic camera footage, witness statements, and other pieces of evidence to track down the liable party.
You can begin pursuing compensation through the appropriate channels if you find the party responsible for your hit and run. If the search comes up empty, you may still have options for obtaining financial recovery. It’s best to discuss your options with a bicycle accident attorney.
Factors Affecting the Value of Your Bicycle Crash Case
Every accident case has a monetary value. Figuring out the value of your bicycle accident case is necessary to ensure you receive the fairest possible settlement for your case.
To determine how much your case is worth, your bike accident lawyer must carefully review several factors concerning your crash. The following are just some of the critical details that affect the value of your case.
The Severity of Your Injuries
Your injuries, including the type of injuries you sustain and the severity of these injuries, play a significant role in your compensation claim. Your attorney will review your medical records to better understand the injuries you sustained as a result of your crash and how serious your injuries are.
Some of the injuries common to bicycle accidents include:
Simply put, the more extensive your injuries, the more your claim is likely worth. When accident victims suffer greater injuries, they also suffer other losses.
The Total Cost of Your Medical Treatment
Your medical treatment is related to the severity of your injuries. Your attorney must total the cost of your healthcare treatment expenses for your collision-related injuries. You should never have to shoulder the financial burdens of your accident.
Whether You’ll Require Medical Care for Your Accident Injuries in the Future
Depending on the injuries you sustain and how serious they are, you may need medical care in the future for your accident-related injuries. Many bike collision injuries have the potential to become complicated, further affecting your physical well-being.
If you need medical treatment for your bike accident injuries in the future, your lawyer will calculate an appropriate figure considering the circumstances.
How Your Injuries Have Affected Your Lifestyle
Suffering injuries in a bicycle crash can seriously affect your life, including your ability to earn a living. If your collision injuries are enough to force you to take time off work, your attorney can decipher the total of your lost income.
Additionally, if your bicycle accident injuries have impacted your relationships and other important aspects of life, your accident attorney can provide these losses with a monetary figure for fair compensation.
Whether Your Accident and Injuries Have Hurt You Mentally and Emotionally
Accidents of any kind, including bicycle accidents, can have more than just a negative effect on your physical well-being. Your injuries and accident-related stresses may lead to negative mental and emotional changes, including anxiety and depression.
Seeking compensation can cover the value of this mental or emotional impact, but also the related expenses, like therapy.
Damages You May Recover After a Bicycle Accident
A lawyer can give you a better idea of what damages to seek and how much your bike accident case is worth.
Economic damages are those representing your tangible losses. These damages are typically easier to prove, as evidence is more readily available. The following are just some of the common economic damages accident victims regularly seek.
Past and Future Medical Expenses
When you suffered harm in an accident due to another’s negligent or intentional wrongdoings, the liable party should always cover your medical expenses. Therefore, you can request compensation for the medical bills stemming from your bike crash.
If your injuries require medical care in the future, you can also request compensation for the anticipated value of these future medical bills.
When your injuries affect your ability to work, you may lose income. Even if you have paid time off, if you need a long time off from work, you’ll eventually run out of PTO days and no longer receive an income until you return to work.
Most accident victims rely on their earnings from their job. You can request compensation for your lost income to help keep you afloat.
Diminished or Lost Earning Potential
When accident injuries are severe enough, they may affect your well-being in the long term. If this happens, you may lose your ability to work as you once did.
You may suffer a diminishment in your earning capacity or lose the ability to work altogether. Depending on your situation, you can ask for financial recovery for your great loss.
In contrast to economic damages, non-economic damages represent your intangible losses. These damages can be a bit more challenging, as evidence is not as available. Still, a bike accident lawyer can fight to get you compensation for your non-monetary losses.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is the more well-known category of non-economic damages. These damages can represent both your physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Physical pain and suffering represent the pain and physical harm your injuries have caused you, especially as they relate to the long-term complications and consequences of your injuries.
On the other hand, emotional pain and suffering represent the mental and psychological distress that often occurs after an accident, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety and worry
- Psychological trauma
To determine how much your pain and suffering damages are worth, you’ll have to look at the physical, mental, and emotional changes that have come following your crash.
Sometimes, bicycle accident injuries can leave you facing a disability. Whether you have a short-term or long-term disability or a partial or total disability, you may have the opportunity to receive compensation for your disability and all of the hardships that come with it.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Depending on the injuries you sustain, you may have certain scars or disfigurement. These can impact your inner self and your outer appearance, hurting your life as a whole.
Punitive damages differ from compensatory damages because they don’t compensate victims for their losses. Instead, punitive damages punish defendants for their wrongdoings.
These damages are not available in every case, as it depends on the defendant’s actions. Punitive damages may apply in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly malicious, intentional, or egregious.
If your case potentially qualifies for punitive damages, your bicycle accident attorney can fight for these damages on your behalf.
How to Protect Your Rights to Fair Compensation
While you can hire a bike accident lawyer to handle your case for you, you must also do your part to protect your rights. Immediately after your accident and throughout the life of your case, you can take special steps to ensure you preserve your right to pursue favorable financial recovery.
Immediately after your accident, seek medical attention. Not only is this necessary to help ensure you recover as well as possible, but your medical records also play a critical role in your case. For these same reasons, following through with medical treatment as recommended is crucial.
Start gathering evidence right away. From photos to witness contact information, evidence can assist with strengthening your claim.
Finally, avoid speaking to the other party’s insurance company. Their insurer may come calling at some point to ask questions or request a recorded statement. It’s important to give them as little as possible to work with to avoid them using your words against you.
When you consult with a bicycle accident attorney, they can provide further instructions for safeguarding your rights to monetary recovery.
A Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Fight to Obtain a Favorable Case Result
Following a bicycle crash, do not wait to meet with a bike accident lawyer. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney can decide on the best way to pursue fair compensation and work diligently to get you the fair case result you deserve.