How Much is a Bicycle Accident Worth?

Written By: The Champion Firm Team

Date Posted: 07.07.24

Category: Bicycle Accident

A bicycle accident can be devastating for so many reasons. Bike collisions can severely impact a rider’s physical, mental, and financial well-being. When negligence causes a bicycle crash, riders have the right to pursue compensation from at-fault parties.

When seeking monetary recovery, knowing how much your case is worth is crucial. An Atlanta bicycle accident attorney can calculate your damages and help you understand what you can expect from your compensation claim.

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A Bicycle Accident Claim Can Help You Obtain the Compensation You Need

While essential for transportation and recreation, bicycles can be dangerous. Even the most experienced bike rider faces constant danger when sharing the road with motorists. Because bicycles offer riders no protection whatsoever, getting into a bike accident can result in severe, life-altering injuries.

Along with the substantial physical impact a bicycle accident can have, the financial burden of a collision is often too much for a cyclist to bear. Medical treatment is particularly costly, and the more extensive your injuries, the more care you require. Getting compensation to cover your medical costs is one of the primary motivations for filing a claim.

Additionally, bike accidents can impact your life in general, including your mental health and ability to earn a living. Filing a compensation claim following a bicycle collision allows you to seek financial recovery for your monetary and non-monetary losses.

Key Details to Consider in a Bicycle Accident Claim

When you file a claim following a bike collision, you’ll need to provide evidence of certain key details. The following can have a strong impact on your claim and the value of your bike accident.

Cause

During an investigation of your bicycle crash, the first detail you’ll need to figure out is what exactly caused your collision. While this may seem straightforward, in some cases, it’s not as simple as it appears.

Bicycle accidents are usually the result of negligence, especially negligence by motorists. Drivers often engage in dangerous driving behaviors that put cyclists at risk, including:Speeding

  • Driving under the influence
  • Speeding
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to yield
  • Fatigued driving
  • Unsafe turns
  • Distracted driving
  • Running stop signs and red lights

Motorist inattention as a whole is a significant problem for bicyclists. Aside from accidents on the road, inattention also frequently results in “dooring” bicycle accidents, when a driver suddenly opens a car door causing an oncoming cyclist to crash into the door or swerve into traffic.

Along with driver negligence, other common causes of bike accidents include hazardous road conditions and defective or malfunctioning products.

Depending on the specifics of your accident, one issue can have caused your accident, but there may have been other intervening causes. This is why a proper investigation is necessary to get the full picture concerning the cause.

Fault

Once you understand the “how” of your bicycle collision, you must move on to the “who.” Like cause, figuring out fault may be trickier than it seems.

Parties that may be responsible for your bicycle accident include:

  • Motorists
  • Employers
  • Governmental entities
  • Maintenance and repair companies
  • Product designers and manufacturers

As discussed, the legal concept of negligence is typically at the heart of a bicycle crash. Successfully proving a party’s fault means establishing the elements of negligence, which involves proving:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care: The responsible party owed you a duty of care at the time of the collision. For example, motorists owe bicyclists a duty of care to drive responsibly.
  • The defendant breached their duty of care: The responsible party’s actions caused them to breach the duty they owed you. For instance, if a motorist drives distractedly, they’ve breached their duty.
  • The defendant’s breach of duty caused your bike accident: You must exhibit the direct connection between the responsible party’s actions and the resulting collision.
  • You suffered damages as a result: You’ll need to show you suffered damages because of your bicycle accident, including monetary and non-monetary losses.

If you can show the other party was negligent in causing your bicycle collision, you’ll get one step closer to obtaining the financial recovery you need and deserve.

Injuries

The injuries you sustain in a bike crash and the severity of these injuries can play a vital role in your claim. Simply put, the more severe your injuries, the more compensation you’ll need to recover.

Injuries from bicycle accidents can be particularly serious. Not only can these injuries substantially impact your health and well-being in the short term, but also in the long run. Bike crash injuries often lead to complications, like nerve damage, loss of movement, and disfigurement.

Some of the injuries bicyclists most often face following an accident include:

  • Facial injuries
  • Road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Internal injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries

Head and brain injuries are also common in bike accidents. Unfortunately, not all states have laws requiring helmet use, leaving cyclists vulnerable in the event of a crash.

How Much Is My Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?

When you’re injured in a bicycle collision, you should consider seeking compensation for your losses. If you’re in the process of filing a claim, you may have many questions. One of your most burning questions might be, “How much is my claim worth?”

As frustrating as it may be, it’s hard to give a straight answer. Therefore, the best answer is “it depends.” Multiple factors play a part in determining the value of your claim, and no two cases are alike.

At the outset of the claims process, you should discuss your concerns with a skilled bicycle accident attorney. A lawyer experienced in handling bike accident cases can give you the best answer.

Is There an “Average” Settlement for Bike Accidents?

All bicycle collision situations, as well as all injured bicyclists, are unique. Consequently, every bike crash case is different. For this reason, it’s nearly impossible to say there is an average settlement you can expect to receive for your bicycle accident.

