Reports | July 1, 2023 | Personal Injury
Cyclists suffer injuries in collisions every day across the United States. Because they have so little protection, a traffic crash can cause severe traumatic injuries to bicyclists, often leading to lasting pain, disabilities, and losses.
If someone else caused your bike accident, you must ensure you seek full compensation for all your past and future losses. Not all of your losses are straightforward, however. It can be difficult to know how much you should receive in compensation from liable parties.
Insurance companies might contact you and tell you how much you deserve. You should never trust this number. Their priority is profits, not the best interests of claimants. So, how do you know how much your bicycle accident claim is truly worth? Consult with a bicycle accident lawyer near you.
Not only will an attorney identify and calculate your losses, but they will also handle the entire claim process. Never delay seeking the legal help and advocacy you need following a bike crash.
Serious Injuries from Bike Crashes
Bicycle crashes can result in particularly serious injuries due to the vulnerability of cyclists on the road. Some common severe injuries that can occur in bicycle crashes include:
Head injuries – Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a significant concern in bicycle accidents, even with helmet use. These injuries can range from concussions to more severe brain damage, leading to long-term disabilities or death.
Spinal cord injuries – High-impact bicycle accidents can cause damage to the spinal cord, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. These injuries can have a life-altering impact on the victim’s mobility and quality of life.
Fractures and broken bones – Cyclists may suffer multiple fractures, including broken arms, legs, ribs, and collarbones. These injuries can require extensive medical treatment, surgeries, and prolonged recovery periods.
Internal injuries – Internal injuries to organs, such as the lungs, liver, or spleen, can occur due to the force of impact during a bicycle crash. These injuries may not be immediately apparent and require immediate medical attention.
Soft tissue injuries – Bicycle accidents can cause severe damage to soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These injuries can result in significant pain, limited mobility, and require extensive rehabilitation.
Road rash and lacerations – When cyclists fly off their bicycle during a crash, they can suffer from road rash and deep lacerations. These injuries can lead to infections, scarring, and long-term damage.
Cyclists must prioritize seeking prompt medical attention following an accident. Getting medical care right away can help both their physical and financial recovery. Then, injured cyclists should consult with a bike accident lawyer if someone else caused the accident. A lawyer can help victims understand their rights, pursue compensation for their injuries, and receive the necessary support for financial recovery.
Common Types of Bike Accident Damages
When cyclists have injuries, they will also have legal damages for which they should seek compensation. Damages vary from case to case, and the nature of your damages will indicate how much your bike accident claim is worth.
When calculating your claim, an attorney will consider both economic and non-economic losses.
Financial losses that you can prove with documentation and bills might include the following:
- Hospital bills – Emergency room trips, stays in the hospital, and surgical procedures are all likely to be big medical bills after this type of accident.
- Doctor and specialist bills – Remember that many doctors, surgeons, and other specialists charge you separately from the hospital bills you have. You will need to account for those losses as well.
- Medical equipment – Did you have to purchase crutches, a wheelchair, or other items to care for your injuries? You can seek compensation for the cost of any medical supplies or equipment.
- Ambulance trips: – Your ambulance bill is likely a separate charge from costs from the emergency room or a hospital stay. This may include charges for any trauma care provided during that trip as well.
- Medication – This includes medications in the hospital, following surgery, and at home, during your recovery. Do you now need medication on an ongoing basis? You can claim those expenses.
- Infection – Unfortunately, bike accidents can often cause significant skin-related damage, which puts you at high risk for infection. You may also have costs of the care to treat your infections and other complications, including additional hospitalization or specialist care.
- Nursing care – If a car hits a bike rider at full force, the injuries are likely to be significant. You may have to have someone come into your home to help you with your day-to-day care, household chores, or other tasks that you can no longer do for yourself.
- Rehabilitation – Physical and occupational therapy are the most common forms of rehab after a bike accident. This can go on for a few weeks or months, but it may also continue indefinitely if you have permanent injuries and limitations.
- Follow-up medical care: Do you need to continue seeing doctors for some time? Perhaps you need to go back to the doctor for a revision procedure. All of this adds to the costs you can recover from your accident.
- Lost income – If you were out of work or only partially returned to work due to your injuries, it can lead to significant financial loss for you and your household. If you have disabling injuries, you might never work again and should claim your future lost earnings for the rest of your working life.
- Property damage – Was your bike destroyed? Many bikes are worth thousands of dollars, and you should seek compensation for this damage.
Your lawyer will gather and present evidence to support your economic damages to insurance companies.
