Did you know, if you are struck by a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, your own car insurance might cover some of your damages? Our bicycle accident clients often aren't aware of all the avenues available to them to pay for their medical bills and damages. Watch Smyrna personal injury attorney Darl Champion give an overview of some of these options, as well as other factors involved in bicycle accident cases.
Your bicycle provides a free means of both transportation and exercise. Whether you hit the road to get in your cardio exercise for the day or you use your bicycle to get around town, traveling to work, school, or to run your errands, you enjoy the freedom offered by this simple method of transportation.
Then disaster strikes.
Between one moment and the next, you go from riding calmly down the street to sprawled in the middle of it, injured. You may suffer disorientation and pain. Your bicycle provides no protection from the elements or from the vehicle that struck you. Often, you have little recourse when a car comes speeding your way.
What comes next?
After a bicycle accident, you need an attorney who will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact The Champion Firm today at (404) 596-8044 to learn more about filing an insurance claim or seeking compensation or your bicycle accident.
Why The Champion Firm?
When you need a champion to fight on your behalf, we can help. At The Champion Firm, we have substantial experience in a variety of personal injury cases, including vehicle accidents. Check out our past results:
- $1,375,000 awarded for spinal cord injuries in a tractor trailer accident
- $1,000,000 awarded for a client run over by a tractor trailer
- $100,000 awarded after a school bus accident
These are simply past results, and unfortunately there is no guarantee as to the compensation you will receive. That compensation depends on many factors: the severity of your injuries, how much your injuries limit you, and the extent of the insurance policy, for example. We can’t guarantee results for our clients; however, we do bring our extensive experience and dedication to every case we take on.
After a Bicycle Accident: Living With Your Injuries
In a bicycle accident, you may suffer serious injuries. You probably wore a helmet and pads to help protect against some types of injuries; however, those protective devices only offer so much support. You may suffer substantial injuries from your bicycle accident, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (helmet use reduces, but does not eliminate, this risk)
- Spinal cord damage, potentially including paralysis
- Organ damage
- Amputations, either during the accident itself or after, due to crushing damage the doctors cannot repair
To determine the full extent of your injuries after a bicycle accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. A doctor can better determine how badly the car injured you and what your future medical prospects will look like after an accident.
Determining Liability in a Bicycle Accident
In a bicycle accident, you need to know who caused the accident. The responsible party bears liability for your injuries as well as other expenses associated with the accident. Working with a lawyer can help you ask the right questions to fully determine liability in your bicycle accident, including:
- Who failed to follow the rules of the road? As a cyclist, you must follow the same rules as drivers on the road. If you fail to follow those rules, you may share liability for your accident. On the other hand, if the driver failed to follow the rules of the road, they may bear liability.
- Was anyone inebriated? Inebriation while driving or cycling can increase that party’s liability for the accident.
- Were the driver or cyclist distracted? Using a cell phone, eating while driving, or carrying on a conversation with a passenger can all cause distraction at critical moments. “I didn’t see him!” may represent a common argument, but it does not reduce liability due to driver distraction.
Seeking Compensation: What Can You Ask For?
The compensation the insurance company awards you will vary based on the severity of your injuries and the policy limits. Depending on the extent of your injuries, however, you can ask for several common elements of compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
Working with a lawyer can help you better understand exactly what compensation you deserve after your accident.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
Typically, after a bicycle accident, you will file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will then consider your claim and offer compensation according to the driver’s policy and the company’s rules. Unfortunately, many insurance companies fail to offer adequate compensation for a cyclist’s injuries, including using these tactics:
- Attempting to shift responsibility in the accident. Did someone else cause your injuries? Did you cause the accident? In these cases, the insurance company can reduce their financial liability.
- Attempting to prove the accident caused fewer injuries than you claim. The adjuster may try to prove that your injuries do not limit you as much as you claim or that you suffered injuries at a time other than your bicycle accident.
- Offering you too-low of a settlement. Often, the insurance adjuster will provide a settlement offer shortly after your accident. You may unwittingly accept an amount far lower than you actually deserve for your injuries, making it critical that you consult with an attorney before accepting a settlement offer.
Attorney Fees? You Pay Nothing
After a bicycle accident, you may need an attorney to negotiate on your behalf. Unfortunately, many victims miss out on the benefits of an attorney because they fear the cost will grow too high. At The Champion Firm, we work to make our services as affordable as possible. We start with a free consultation to allow us to better understand our clients’ needs. Then, we accept clients on a contingent fee basis: instead of having our clients pay up front, we take our fees out of the amount they recover.
Get the Legal Support You Need for Your Bicycle Accident Today
After a bicycle accident, you deserve legal support that will negotiate on your behalf and, if needed, fight for you. Contact The Champion Firm today at (404) 596-8044 to learn more about our services and to schedule your initial consultation.