How Much Is a Bicycle Accident Worth?

December 15, 2023 | Gary Annes
How Much Is a Bicycle Accident Worth?

Besides a bicycle helmet, bicycle riders have extremely limited protection while on the road. If a motor vehicle strikes their bicycle, and the cyclist falls, they may suffer severe injuries that require surgery, physical therapy, and other medical treatment.

Some bicyclists suffer permanent injuries, leading to complications and expenses for the rest of their lives.

If you or someone you love recently suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, consult an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can meet with you right away to discuss your accident circumstances and determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim with the responsible driver's insurance company.

Your lawyer can then handle every step of the legal process for you, including gathering relevant documents, submitting a settlement demand package to the insurance company, aggressively negotiating with insurance company representatives, and litigating your case in the court system, if necessary.

Unlike the insurance companies interested only in resolving cases quickly and cheaply, your bicycle accident attorney in Chicago will be your advocate throughout the process. Additionally, if your case must proceed to litigation in court, your lawyer can represent you in all legal proceedings and fight for your right to recover the monetary damages you need for your injuries.

Causes of Local Bicycle Accidents

Local bicycle accidents can occur anywhere but are especially common in bicycle lanes. They may also happen on busy roadways, parking lots and garages, alleyways, and trails. Most of the time, a bicycle accident occurs when someone drives negligently.

Driver negligence can take on various forms, but it usually involves another driver acting unreasonably and violating one or more traffic laws.

Crashed bicycle on the road after hit by car.

Some of the most common traffic violations that drivers commit that may lead to a bicycle accident include the following: failing to use a turn signal at the proper time, failing to yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist at a traffic intersection, speeding, and tailgating bicyclists.

A bicycle accident may also happen when a driver exhibits reckless driving or road rage. Since bicycles are slower-moving vehicles, a driver who is in a hurry may recklessly attempt to move ahead of the cyclist, often bringing about a severe accident in the process.

For example, a driver might tailgate the cyclist, cut off a cyclist in heavy traffic, or weave around a cyclist without using a turn signal, thereby bringing about a severe accident.

Another common cause of bicycle accidents is intoxicated vehicle operation. In many circumstances, a motorist is legally intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, reaches a level of 0.08 percent at a minimum.

State laws severely penalize drunk drivers due to their likelihood of causing an accident. If a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they may experience dizziness, blurred vision, confusion, disorientation, impaired driving, poor muscular coordination, and delayed reaction time. As a result, they cannot see or stop their vehicle in time to avoid hitting a cyclist.

If you recently suffered injuries in a bicycle crash, talk with a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can go over your legal options with you, file a bicycle accident claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company on your behalf, and begin pursuing the fair monetary recovery you need for your injuries.

Types of Bicycle Crashes

When drivers behave negligently while behind the wheel, they may cause a bicycle accident that dislodges a cyclist from their bike, bringing about serious injuries. 

One common type of bicycle accident is a rear-end collision, where the front of another vehicle strikes the back tire of a bicycle, often dislodging the cyclist from their bike.

Another common type of bicycle accident is a head-on collision, where the front of a vehicle strikes the front tire of a bicycle. These types of bicycle accidents are especially likely to cause permanent injuries or fatalities, especially if the other vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed.

T-bone or broadside accidents happen when the front of a vehicle hits the side of a bicycle that is traveling on an intersecting road. These accidents frequently occur when a negligent driver does not yield the right-of-way to a cyclist, such as by running a stop sign or red traffic light.

Finally, a sideswipe bicycle accident occurs when the side of a vehicle and the side of a bicycle strike one another, usually because a negligent driver is inattentive or otherwise fails to stay in their lane.

After suffering injuries in one of these types of bicycle accidents, consult a bicycle accident attorney as soon as you can. Your attorney will probably investigate your accident circumstances, speak with you about the occurrence, and obtain a copy of the accident police report.

Your attorney can then gather the documents necessary to file a claim with the appropriate insurance company in pursuit of the financial compensation you need.

Legally Proving a Bicycle Accident Claim

To recover monetary damages following a bicycle accident, your lawyer must prove the various legal elements of your personal injury claim or lawsuit.

First, your lawyer must demonstrate that a driver violated one or more traffic laws, such as by failing to yield the right-of-way to a bicyclist, speeding, or operating their vehicle while intoxicated.

Additionally, you must show that as a direct result of the driver's careless and reckless behavior, both the bicycle accident and your physical injuries resulted.

When it comes to proving the elements of a bicycle accident claim, the burden of proof is entirely on the victim. Therefore, the at-fault driver or their insurance company does not have to prove anything in the case.

Your attorney can retain one or more experts who can testify in your case in support of the legal burden of proof. For example, a medical expert may establish that one or more of your injuries are permanent. They can also show that your injury or injuries directly resulted from the bicycle accident, especially if the insurance company is disputing this causal connection.

