Reports | July 3, 2023 | Personal Injury
Settling a bicycle accident claim can take time sometimes months or much longer. Other times, settling your bike accident claim quickly and receiving compensation within weeks may be possible if you have a straightforward claim and the right legal representation.
Various factors play a role in how long this process takes, with the ultimate factor being how willing the insurance company is to accept liability and pay what you deserve. So how long might your bicycle accident claim take, and what can you expect from this process?
The answer depends on your circumstances. The critical point is that you never want to rush the process. In many situations, insurance companies will make quick offers, which seem beneficial. Usually, these offers are too good to be true, as they do not begin to cover your losses. If you wrap up your claim too quickly, you might face responsibility for many of your losses and cannot request additional compensation.
Instead of rushing through an insurance claim, your first step should be to contact a bike accident attorney. They can advise you of your legal options and ensure you never settle your claim for too little.
Turn to a bicycle accident lawyer in your area as soon as possible. The sooner you seek help, the quicker your case might resolve.
First, Seek Medical Care Immediately After a Bike Crash
Seeking immediate medical attention after a bike accident is critical, even if you believe your injuries are minor.
There are many reasons why this is important, including:
- Early detection of hidden injuries – Some injuries, such as internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries, may not be immediately apparent. A medical professional can conduct a thorough examination to identify any hidden injuries and provide appropriate treatment.
- Documentation of injuries – Seeking medical attention creates a medical record that documents your injuries and connects them to the bike accident. This documentation can serve as crucial evidence when pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
- Preventing complications – Prompt medical intervention can help prevent complications and ensure your injuries don’t worsen. Timely treatment can minimize the risk of long-term or chronic health issues arising from untreated injuries.
- Establishing a causal link – By seeking immediate medical attention, you strengthen the connection between your injuries and the bike accident. Insurance companies and opposing parties may try to argue that your injuries are unrelated or were pre-existing, but timely medical treatment helps establish the causal link.
- Protecting your health and well-being – Above all, seeking medical attention ensures you receive the necessary care and treatment for your injuries. Prompt intervention can speed up your recovery and prevent potential complications, allowing you to return to normal activities sooner.
Remember, even if you don’t feel severe pain or immediate symptoms, you should still get checked by a healthcare professional. They have the tools to assess your condition and provide appropriate medical advice and treatment. Additionally, if you later decide to pursue a personal injury claim, the medical records from your immediate medical care will support your case and seek the compensation you deserve.
Next, Seek a Free Consultation with a Bike Accident Lawyer
Before you take action or speak with any insurance companies, you should consult a lawyer. The initial consultation with a bicycle accident attorney is a key step in seeking legal representation for your case.
Here’s what you can expect during this meeting.
The attorney will assess the details of your bicycle accident, including the circumstances, injuries, property damage, and potential liability. They will ask you questions to gather all the relevant information necessary to understand the merits of your case.
The attorney will provide you with legal advice tailored to your specific situation. They will explain your rights, potential legal options, and the likelihood of success in pursuing a claim or lawsuit. They will also address any concerns or questions you may have.
Discussing Your Damages
The attorney will discuss the types of damages in accident you may seek, such as medical expenses, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. They will help you understand the potential value of your case and the compensation you can pursue.
Explaining the legal process
Your attorney will walk you through the legal process of pursuing a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit. They will explain the steps, timelines, and potential challenges you may encounter along the way. This will give you a clear understanding of what to expect during the legal proceedings.
The attorney will explain their fee structure and how they handle payment for their services. Most injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they only receive payment if they successfully recover compensation for you.
The consultation is an opportunity for you to evaluate the attorney and determine if you feel comfortable working with them. Likewise, the attorney will assess the viability of your case and whether they can provide effective representation.
If you decide to proceed with the attorney, they will outline the next steps and the information and documents they will need from you to initiate your case. They will guide you through the process and keep you informed at every stage.
Remember to bring any relevant documents or evidence related to your bicycle accident to the initial consultation, as this will assist the attorney in evaluating your case more thoroughly. The consultation serves as an important starting point for building a strong attorney-client relationship and pursuing the compensation you deserve for your bicycle accident injuries and damages.
The sooner you meet with and hire an attorney, the sooner the legal process can begin. This means your claim might resolve faster, providing you with financial recovery and peace of mind.
Filing an Insurance Claim
You seek compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Your lawyer will ensure they identify the proper liable parties, including any besides the driver. They will prepare a claim and file it with all supporting evidence and documentation to prove liability and damages.
