Bicycle Accident Settlements
More than 45,000 bicyclists are injured or killed every year in accidents with motor vehicles. At least 783 bikers died in motor vehicle crashes in 2017 alone. If you are hurt in a bicycle accident caused by someone else or lost a loved one, you deserve payment medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. A bicycle accident settlement won’t fix everything, but it will help make up for some things that you lost.
Below, you will learn about bike accident settlements and more. If you have questions about your case, you can find a licensed bike accident attorney by using the search tool at Lawsuit Info Center.
How Do I Get a Bicycle Accident Settlement?
If a driver hits and injures you on a bike, make sure the police show up. You need to get a police report. If the driver caused the accident, the police officer may note it on the report and issue a citation. This police report is critical to obtaining a reasonable settlement for your bicycle accident injuries.
Most accident claims are settled out of court and do not go to trial. Your attorney will pursue your claim when he or she sends a settlement demand letter to the driver’s insurance company.
If you agree to a settlement too soon, you may receive less money. Some accident injuries may take longer to heal than you think. Once the case settles, you cannot ask for more money. Therefore, it is critical to be sure you have improved as much as possible before demanding a settlement.
Want to maximize your bicycle crash settlement? Here’s how:
- Provide all medical treatment documentation to your attorney.
- Keep every medical appointment and complete every treatment ordered by your physician.
- Keep a journal about your bike accident injuries. Provide details about your pain and suffering and the activities you cannot do. Videos about your pain and suffering and limited mobility are also helpful.
- Do not post on social media about anything until your settlement is final. Defense attorneys and insurance adjusters will check your social media posts for any information that suggests you are not injured.
I Have Serious Bike Accident Injuries. Will I Get a Big Settlement?
Maybe. Severe injuries that require surgery may result in a higher settlement. However, bad injuries do not always mean hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
If you are partially at fault for the crash, comparative negligence rules in many states will reduce your case value.
Also, more jurists are drivers than bicyclists. Some drivers perceive bikers as annoyances that cause accidents on busy roads. These jurists might have sympathies for the drivers and be less likely to give significant compensation financial damages.
Your attorney will have a feel for the case and advise you if it is better to settle your bicycle accident claim or go to trial.
Bike Accident Settlement Examples
Below are bike accident settlements obtained by attorneys across the US. Your settlement could be for much more or less. Find a licensed attorney in your area today at Lawsuit Info Center to learn more about your possible bike crash settlement.
$25 Million Bike Accident Verdict for Student Killed By Car
A commercial truck hit and killed a 20-year-old female biker. Her parents quickly hired a wrongful death attorney and sued the company.
Company attorneys attempted to blame the biker for her death. They also claimed she took drugs before getting on her bike.
The jury did not like the company’s arguments and awarded $12.5 million to the grieving parents.
The company probably tried to settle the case for far too little. It ended up costing them a lot more.
$100,000 Bike Accident Settlement For Facial Fracture
A pickup truck hit a biker in a Broward County, Florida intersection, causing a facial fracture in the older woman. The ambulance rushed her to a local hospital where doctors inserted a metal plate in her face.
The driver had USAA insurance with a $100,000 bodily injury limit. The insurance company paid fast. The attorney negotiated with the hospital to reduce its bill from $100,000 to $33,000. This effective negotiation by the personal injury attorney shows how valuable a skilled attorney can be after a severe bicycle accident.
$52,500 Bike Accident Settlement for Compression Fracture and Herniated Disc
A car in Florida failed to yield right of way to a 25-year-old male biker. He smashed into the car and fell on his back. He suffered a closed head injury and compression fractures in his back at T3 and T5. Additionally, he had a disc protrusion.
USAA uninsured and underinsured coverage provided a $42,500 settlement to the biker.
$33,000 Bike Accident Settlement for Tibial Plateau Fracture
A car hit a middle-aged biker at an intersection. He broke his leg – a tibial plateau fracture. Even though it healed perfectly without treatment, the personal injury attorney got him a $33,000 settlement for pain and suffering.
$10,000 Bike Accident Settlement For Driver Running Biker Off The Road
A driver ran a biker off the road near a busy intersection in Miami. The biker had arm pain and general confusion after the accident.
His pain did not go away. The doctor found he had a right wrist fracture and a left elbow fracture. The man also had neck and back pain and saw a chiropractor four times.
Unfortunately, he had only $10,000 of uninsured motorist coverage. His settlement could have been higher with better coverage.
Injury Settlement Calculator:
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident causing an injury? Find out how much financial compensation you may be legally entitled to in just minutes with our free online Injury Settlement Calculator.