Damages Available in Bike Accidents

Compensatory damages are available for bicyclists injured in collisions caused by negligent parties. You may be eligible to receive economic and non-economic damages. In special cases, you might qualify to obtain punitive damages as well.

Economic Damages

Compensatory damagesEconomic damages represent your tangible, monetary losses, including:

  • Medical expenses for current and future treatment related to your accident
  • Lost income due to inability to work
  • Diminished earning potential if you’re unable to work as you did pre-collision
  • Property damage to cover costs or repairing or replacing damaged property

These damages are easily quantifiable, as evidence is usually readily available.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages represent your intangible, non-monetary losses, which can include:

  • Pain and suffering for the physical and mental affliction caused by your accident
  • Loss of enjoyment of life due to the negative impact on your quality of life
  • Emotional distress for the psychological effects that result from your collision, like anxiety or depression

Because these damages are subjective and more difficult to prove, they are harder to quantify than economic damages.

Punitive Damages

Although not as frequently awarded, punitive damages may be available in bicycle accident cases. Unlike compensatory damages, which serve to compensate victims for their losses, punitive damages aim to punish defendants for the grossly negligent, malicious, or intentional conduct that caused the bicycle accident.

Factors that Impact the Value of a Bicycle Accident Case

While several kinds of damages may be available in a bicycle collision claim, it doesn’t mean injured cyclists are entitled to all of them. To determine the damages you can pursue and obtain, it’s necessary to closely examine the specifics of your accident.

Several details affect how much your bike crash claim is worth, including, but not limited to:

  • The severity of your accident injuries
  • The cost of your medical treatment
  • Whether you’ll be able to recover from your injuries
  • How your accident and injuries have affected you mentally and emotionally
  • Whether you’ve had to miss time at work to recover, and if so, your total lost earnings
  • Whether you’ll require medical treatment for your accident injuries in the future

These and other factors can aid in calculating damages and figuring out how much a bicycle accident case is worth. A bicycle accident lawyer can better handle determining the extent of your losses and assigning a dollar amount to your case.

Types of Bicycle Accident Settlements

The type of claim you file can also alter the value of your settlement. Generally, bicycle accidents are settled in two ways: insurance claims or lawsuits. Sometimes, cyclists may need to file both to get a favorable outcome.

If the party responsible for your bike crash is insured, you can file an insurance claim through their insurance. Most states have minimum insurance requirements for motorists, although drivers are free to purchase additional coverage. You can obtain compensation through an insurance claim, should the insurer approve your claim and be willing to settle fairly.

It is worth noting, though, that policy limits impact how much you’re able to obtain from the insurance company. Should you require additional compensation that exceeds these limits, you may need to file a lawsuit, too.

Bike accidents fall under the area of personal injury law. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the court becomes involved in your matter. While some lawsuits end up at trial, a majority of these cases are settled outside of court. A lawsuit is different from an insurance claim as you don’t have to deal with limits, although some states do impose damage caps for non-economic and punitive damages.

Whether you file an insurance claim, a lawsuit, or both, you’ll need to engage in settlement negotiations at some point. Allowing a seasoned bicycle accident attorney to handle your negotiations can yield much more favorable results.

Protecting Your Rights as an Injured Bicyclist – What To Do Following Your Collision

After a bike accident, you’ll need to focus on your physical recovery and mental well-being. Still, it’s important to understand that your actions following your bicycle crash can help you safeguard your rights.

Completing the following steps can put you in a better position to receive the financial recovery you need following your collision.

Seek Medical Attention Right Away

Seek Medical AttentionYour health should always come first. As such, you should not wait to seek medical attention following a bicycle accident.

It’s more than likely that you’ll experience clear signs of injury, prompting you to get medical help. However, even if you believe you’ve walked away from your collision unscathed, it’s still recommended you get a full physical examination. Doing so can help build your medical evidence and allow you to focus on healing.

Consult a Bicycle Accident Attorney

As soon as you’re able, schedule a consultation with a bicycle accident lawyer in your area. An attorney can provide guidance and advice concerning your situation and determine the best way to proceed with your claim.

Be Careful with Insurance Companies

No matter what you may believe or how they present themselves to you, insurance companies are not on your side. More often than not, insurance companies are looking for ways to undervalue and undermine claims. This is one of the ways it makes a profit. Be wary when dealing with insurers, and let a skilled lawyer handle communications.

Don’t Wait Too Long to File Your Claim

Waiting too long to take action against the at-fault party can negatively impact your ability to obtain financial recovery. Take note of your state’s statute of limitations, which puts a time limit on filing lawsuits. You may only have a few years to file your claim.

A Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Help You Get the Most Out of Your Claim

When you’re injured in a bicycle accident, and you’re worried about how much your claim is worth, turn to a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer. Your lawyer will understand bike crash claims better than most people. They can provide clarity on the matter, accurately calculate your damages, and take all necessary steps to get you the most favorable case result.

Best of all, your Atlanta personal injury lawyers can do all this for you while you focus on what is most important: recovering from your injuries.

About the Author

The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C. is a full-service personal injury law firm serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. Our award-winning team of attorneys specializes in car accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and slip-and-fall cases. Learn more about our team here.