You might have a highly persuasive claim, but this doesn’t mean the insurance company is ready to cooperate.
Insurers can cause many complications, including:
- Questioning the liability of the policyholder driver
- Accusing you of being partially to blame for the accident
- Claiming you had pre-existing injuries
- Challenging the severity of your injuries
- Questioning whether you need all the treatment or time off work you claim
- Delaying your claim
- Making offers that are far too low to cover your losses
You do not have to worry about navigating past any of these obstacles, as your attorney will handle all insurance communications. If an offer is too low, your lawyer will negotiate for a higher amount.
While you might eventually reach a fair settlement agreement with the insurer, all of the above tactics can slow down the process. If an insurance company immediately agrees to pay your total claim, you can end your claim quickly. Unfortunately, this rarely happens.
You will continue your medical treatment and focus on your physical well-being during this time. Even if you do not have a check in your hand yet, you can rest assured your bike accident lawyer is moving your claim forward. You should stay patient and trust the process.
A Lawsuit Can Take Longer but Recover More Money
If an insurance company does not admit liability or refuses to make a fair settlement offer, you might have no choice but to escalate the matter to litigation. This will, of course, extend the timeline of your claim, but it might be the best option to obtain the full compensation you deserve.
The litigation process involves many steps, which your attorney will handle. Here’s an overview of the typical steps you can expect.
Filing the Complaint
Your attorney will prepare and file a formal complaint with the appropriate civil court. The complaint outlines the details of the accident, the injuries sustained, and the legal basis for seeking compensation. The defendant and their insurance company will respond to the petition, possibly filing a motion to dismiss your claim. If the court does not dismiss the case, you will proceed to the discovery stage.
The discovery phase involves the exchange of information between both parties. Your attorney will request relevant documents and information from the opposing party, such as insurance policies, medical records, and accident reports. Each side might also conduct depositions, where witnesses and involved parties provide sworn testimony.
Negotiations and settlement discussions
During the lawsuit process, your attorney will engage in settlement negotiations with the opposing party and their insurance company. These negotiations can be ongoing throughout the pretrial process.
They will work to secure a fair settlement that compensates you for your injuries and damages. The lawsuit proceeds to trial if they still cannot reach a fair agreement.
Both parties may file pretrial motions, such as motions to exclude evidence or motions for summary judgment. These motions shape the parameters of the trial or potentially resolve certain aspects of the case before trial.
Few bike accident cases make it to court, as most settle during the pretrial process. However, if your case requires a trial, your attorney will present your case to a judge and/or jury. They will argue on your behalf, present evidence, examine witnesses, and cross-examine the opposing party’s witnesses. The judge or jury will then decide regarding liability and the amount of damages you should receive.
Post-trial motions and appeals
Following the trial, either party may file post-trial motions, such as motions for a new trial or motions to set aside the verdict. If either party is unhappy with the outcome, they may also choose to appeal the decision to a higher court.
Each bike accident injury lawsuit is unique, and the specific steps and timelines may vary based on the circumstances of the case. Always work closely with your attorney throughout the process to understand the process and what to expect.
How You Can Protect Your Claim While You Wait?
Your bike accident case might be taking longer than you anticipated. However, you should remain patient and trust your lawyer and the legal process. Your attorney will do what it takes to ensure you do not settle for less than you need. The process takes time.
During this process, you can protect your legal rights and chances of a successful outcome:
- Follow all medical advice and treatment – Adhere to all recommended medical treatments, attend follow-up appointments, and comply with your healthcare provider’s instructions. Failing to do so may allow the opposing party to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
- Stay quiet about the case – You want to avoid discussing your accident, injuries, or pending case on social media or on other forums. Insurance companies have investigators that might check your profiles, seeking any information they can use to minimize your claim. It is best to remain quiet until you know the resolution of your case.
- Keep a record of all related expenses – Maintain detailed records of all expenses related to the accident, such as new medical bills, rehabilitation costs, bike repairs, lost income, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. Inform your lawyer as new costs arise. These records will help calculate the full extent of your damages.
- Communicate with your lawyer – Even though your lawyer handles the claim process, they still might need updates and information from you during your case. The quicker you respond to any requests from your lawyer, the sooner they can pass on pertinent information to help your claim.
By taking these steps, you can protect your bike accident claim and strengthen your position when seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.
Speak with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
While you might not know how long your bike accident claim will take, you can improve the chances of an efficient and favorable resolution by hiring the right attorney. Start with a free consultation right away. Connect our personal injury attorney in Gainesville.