If you have been hurt in a bike accident, your first move should be to seek medical care. Afterward, your next move should be to contact an attorney. He or she will make sure that you aren’t hounded by insurance companies that will likely pressure you to settle your case for less than it is worth. By hiring legal counsel, you can feel good that your rights are preserved and protected throughout the legal process.
Types of Compensation Available in a Bicycle Accident Case
In the event that an individual is hurt through no fault of his or her own, it is possible that he or she is entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. For instance, it may be possible to earn compensation for any medical bills incurred or to pay for daily living expenses such as paying off a mortgage or a car payment.
Compensation may also help to pay to renovate an injured person’s house or to modify that person’s vehicle to make them easier to use. This may include adding a chair lift to an injured victim’s home or installing a ramp to get into an out of a vehicle. In the event that the victim’s bike is broken or completely destroyed in the accident, it may be possible to ask for money to replace it.
The Importance of Proving Negligence in a Bicycle Accident Case
One of the main tasks that any attorney must accomplish in a personal injury case is proving that the defendant acted in a negligent manner. There are many elements to consider when determining whether or not negligence took place. First, it must be shown that the victim would not have been hurt if the defendant hadn’t taken a specific action that led to the injuries.
For instance, if a victim hadn’t fallen off of his or her bike and hit his or her head on the pavement, the victim wouldn’t have suffered a concussion or memory loss. Next, it must be shown that an individual has suffered damages because of the actions taken by the defendant.
It may also need to be established that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care and breached that duty. If the accident occurred while a rider was crossing the road via a legal crosswalk while he or she had a walk or ride signal, drivers would have the responsibility to stop short of that crosswalk. Other bikers using the road would also have an obligation to avoid making contact with a rider using a crosswalk.
Bicyclists Have the Ability to Use Public Roads
While they are much smaller and go much slower than a passenger or commercial vehicle, bicyclists have every right to ride on the road. As long as they obey traffic laws, drivers will be held to the same standard in a collision with a bicycle as they would be with another car. This is true whether or not a car or truck driver knew that this was the case. To comply with the law, those riding a bike should wear a helmet and wear reflective material when riding at night if local ordinances allow it.
You can be sure that the person or people who hurt you will have an attorney representing their interests. The same is true of the insurance companies or others who don’t want to pay any more for your injuries than they have to. Therefore, it is critical that you have an attorney by your side who will act as an advocate while you pursue the justice that you deserve.
Can victims of bicycle accidents get legal help?
While bicycles are fun ways to exercise for some people, others use biked for their daily commutes to work. With either scenario, an accident can leave a bicycle rider in a less than enviable situation. When a motorist causes the accident, it pays to seek help from a bicycle accident lawyer in NYC as quickly as possible. Here is what the legal counsel will do on behalf of the client.
Evaluating the Specifics of the Accident
One of the first things the lawyer will want to do is learn all there is to learn about the accident itself. The process will usually begin by talking in depth with the injured party and getting a good idea of how the victim perceived the string of events. Expect the lawyer to listen as the client tells what happened, and possibly make some notes during the narrative. Once the client has gone through the events, the attorney is likely to have a few questions.
Witnesses to the accident will also be interviewed. This can help to provide additional perspectives about the details. In most cases, this will provide confirmation for what the lawyer has heard from the client.
Along with talking with the client and other parties, the lawyer will go over every detail of the accident report. This allows the legal counsel to see what information is already on file with the police department and to relate those details to what the client and the witnesses had to say.
Going over the medical records related to the accident is also essential to building a case. What did the medical team in the emergency room note about injuries and treatments? If the client was admitted to the hospital, what procedures and tests were conducted as part of the treatment process? Will the client need physical therapy or other types of followup treatments? This information will be essential when the time comes to discuss possible courses of action with the client.
Recreating the Accident
Not everyone knows that bicycle accident lawyers in NYC can make use of professionals to create a simulation of the accident. This is helpful in terms of understanding the placement of all involved parties at the time of the event and may provide additional insights into what took place. That information will be helpful in seeking to protect the interests of the client.
Discussing Possible Ways to Proceed
Assuming the lawyer determines the client has a case, there are a couple of ways to proceed. One of them involves entering into a settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company. When the other party is not disputing responsibility, there is a good chance that the individual’s auto insurance policy covers this type of accident. What remains to be determined is how much the insurance company is willing to pay to settle the claim. To protect the interests of the client, no settlement negotiations take place without the legal counsel being present.
When settlement negotiations are highly unlikely, choosing to sue for damages is a possibility. The lawyer can discuss how such an action would proceed, what to expect in the way of time and effort needed to pursue the case, and what could result from choosing this approach. The goal is to ensure the client has all the data needed to make an informed decision.
What Type of Compensation is Possible?
Currently, it’s possible to seek damages that over most out of pocket expenses the client incurs as a result of the accident. Any medical expenses, including deductibles, can be part of the settlement demand. If the client is out of work and unable to earn an income for a period of time, there is a good chance that a judge would make allowances for this. Depending on the particulars of the case, compensation to help cover future medical expenses such as ongoing physical therapy, may be bundled into the settlement figure.
The lawyer will seek damages based on the specifics of the accident and how the event has affected the client. If there is a long term impact on the client’s ability to work or has led to some type of permanent disability, the lawyer will seek to secure financial resources that help the client to enjoy a reasonable standard of living.
Don’t assume there is nothing to do but take whatever crumbs the responsible party is willing to provide. Seek help from a bicycle accident lawyer and ensure everything is done in order. In the best-case scenario, the situation will be resolved quickly and life can get back to normal.