Get Legal Help For Your Bicycle Accident Settlement
Bike accident injuries are often severe. If a car hit and injured you, talk to a personal injury attorney listed at Lawsuit Info Center today for a complimentary consultation. You could be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.
Generally speaking, from a personal injury perspective, being struck by a car while riding a bike is no different than being in a traffic accident while driving a car. Cyclists share the road with cars and are entitled to most of the same rights when it comes to personal injuries suffered while riding. As long as you were not at fault and another driver or responsible party was, you should be able to file a bicycle injury lawsuit against those responsible for the cost of your medical bills, damage to you bicycle, and other damages.
Bear in mind, because bicycles lack the same safety features as cars, trucks and other vehicles on the road, bicyclists tend to suffer more serious injuries when they are struck by cars. It’s not uncommon for bicyclists to suffer broken ribs, soft tissue injuries likes scrapes and bruising, and even fatal injuries from collisions with cars on the road. For that reason, the medical bills and other expenses associated with being hit by a car while riding bike tend to add up much faster than other types of accidents.
Whether or not you can sue someone for hitting you with their car comes down to who was at fault. Many assume that if a driver hits a pedestrian or biker, the driver is automatically at fault. This is sometimes but not always true.
Drivers are required to yield for pedestrians and bikers at marked crosswalks and in various other situations that are stated in that state’s vehicle code. Drivers also are required to obey traffic signals and all speed limits posted. If a pedestrian is hit by a car when the driver is violating the law, then it is clear the driver was at fault. But some of these accidents are less clear cut.
Also, you must have suffered an injury to file a claim or to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you. Usually, you would file a claim with the driver’s insurance company; a lawsuit is usually a last resort when the negotiation process breaks down.
Next, did the driver stop at the scene of the accident? If so, pursuing a claim with the driver’s insurance company should be fairly straightforward. But if it was a hit and run, it may be harder to file the claim as sometimes the driver is never found. In this situation, you could file a claim on your own policy if you have uninsured/underinsured driver insurance.
So, yes, you usually can sue the driver who hit you, if he was to blame, you suffered an injury, and he stopped at the scene and gave you his contact and insurance information.
Injuries suffered in bicycling accidents often are serious. You do not have the luxury of being protected by a heavy vehicle, so injuries can be very serious to even life threatening in some accidents.
The most common injury suffered in bicycle accidents is head injury. Head injuries also comprise approximately 60% of biking fatalties. So, if you bike, you absolutely need to make sure that you have a good helmet. It really can save your life.
Other common biking accident injuries are:
- Fractured bones
- Dislocated joints
- Muscle strains
- Road rash
- Dental fractures and tooth loss
- Soft tissue injuries
- Facial contusions
- Neck injuries
- Broken collar bone
- Blunt trauma to abdomen or groin
If you have been in a biking accident, make certain you are taken to the ER immediately for a medical evaluation.
A bicycle rider who is hurt by a car in an accident could be entitled to substantial compensation, depending upon the specific circumstances. To be eligible for the maximum amount of compensation, the accident needs to be 100% the fault of the driver, and you will need to prove that to the insurance company (usually with the help of a personal injury attorney).
How much you will be compensated completely depends upon the severity of your injuries. If you have minor cuts and bruises and do not miss work time, you would obviously get much less compensation than if you say, break your leg and arm and are off work for two months, plus have thousands in medical bills.
To get an idea of what your compensation would be, let’s assume you are in a fairly serious bicycle accident with the driver 100% at fault. For example, say the driver ran a stop sign and hit you while you were proceeding legally through an intersection. You break your arm and suffer cuts and bruises. Your total medical costs are $2500, you miss two weeks of work that cost you $1000. So, your total economic losses are $3500. You would theoretically be entitled to $3500, but then there is the matter of pain and suffering.
With a broken arm, you almost certainly have suffered a certain amount of pain and discomfort, not to mention the mental anguish of being injured and unable to enjoy some of your regular activities. The insurance company typically applies a multiplier between 1 and 5 to arrive at a settlement amount. So, if your economic damages are $3500, and we use a multiplier of 3 (a common starting point) for your pain and suffering, you might get a settlement of $10,500 for your accident injuries.
It is common to wonder if your auto insurance will cover your injuries and property damages in a bike accident. You could have serious injuries and your bike could be destroyed, so this is not a minor issue. While every insurance policy is somewhat different, it is likely your policy will cover a bicycle accident if the following are true:
- The accident should involve a motor vehicle of some kind. It actually does not matter most of the time if you were on a bike, in a car, ATV or something else. At least one of the vehicles involved needs to be a motor vehicle. In that case, your auto insurance should cover your damages.