On the other hand, a certified accident reconstructionist can testify in your case if the insurance company is disputing fault for the bicycle accident. An accident reconstructionist can piece together how a bicycle accident occurred after reviewing police reports, speaking with witnesses, and reviewing any video camera footage of the accident.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Following a bicycle accident, a knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney can gather the documents necessary to bring a personal injury claim on your behalf. Your attorney will deal with the at-fault driver's insurance company and its adjusters in any situation.

To support your claim, your lawyer can assemble various documents into a settlement demand package. These documents may include copies of the police report, witness statements, medical bills, medical treatment records, photographs of the accident scene, injury photographs, video footage of the accident, property damage photographs, and lost-wage documentation if you are claiming that you missed time from work due to your injuries.

Text: Personal Injury Claims. Concept: Injuries sustained within the workplace environment.

The insurance company adjuster handling your claim will then typically reach out to your attorney regarding settlement negotiations. In most cases, any initial settlement amount that an insurance company adjuster offers will be low.

Insurance company adjusters frequently take this approach to drag out the case for as long as possible. Ultimately, the insurance company's goal is to offer you as little financial compensation as possible. Therefore, the insurance company's interests are directly opposed to your interests.

A bicycle accident attorney can aggressively advocate for you and advance your legal rights. Specifically, your attorney can highlight relevant expert reports in your case, along with medical treatment records that show the severity of your injuries and their causal connection to the accident.

Additionally, if the insurance company does not make you a favorable monetary offer despite several rounds of settlement negotiations, your lawyer may file a lawsuit in court on your behalf.

During the litigation stage of a bicycle accident case, your attorney may continue their settlement negotiations and represent you at all legal proceedings, including your discovery deposition.

Your attorney can also attend a settlement conference with you and continue advocating on your behalf

 Finally, if the insurance company still refuses to make a fair settlement offer in your case, your lawyer may represent you at a civil jury trial or alternative dispute resolution hearing, such as mediation or binding arbitration.

For example, during a binding arbitration session in your case, a pre-selected, third-party arbitrator can listen to your testimony and decide the amount of monetary compensation to award you for your bicycle accident injuries.

Recovering Financial Compensation for Bicycle-accident Injuries

Bicyclists frequently suffer very serious injuries and incur high medical costs, including doctor bills, surgical bills, and physical therapy bills. Additionally, a bicyclist who suffers a permanent injury may endure lifelong pain and suffering. Fortunately, victims of bicycle crashes who can satisfy the legal elements of their claim can recover various types and amounts of monetary damages.

First, an accident victim may be eligible to receive monetary compensation for their related past and anticipated medical expenses. Past medical expenses compensate accident victims for the costs they already incurred for their medical treatment.

Anticipated medical expenses compensate accident victims for any anticipated medical procedure or other treatment a healthcare provider recommends. Typically, a bicycle accident victim may recover their future medical expenses if they suffered a permanent injury. Additionally, a victim can pursue compensation for lost earnings if they had to miss time from work following their accident.

In addition to recovering economic damages, a bicycle crash victim may pursue compensation for their intangible losses as well. Those monetary damages compensate access victims for all of the following: mental anguish and distress, lost quality of life, loss of the ability to use an injured body part, permanent disability or disfigurement, scarring, cognitive impairments, loss of spousal companionship and consortium, inconvenience, past and future pain and suffering.

A bicycle accident lawyer near you can provide you with the information necessary to make intelligent and informed legal decisions. For example, your attorney may advise you on whether it is a good idea to accept or reject a pending insurance company settlement offer based on the circumstances of your case and the extent of your injuries.

People sometimes think that their accident case is simple and might try to talk to an insurance company on their own. Doing this is nearly always a mistake. Insurance companies will usually do anything they can to avoid giving accident victims the compensation they deserve.

If you sustained injuries in a bicycle accident from negligent driving, consult a skilled personal injury lawyer near you as soon as possible. Your attorney can promptly file a claim or a lawsuit on your behalf within the applicable state statute of limitations.

Under the statute of limitations, a bicycle accident victim must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of their accident date. Otherwise, it is always certain that they will be unable to recover any monetary damages for their injuries.

A skilled Chicago personal injury lawyer can begin acting on your behalf right away and pursue the full monetary compensation you deserve. Specifically, your attorney may file a claim with the insurance company on your behalf, aggressively negotiate for favorable settlement compensation, or litigate your case in the court system.

Your attorney will have your best personal and legal interests at heart during every stage of the proceedings and will do everything possible to maximize the total settlement or litigation award you receive.

Consultations with a bicycle accident attorney are free, and there is no obligation to hire them. The lawyer will review what happened and advise whether you have a viable claim.

If the lawyer will take the case, you can ask your questions to determine if they are the right fit. Then, you can move forward with the legal process and toward financial recovery.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation Today!

Gary Annes Author Image

Gary Annes

Partner

Personal Injury Lawyer With Over Twenty Years Of Experience

Gary Annes, a partner at Abels & Annes, P.C., has dedicated over two decades to practicing personal injury law, specializing in auto accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and sexual abuse. Since earning his law degree in 1995, Gary has led numerous jury trials, and adeptly resolved cases through arbitration and mediation, securing millions in compensation for his clients.

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