While riding a bicycle on the road, the cyclist is exposed to the possibility of being hit by a car, van, or other vehicle. Unlike driving in a car, a bicyclist does not have much protection around them at the time of a collision. This often results in a bicyclist being thrown off their bike and onto the roadway. Vehicle versus bicycle collisions can result in grave injuries, which can be life-threatening.
Injuries from a bicycle accident can often affect the injured bicyclist for the rest of their life. It is not just a collision with a vehicle that can injure a cyclist. Sometimes, the rider can get injured due to the condition of the roadway, such as hitting a pothole on the road or falling off the edge of a roadway that should have safety rails. If you have been in a cycling accident, you may have the right to claim and receive compensation for your injuries. And if you are married, your spouse may have the right to a loss of consortium claim, if the quality of the marriage is affected by your injuries.
Types of Cycling Accidents and Cases
Most people think of a cycling accident as a collision between a bicycle and a car, van, or other vehicle.
Examples of types of cycling injury accidents:
- Cases where the cyclist gets hit by other vehicles due to reckless turning in the midst of traffic without seeing the cyclist;
- When the cyclist gets hit by a vehicle because the driver opens the doors of the car all of a sudden on the road;
- Cases where the reckless driver starts driving in a cycle lane and overtakes the cyclist;
- Cases where the cyclist gets injured in a hit and run accident or where the driver of the vehicle does not have insurance;
- Bicycle accidents that happen due to bad conditions of the roadway.
How to Make a Claim for Bicycle Accident Injuries
If you plan to successfully submit a claim, you will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you believe you are entitled to receive compensation because the other road user was at fault but hurdles are coming your way, our team of lawyers will take a closer look at your case and conduct a thorough investigation to gather solid evidence against the at-fault party.
At The Accident Injury Law Center, we offer our clients the initial consultation for free. This means you will be able to submit the details of your case for us to examine at no cost to you. After taking your case, we will move ahead to strengthen your case by gathering evidence. We will then get in touch with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and will be the sole contact for your personal injury claim.
In most cases, we settle bicycle injury claims outside of court, without the need to file a lawsuit. If your matter ends up in court, we will litigate the case if the case warrants the time and expense of litigation.
How Quickly Do I Need to File a Claim?
Ideally, the sooner you open the claim, the better. A California personal injury claim should be filed in court within two years of the accident if no settlement is reached with the insurance company prior to the 2 year anniversary of the accident. If the claim involves the government as a defendant, a claim must be made with the government within 6 months of the accident.
If the bicycle accident involves a child, you will be able to make the claim within 2 years after the child turns 18 years old. After the child becomes an adult, your time to claim will expire after two years.
If the cyclist died in the accident, you have two years after their passing away to make the injury claim on their behalf.
What is the Amount I Can Claim for a Bicycle Accident?
The amount you can claim for your accident is not fixed. It varies depending on the severity and the unique circumstances of your case. The personal injury attorney will thoroughly review your case to determine a range that is expected for claims like yours; however, no guarantee can be made that a specific amount will be obtained; and as your claim progresses new information discovered in the case can change the expected range of settlement or judgment.
In addition to the details of your case, other factors can affect the value of your claims, such as the defense attorney’s experience in defending against such claims, the jurisdiction where your claim must be filed, the judge assigned to the case, whether your witnesses are reliable and credible, whether the jury likes or dislikes your personality, whether the insurance adjuster has the authority to pay the full value of your claim or not, and many other factors.
Below are some common factors that affect how much compensation you could receive for your injury claim:
The severity of Injuries:
It may not be possible to find out the actual extent of injuries right after the accident happened. Sometimes, bones are broken but the X-ray will not show it. Eventually, an MRI will need to be done. It will determine what kind of external and internal injuries the cyclist has sustained.
Cost of Medical Care:
The amount of compensation you will receive depends both on the present as well as the future cost of your medical care.
Loss of Income:
As a result of the injuries, you may find yourself unable to return to work. Your claim may include a loss of income component. Even if you did not lose income you may still have such a claim, e.g., if you used the sick time to heal, but you still received compensation while you were recovering, you can still claim a reimbursement for your sick time because you only used it as result of the injuries you sustained in the accident and now that sick time may not be available if you are actually sick.
The bicycle accident can also lead to damages to the bike and other items. Items such as helmets, laptops, phones, clothing, etc might get damaged. This is called property damages. Most clients can successfully handle property damage claims on their own. They just have to provide receipts and proof of the value of the items that were damaged. The property damage claim is handled by a separate adjuster. It can be resolved with that adjuster and claimant usually very quickly.
After How Long Will I Get the Compensation?
Settlement of a claim results in the quickest payment. Usually, a check is mailed by the insurance company within 3 to 4 weeks. A judgment can take longer to collect, especially large judgments. Large judgments are likely to be challenged. On the other end of the case is one or more defendants, an actual person or people. However, the true decision-maker is an insurance company. Most defendants would probably prefer that their insurance company just pay up and get the case over with. But some insurance companies like to hold onto their money for as long as possible. Therefore, they do whatever they can to prevent paying on a judgment.
Talk to Us About Your Cycling Injury Claim
Moses Yneges is an accomplished personal injury attorney. Feel free to discuss the details of your unique case with Mr. Yneges directly. You can call our office in Orange, California.