- The accident was the fault of the driver. If the accident was your fault, it is likely your auto insurance provider will deny the claim. If you are 50% at fault for the accident, it is likely the auto insurance policy would cover 50% of your damages. So if you have $1000 in injuries and property damage and were 50% responsible, you could receive $500 from the insurance company.
In most accidents involving a bicyclist and a car driver, the latter is at fault. However, bikers who do not follow the rules of the road or engage in dangerous riding activities also can be liable for the accident.
Bicyclists are required to follow the same rules of the road as auto drivers. If you fail to signal, fail to stop, do not use proper lighting on your bike at night, or ride the wrong way on a street, you could be liable. Liability could include your own injuries, injuries of others, and damage to vehicles.
Many states operate under what is called a modified comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases. If the driver or biker is more than 50% responsible for the accident, they may not be able to collect any damages for their injuries and property damages. In fact, if the biker is more than 50% responsible for the accident, they may have to pay damages to the car driver.
In other cases where the biker is less than 50% responsible for the accident, you still could recover damages. For example, if you are in an accident with a car on your bike and have $5000 in injuries but were 20% responsible for the accident, you would theoretically only get $4000 in damages.
If you are hit by a car on your bicycle and the driver was at fault, you may be able to make a substantial personal injury claim with the driver’s insurance company. How much can you claim?
Let’s look at the different types of damages you may be entitled to. First are economic damages:
- Medical expenses past and future
- Lost wages past and future
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of ability to provide household services
- Destruction or loss of personal property
These damages are usually calculated by just looking at paperwork, such as pay stubs, receipts, medical bills, etc. You and your attorney should add up all of these damages to arrive at a figure and present that to the insurance company.
The other part of the claim is non-economic damages. Beyond medical bills and lost work time, there are many other ways that your bicycle accident can have a devastating effect on your life. You may be suffering a lot of physical pain from your injuries. You could be afraid to ride your bike, and have difficulty exercising and playing with your children.
The questions comes down to how to judge what that pain and suffering is worth. One of the common ways to do it is to use a multiplier. This is usually a number between 1 and 5 that represents your level of non economic damages. For a ‘typical’ accident, a multiplier of 2 or 3 could be used by the insurance company. This number would be multiplied by your economic damages to arrive at a settlement figure.
For example, if you have $5000 of economic damages, and you and your attorney determine a fair multiplier for your level of pain and suffering is a 2, you might get a settlement of $10,000. Of course, the insurance company will need to agree on which multiplier to use. That is where the skill and experience of a good personal injury attorney is so important.
If you are hit on your bicycle by a car and the driver is at fault, you could be eligible for compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. You could be entitled to the following:
- Medical costs: Includes medical bills, diagnostic tests, medical reports and physical therapy.
- Lost wages: You are usually entitled to the reasonable value of the time you have lost from work or expect to lose. Can include wages, commissions, bonuses and fringe benefits.
- Pain and suffering: This can be especially serious in a bike accident case. Most often is the most valuable part of a personal injury claim in a bicycle accident.
- Property damage: You bicycle could be damaged or destroyed, and you may be entitled to a replacement.
Below are some actual bicycle accident settlements that have occurred in the past. Your case could be very different; be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your case to get an idea what its value might be:
- Client riding bike hit low hanging tree branch: Insurance carriers argued that it was the client’s fault because the tree branch was visible. Accident reconstruction experts were used to show the branch was an accident waiting to happen. Client recovered $110,000.
- Client was riding on road shoulder in California when hit by a vehicle. The insurance carrier contested the injuries but settled for $180,000.
- Biker was riding on a busy road when he was ‘doored’ by a driver who parked and opened his car door without looking. Recovery for the client was $195,000.
Generally, yes. If you were hit by a car on your bike and the driver was at fault, you can file a claim with that driver’s insurance company. You have to prove the driver was at fault. Then you can negotiate a reasonable and fair payment for your injuries and losses from that insurance company.
Insurance negotiations are complex affairs that are often best left to attorneys. But filing a personal injury lawsuit is usually a last resort where the insurance company is low balling your claim or is denying it outright.
However, bear in mind there are cases where the bicyclist could be partially at fault for the accident. If that is the case, you may not be able to recover the full amount of damages you would have otherwise. Most states reduce the amount of damages you can receive based upon your percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if you are hit by a car and suffer $2000 in injuries in medical bills and lost wages, but were 50% responsible for the accident, you may only receive $1000 in compensation.