Frequently Asked Questions about Bicycle Accident Claims

by | Jul 27, 2023 | Bicycle Accident, Personal Injury

Bicycling is an eco-friendly and enjoyable mode of transportation, providing exercise and freedom to millions of individuals. However, cyclists are vulnerable road users and can face severe injuries in accidents involving motor vehicles.

When a bicycle accident occurs due to another party’s negligence, victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. Of course, victims often have questions about how to go about pursuing compensation and protect their rights.

In the article below, the bicycle accident lawyers at Kherkher Garcia, LLP address some of the most common questions individuals have about bicycle accident claims. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the claim process and victim rights.

FAQs about Bicycle Accident Claims

After any type of accident, it is normal to have questions about your health, legal rights, and options for obtaining justice. Below are some of the most common questions that our team receives about bicycle accidents and related claims.

What Should I do Immediately After a Bicycle Accident?

After a bicycle accident, the first priority is your safety and well-being. Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and others, and begin to protect your rights:

  • If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately.
  • If possible, move yourself and your bicycle to a safe location to avoid further danger from traffic.
  • Report the incident to the police and collect information from any witnesses present at the scene.
  • Exchange contact and insurance details with the driver involved, and take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the damage to your bicycle.

These steps will help preserve valuable evidence for your claim

Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?

While it is not a legal requirement, consulting a personal injury lawyer experienced in bicycle accident claims can be very helpful. A lawyer can help you with the following:

  • Understand your rights
  • Evaluate the strength of your case
  • Navigate the legal process
  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Advocate for fair compensation on your behalf

A lawyer’s expertise can be particularly helpful if you have suffered severe injuries or if liability is in dispute.

Should I Speak with the Insurance Company after an Accident?

There is no legal requirement that says you must speak with another party’s insurance company after an accident. In many cases, it is better not to speak with them. The insurance company is working on behalf of their insured, and they may try to minimize your claims or get you to admit fault.

You should, however, notify your own insurance company after any type of auto accident. Some insurance companies will not compensate you for damages if you do not notify them within a certain period of time.

How is Liability Determined in Bicycle Accident Claims?

Liability in bicycle accident claims is established based on the concept of negligence. To prove negligence, you must demonstrate the following elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The motorist owed a duty of care to act reasonably and responsibly while driving, considering the safety of others on the road.
  2. Breach of Duty: The motorist breached their duty of care by acting negligently, such as by speeding, distracted driving, or disregarding traffic rules.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the accident and your injuries.
  4. Damages: You suffered physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of the accident.

What Compensation is Available in a Bicycle Accident Claim?

The exact compensation, or damages, you can pursue in a claim will depend on the details of your situation. However, there are some common types of compensation that may be available, including:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes the cost of all medical treatment that you have received as a result of the accident, such as hospital bills, doctor’s fees, prescription medication, and physical therapy. If your injuries are severe, this may also include future medical expenses or procedures.
  • Lost Wages: If you have been unable to work as a result of your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for your lost wages. This includes both your actual lost wages and your lost earning capacity.
  • Property Damage: If your bicycle was damaged in the accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Pain and Suffering: This is compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering that you have experienced as a result of the accident.
  • Emotional Distress: This is compensation for the emotional trauma that you have experienced as a result of the accident.
  • Punitive Damages: These are damages that are awarded to punish the at-fault party and to deter them from engaging in similar behavior in the future. Punitive damages are not awarded in all cases, and they are typically only awarded in cases where the at-fault party’s conduct was particularly egregious.

How is Compensation Calculated in Bicycle Accident Claims?

The amount of compensation awarded in a claim varies based on several factors, including the severity of injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and long-term effects of the injuries. Additionally, if the motorist’s actions were egregiously negligent, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.

Your lawyer will carefully assess the facts and details of your accident, injuries, and prognosis to help calculate how much compensation is reasonable to pursue.

What if I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?

In some cases, both the cyclist and the motorist may share some degree of fault in an accident. This is known as comparative negligence or contributory negligence. In such situations, the compensation you are awarded may be reduced proportionally based on your percentage of fault.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

The time limit for filing a bicycle accident claim is known as the statute of limitations. In most states, including Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury, or two years from the date the injury was discovered. Failing to file a claim within the statute of limitations may result in losing the right to seek compensation altogether.

How Long Does it Take to Settle a Bicycle Accident Claim?

The time it takes to settle a bicycle accident claim can vary widely depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the severity of injuries, cooperation from the insurance company, and court schedules. Some cases may be resolved through negotiations with the insurance company relatively quickly. Others, however, may require litigation and may take several months or even years to reach a resolution.

Will I Need to Go to Court?

Many bicycle accident claims are settled outside of court through negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, or if the insurance company is unwilling to offer fair compensation, the case may proceed to court. Whether you need to appear in court will depend on the facts of your case. Often, your lawyer can appear on your behalf. There are cases, however, that benefit from having the victim appear for themselves.

Get a Free Bicycle Accident Consultation

Bicycle accidents can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. Understanding the complexities of bicycle accident claims and your rights is crucial to pursuing fair compensation for your losses.

If you are injured in a bicycle accident, contact Kherkher Garcia for a free consultation. Our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers will guide you through the claims process, protect your interests, and work towards securing the compensation you deserve. To get started, call us at 713-333-1030, or fill out our online form.

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Jesus Garcia

Jesus Garcia

Founding Partner and Trial Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Injury Trial Lawyer and Founding Firm Partner Jesus Garcia. Jesus has been a practicing injury lawyer for more than 20 years. He has won $150 Million+ in Settlements and Verdicts for his clients. He is a force of nature in the courtroom and the trial lawyer you want on your side if you or a loved one have been seriously injured at work or on the road. Abogado Jesus Garcia is bilingual and passionate about being the voice in the courtroom for the spanish speaking community here in Houston, across the state of Texas, and throughout the Nation.

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