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Bicycle Accident Settlement Information

Bicycle Accident Settlement and Claims

Riding a bicycle is a sport to some, a way to exercise, or a fun way to spend time with friends and family. Some people use bicycles as their main method of transportation to get from home to school or work. Many people ride bikes every day. And it is an unfortunate reality that sometimes, bicycle riders are involved in accidents with motor vehicles. If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a bicycle accident, you may be wondering if you are eligible for a bicycle accident settlement.

Learn more about the steps you should take after a bicycle accident and how to receive bike accident compensation.

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How Do I Get a Bicycle Accident Settlement?

If you are hit by a car while on a bike, the first priority is your health and safety. A bicycle involved car accident can lead to some serious injuries for the cyclist. If you are struck by a vehicle while riding a bicycle, you should call 911. Allow medical professionals to assess your injuries and if you are able to, speak with the police about what happened. You will want a copy of the police report later, so make sure you give them the facts of what happened.

Once your injuries are tended to and a police report has been filed, you will want to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. You may want to find a personal injury attorney to help you communicate with the insurance company. Draft a demand letter, outlining the details of the accident and state your demands. Don’t jump at the first offer that the insurance company offers. They likely are offering a smaller amount than you are actually entitled to. You attorney can advise you on what a fair amount would be.

When making a bicycle accident claim, it is important to have a complete understanding of your injuries and how your health is affected from the crash. If you are still healing from you injuries, you don’t want to make your demands too soon. Wait until you are healed and you know if there are any permanent changes to your body as a result of the car accident. Filing too soon could mean that your bicycle accident settlement is less than the amount you could have received.

To get the most bike accident compensation, follow these bicycle accident claim tips:

  • Give a copy of all medical records pertaining to your bicycle accident injuries to your lawyer.
  • Go to all of your medical appointments, follow all medical advice given to you by professionals.
  • Document your daily life and how your bike accident injuries have changed your ability to live your life normally.
  • Stay off of social media. Do not post anything about the case, but also keep in mind that the insurance company may use social media posts against you if they can argue that you are not suffering or injured as you claim.

What is the Legal Process After a Bike Accident?

When you are in a bicycle/car accident, you will likely file a claim with the vehicle driver’s insurance company. This is the most common way to get a bicycle accident settlement. Or, if the driver fled the scene or does not have insurance, you may have to file a claim with your own insurance company. Regardless of whose insurance company you have to go through, you will want to compile a list of damages. This means, in what ways have you been impacted by the bike accident. Some of the damages you can likely claim are medical bills, lost wages from missing work, and any other financial hardships that are a direct result from the accident.

You can also claim damages that are intangible. This covers your pain and suffering or your loss of ability to do things that were a part of your normal life prior to the bike accident. These intangible or non-economic losses can be hard to prove and challenging to put a dollar amount on. A personal injury lawyer can help you put together a thorough list of damages and give you a more accurate idea of how much your bicycle accident claim payout may be.

Car Accident Settlement

Once your claim is filed and your demands are presented, there may be an investigation process. The insurance may accept your demands, or they may offer a counteroffer. Negotiations can take time. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the insurance company, you may opt to go through arbitration.

An alternative to the claims process is to file a lawsuit. You can name the at-fault driver as the defendant. It is also possible to name other parties or entities as defendants as well. For example, if the bicycle/car accident was partially due to potholes in the bike lane you were using, you can sue the organization responsible for maintaining the roads.

What is an Average Bicycle Accident Settlement?

It isn’t really possible to offer an average bike accident compensation amount. This is because each case is different. The details and circumstances around your bicycle accident influence your claim and the bicycle accident claim payout that you can expect.

Keep in mind that when you are filing a claim with an insurance company, your settlement can be limited by the policies in place. If the at-fault driver has a max of $50,000 on their policy, that may be the maximum that you are able to receive. It is possible to file a claim with your own insurance company if you are in need of more money than the payout total. A bicycle accident attorney can help you get the money that you need to cover your damages.

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Bicycle Accident Settlement Amount Examples

It is not practical to compare your bicycle accident case to someone else’s, as there are many factors that effects what the settlement ends up being. Your own bike accident claim payout could be more or less than what others have received.

$20,000 Bike/Car Accident Settlement

A bicyclist was clipped by a passing car while using a crosswalk. The rider fell from his bike, dislocating his shoulder and fracturing his finger. His injuries did not require surgery, but his attorney was able to get him a larger settlement by claiming pain and suffering.

$50,000 Bike/Car Accident Settlement

The driver of a sedan failed to yield to a cyclist while making a right hand turn. The car struck the bicycle, knocking the cyclist onto the road. The rider suffered from a broken arm and bruised ribs, in addition to minor cuts and bruises. The driver of the car did not have insurance, so the cyclist was able to file with his own insurance company to cover his medical expenses and pain and suffering.

$90,000 Bicycle/Pedestrian Accident Settlement

A woman was walking with her daughter on a sidewalk when a bicyclist sped past, knocking the woman down. The woman struck her head on the sidewalk, causing her to lose consciousness. She ultimately suffered a concussion and had debilitating headaches as a result. The bicyclist did not stop at the time of the accident, but was later identified. The woman filed a lawsuit against that cyclist, claiming her headaches affected her daily life and her daughter was emotional impacted by the accident. The cyclist settled before the lawsuit went to trial.

Bicycle Accident Settlement Calculator:

Getting an exact settlement amount is hard to do without the help of a personal injury lawyer. But if you are trying to get a rough estimate, you can use our free Injury Settlement Calculator. Remember that an online calculator cannot take certain factors into consideration, so your settlement may look different.

Get Legal Help For Your Bicycle Accident Settlement

Bike accident injuries are often severe. When you are riding a bicycle, put safety at the forefront of your mind.

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.

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FAQ About rear end car accidents

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.

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