The above economic losses are tangible and have an inherent financial value. Other types of losses are harder to identify and calculate, but they can be just as taxing, and you deserve compensation for your non-economic losses, as well. Your lawyer will consider and value the following non-economic losses as they apply to your case:
- Physical pain: Physical pain can be relentless and debilitating, impacting the quality of your life. It may also lead to ongoing difficulty doing things you love. Pain can follow you throughout everything you do during the day. It might last weeks or the rest of your life.
- Emotional distress – This type of loss can be significant and hard to pinpoint in terms of value. Yet, the emotional pain and discomfort of serious injuries can affect your life in many costly ways.
- Mental injuries – Many people struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic crash. They have flashbacks. They develop depression. They may have intense anxiety that keeps them from leaving their home.
- Lack of ability to enjoy activities – If you are an avid bike rider and can no longer ride because of your injury, it can decrease your quality of life. More so, you may not engage in other activities you enjoy due to your injuries.
- Physical limitations – There are some devastating accidents in which a person may lose an arm, hand, or leg or suffer a loss of use of part of their body. Some may have permanent disabilities and impairments. These life-changing limitations are compensable.
- Scarring – Many bike injuries cause permanent scarring, and there is often an emotional toll of scarring. It changes the way you look and may impact the way you feel as well. For many people, scarring can alter their life path in important ways.
Though they do not stem from financial expenses, these are very real and costly losses. A simple bike ride should not be something you regret for years to come. Your attorney knows how to calculate the value of your non-economic losses to ensure you know the full worth of your bicycle accident claim.
Seeking Compensation for What You Deserve
You have the right to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company to receive coverage for the losses. Once your attorney determines what your claim is worth, they will file the appropriate claims and demands with insurers.
Handling all communications with insurance companies is one of the critical benefits of a bike accident lawyer. Here’s what they can assist with during the claim process:
An experienced bike accident attorney understands the intricacies of insurance claims and knows how to communicate effectively with insurance adjusters. They can navigate the complex procedures and combat typical insurance tactics to reduce the value of your claim.
Insurance companies may try to take advantage of unrepresented individuals by asking leading questions or seeking statements they can use against claimants. Your attorney will act as a shield, ensuring you don’t make any inadvertent mistakes or say anything that may harm your claim.
Building a Strong Case
Your attorney will gather and present all necessary evidence to support your claim, including medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and other relevant documents. They will communicate with the insurance company and ensure they provide all the required information promptly and efficiently.
Negotiating a Fair Settlement
Insurance companies may attempt to undervalue or deny your claim. With a skilled attorney by your side, you have a professional advocate who can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. They will work to secure a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your injuries, medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and other damages.
If the insurance company is uncooperative or refuses to offer a fair settlement, your attorney will be ready to take your case to court. They will handle all aspects of the litigation process, including filing a lawsuit, gathering additional evidence, representing you in court, and presenting a compelling case to the judge and jury.
By entrusting your insurance claim to a bike accident attorney, you can focus on your recovery and leave the legal complexities to the professionals. Their experience and advocacy will help ensure that someone is fighting for your best interests and you receive the compensation you deserve for your bike accident injuries and damages.
You Can Also Help Protect Your Claim
While your lawyer will handle the claim process, there are still things you can do to improve your chances of full compensation:
- Work closely with your attorney throughout the process. If you have new developments or losses, tell them immediately so they can communicate these to insurers.
- Keep up with all medical treatments. If you miss appointments or discharge yourself from treatment prematurely, it signals to the insurance company that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.
- Avoid speaking to the insurance company yourself. Let your bicycle accident attorney handle this for you instead. It will be one of your best decisions to protect your future compensation.
- Keep a low profile. Stay off social media. Avoid photos of what you are doing. Avoid telling anyone anything about the accident and what you are up against throughout this process.
Be open and honest with your bike accident attorney. Allow them to handle the entire process for you. Heed their advice when they tell you what to do or not do during the claim process. You should focus on your physical recovery and allow them to navigate the road to financial recovery.
Get the Help You Need From a Trusted Bike Accident Attorney
Too many people accept settlements that are far too low because they do not have the legal advice and representation they need following a bike crash. They trust that insurance adjusters care about their best interests and believe when an adjuster tells them how much compensation they deserve.
Never fall into the trap of assuming you know your claim’s value or trusting insurance companies. They are never on your side. Once you hire an attorney, you might be surprised at how much your claim is actually worth.
Do not merely trust your instincts or the insurance company regarding your claim’s value. Instead, contact a personal injury attorney in Gainesville for a free consultation. They can evaluate your case with your specific circumstances and losses in mind. Never forgo this invaluable support in a difficult and stressful time.