Riding a bicycle should be an enjoyable activity and a greener way to commute. But what happens when a negligent driver turns your leisurely ride or commute into a devastating accident?
As an injured victim, you may feel overwhelmed navigating the complex legal system on your own. This is why hiring an experienced bicycle accident lawyer is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve.
Understanding Liability in Bicycle Crashes
In bicycle vs. car accidents, legal liability generally falls into one of three categories:
If a motorist was texting, speeding, or distracted when they hit you, they may be liable for your injuries and damages. Other examples of negligent driving include:
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Improper turning or lane changes
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Dangerous Road Conditions
Poorly maintained roads, inadequate lighting, and other hazardous conditions can also cause bicycle crashes. If the dangerous street led to your accident, the city or state may share liability.
If a faulty bicycle part such as brakes or pedals caused or contributed to the crash, the manufacturer could be held responsible through a product liability claim.
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer on Your Side
The aftermath of a bicycle crash can be devastating, resulting in costly medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will handle every aspect of your injury claim so you can focus on healing. Here are some key reasons to hire legal counsel:
Just like a car accident lawyer in Houston TX has to build a strong case when dealing with a car accident case, a bicycle accident lawyer has to do the same with respect to bike accident cases.
An attorney thoroughly investigates your case to build the strongest argument for maximum compensation. From gathering police reports to interviewing eyewitnesses, a lawyer leaves no stone unturned. They use their legal skills to demonstrate the full extent of your financial losses, calculating both economic and non-economic damages. With an aggressive negotiation approach, a lawyer pushes for a higher settlement or court award.
Deal with Insurance Companies
Insurance providers have entire teams dedicated to minimizing claim payouts. Without legal representation, you may struggle to get full and fair compensation. A bicycle accident lawyer levels the playing field by dealing with insurers on your behalf. They know which documentation the insurance adjusters need to promptly process your claim. Lawyers also won’t hesitate to take uncooperative insurers to court if necessary.
Figuring out who was at fault for your bicycle crash can get complicated, especially with little evidence at the scene. An attorney conducts a detailed investigation to prove liability. From accident reconstruction to calling expert witnesses, they use specialized legal resources most victims don’t have. Pinning down liability is key to getting your claim approved.
Each state has strict statutes of limitations dictating the deadline to take legal action after an accident. For bicycle crashes, this window is generally 1 to 3 years. With so much going on after a devastating collision, you may easily miss critical cut-off dates. A lawyer constantly monitors legal time limits to avoid jeopardizing your claim.
Key Steps in Your Bicycle Injury Claim
Here is an overview of what an experienced bicycle accident lawyer will do to build and resolve your injury claim after a crash:
1. Thorough Investigation
An independent investigation is crucial to proving liability and damages. Your lawyer will visit the accident scene, interview witnesses, obtain police reports, gather medical records, and take photographic evidence. They’ll also consult with engineers, biomechanical experts, and other specialists as needed.
2. Demand Letter to Insurance Company
After completing the investigation, your lawyer sends a detailed demand letter to the at-fault insurer. This letter outlines the evidence, establishes negligence, and requests a specific settlement amount based on your damages. The insurer typically makes an initial counteroffer.
3. Negotiate with Insurance Adjuster
Your lawyer negotiates with the claims adjuster, providing additional evidence and legal arguments to push for fair compensation. A seasoned attorney has proven strategies to maximize the settlement offer without going to court.
4. Initiate a Lawsuit if Needed
If the insurer refuses to provide reasonable compensation, your lawyer files a personal injury lawsuit. They handle all aspects of litigation in pursuit of full damages. With an unwilling defendant, a judge or jury decides the final award amount.
5. Resolve Medical Bills and Liens
Medical providers, auto insurers, worker’s compensation, and other parties may have liens on your injury claim funds. Your lawyer deals with these complex legal and procedural issues to ensure you receive your full share.
6. Manage Distribution of Settlement Funds
Once the claim is resolved through settlement or court award, your lawyer distributes the funds accordingly. They deduct their fee, pay outstanding liens and bills, and provide the remainder to you in a lump-sum payment.
Examples of Compensable Damages
Here are some specific economic and non-economic damages a bicycle accident lawyer can pursue compensation for:
- Emergency medical treatment expenses
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Ongoing physician/specialist care
- Diagnostic tests like MRIs and X-rays
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment and devices
- Lost income and reduced earning capacity
- Loss of future benefits
- Cost of hiring domestic help
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and disability
- Wrongful death damages
Choosing the Right Bicycle Accident Attorney
Not every personal injury lawyer has the skills and track record needed to maximize bicycle accident claim payouts. For example, while a Houston burn injury lawyer may represent you competently in such a case, they are rarely the most ideal choice for a bicycle accident case. To maximize the odds of receiving everything you deserve, you need to keep these factors in mind as you evaluate attorneys:
- Specialization – Look for a lawyer who dedicates a significant portion of their practice to bicycle injury cases. Check their case results and client testimonials.
- Resources – An attorney with strong financial resources can invest more in investigating your claim and pursuing maximum damages.
- Reputation – Select a lawyer respected by insurance carriers. An aggressive reputation can incentivize higher settlement offers.
- Local Experience – Retain an attorney familiar with the bicycle laws, roads, and courts in your jurisdiction.
- Contingency Fee Structure – The best lawyers work on contingency, collecting their fees only if they win compensation for you.
Act Now to Protect Your Rights
Don’t wait to seek legal representation after a bicycle crash. There are strict deadlines for taking action. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will offer a free consultation to discuss your claim, rights, and options. Call today to maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation. The legal team is standing by 24/7 to help you recover.
Call Us Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent motorist, defective roadway, or unsafe bicycle, we can help. Our award-winning bicycle accident attorneys have decades of combined experience obtaining millions for injured cyclists and their families.
Let our lawyers handle every aspect of your injury claim so you can focus on your recovery. We work on contingency so you pay no attorneys’ fees unless we win compensation for you. Call our office today at (713) 804-8149 for a free consultation and case evaluation. There’s no risk, only the opportunity to get the best legal representation possible after a bicycle crash.