If you are hit by a car while on a rental bike, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to be compensated for your injuries and damages. You may be wondering if filing a lawsuit for a bicycle accident is worth your time.
For millions of people, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may be the only time that they are involved in legal negotiations or a court case. This can be intimidating to those who are not in the legal profession. Many cyclists may be unsure if their case is serious enough that an attorney can help them. Others might wonder if the entire legal process will be too expensive.
This article will shed some light on potential rental bike accident claim or lawsuit, so you know if you should move forward legally or not. If you have questions, please use Lawsuit Info Center to locate a qualified personal injury lawyer in your state. Most attorneys provide a no-obligation, free consultation to review your case.
What a Rental Bike Accident Settlement May Cover
The money that you get from your rental bike accident settlement is compensation for your damages. Damages are costs that you paid, or damages incurred due to the bike accident. There are two major types of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are clear and obvious. If the rental bike accident caused you $10,000 in medical bills, then that will be counted as part of economic damages. If you also were unable to work for two months and could not receive your normal $10,000 in salary, then this amount also would be part of economic damages.
It is non-economic damages where things get more complex and usually require the help of your attorney. Non-economic damages can include such things as pain and suffering, emotional trauma and related issues. For example, you may have ridden a bike several days a week for years for exercise and enjoyment. But after the accident, you may be afraid to get on a bike again and be anywhere near cars. If so, this means that you are no longer able to enjoy your life as you once did. This is a loss to your enjoyment of life and should be included in your damages compensation.
Determining what your non-economic damages are is something that your personal injury attorney can handle. Your attorney has experience in many types of personal injury cases, and most have deal with bicycle accident lawsuits. Many laymen may serious undervalue their case or forget to include major costs and damages. That is why it is so helpful to have an experienced lawyer in your corner.
Determining Rental Bike Accident Damages
When you file your rental bike accident lawsuit, you and your attorney need to collect as much evidence as possible to help your case. This evidence will support your claims for the settlement amount that you asked for. The evidence will also hopefully prove that the other party is responsible for your injuries. In some cases, the bicyclist could be partially at fault for some of their injuries and damages. In most states, this means that your compensation would be reduced by the percentage of your fault for the accident.
Some evidence of a bike accident is straightforward. You will need copies of your repair bills, medical bills, lost wages records, receipts for out of pocket costs, and even prepaid things that you could not attend or engage in, such as airline tickets for a vacation.
But other evidence is equally valuable, especially to determine your non-economic damages. One of the best pieces of evidence for non-economic damages is keeping a diary after the crash. As soon as possible after the bike accident, you should record everything that you experience related to the accident. Also write down everything you recall from the crash and how it happened. The more details you have, the better for your case.
You also should describe how your life has been affected from the accident. Do you feel pain? Are you stressed and afraid? Are you feeling depressed because you cannot enjoy certain activities with your injuries? Are you afraid to be on a bike again? Write everything down that you feel because they will be important to calculate non-economic damages.
Once you and your lawyer determine the amount that you will settle for, he or she will negotiate with the other party or their insurance company. The amount that you can get in these settlement negotiations depends upon how injured you are and your overall economic and non-economic damages. If the other party’s insurance policy is going to pay damages, there is a certain policy limit in effect. Some policies might pay out no more than $50,000. So, no matter what your damages, you will not be able to get more than $50,000 from that insurance policy.
If the other side agrees to settle, then each party will sign documents finalizing the bike accident settlement. If the other party does not agree, the case could go to trial. Your attorney generally will receive 1/3 of whatever amount that you receive at settlement, and possibly up to 40% if the case goes to trial.
Talk to a personal injury attorney about your rental bike accident claim today to determine if you have a case. Use our website to find a qualified attorney in your city or state.