Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a bicycle accident and have questions? Check out these 4 bicycle accident tips, then call us.
1) Choosing a Bicycle Accident Attorney
Recently, we were contacted by a man who was seriously injured in a bicycle accident on Washington Road. One of his first questions to us was how he should go about finding a bicycle accident attorney. If you are reading this, you probably have the same question. I would respond that you want to make sure you find an attorney who is a trial lawyer, one who focuses their practice on personal injury. There are nuances to a bicycle accident that someone who has more of a general practice may not be able to focus on or may not know. You want a lawyer who has had experience litigating against insurance companies and succeeding against those insurance companies. Insurance companies are not going to pay as much money to an attorney who does not have the experience or to an attorney who has had negative results.
2) Settling a Bicycle Accident Claim
I recently spoke with a man who was in a bad bicycle accident here in Augusta. His injuries were very severe, and he was going to miss a lot of work while his medical bills were piling up. One of his questions was how long his case would take. That is a difficult question that many ask. You may have the same question – how long does it take to settle a bicycle accident case?
The answer is that it is a difficult question to answer. It depends on many different variables. One of the main variables it depends upon is how badly you are injured. You may have severe injuries that are going to take a very, very long time to resolve. It may take you a long time to get to maximum medical improvement. Before that happens, you don’t want to try to settle with an insurance company; you’re only doing yourself a disservice by doing that.
Another variable that’s almost just as important is how reasonable the insurance company you’re dealing with is. If the insurance company is not acting in a reasonable manner, oftentimes you’re going to have to file a lawsuit, which can add a significant amount of time to any case. In either event, you want to make sure that you find an attorney who is seasoned in litigating cases involving bicycles, as well as seasoned in litigating cases against insurance companies. If the attorney is not experienced, and if the attorney has not achieved successful results, that insurance company is not going to be as inclined to pay as much money.
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident and you have questions about it, we would be more than happy to sit down with you and answer any questions that you have.
3) Differences Between Bicycle and Car Accidents
How does a bicycle accident differ from an auto accident? A few weeks ago, we were contacted by a man who was injured in a bicycle accident on Wheeler Road in West Augusta, and he had that same question. If you are reading this, you might have that same question, too.
In many ways, bicycle accidents and car accidents are very similar. Most people don’t realize that if you’re on a bicycle and someone negligently hurts you while they’re in an automobile, their liability insurance is going to be responsible for paying your medical bills, lost wages, and your claim. What you might not realize, though, is that, like a car wreck, your own underinsured motorist coverage will also apply and may also cover you for any damages that the liability carrier won’t cover you for. That’s an example of where those cases are similar, but also very different.
Bicycle cases are unique, too, in the sense that the person has no protection when they get into an accident. They are completely exposed, and so their injuries tend to be greater. Bicycle cases are different, as well, because people’s perception of bicyclists. Many people have a negative perception of bicyclists, and they believe that in any wreck or accident involving a bicycle, it’s the cyclist who’s automatically at fault. Many also believe it is the cyclist who is required to negotiate traffic and travel on the same highways as other vehicles, yet the bicycle does not have rear view mirrors, turn signals, or side view mirrors. A lot of people have a prejudice against cyclists, which is why you need to hire an attorney who has experience representing people who have been involved in bicycle accidents.
While they are similar to other personal injury cases, they are unique. If you have been in a bicycle accident or have questions about it, we would be more than happy to sit down with you and answer any questions that you might have.
4) Bicycle Accident Claim Value
How do you determine the value of a bicycle accident claim? I was recently contacted by a man who was in a bad bicycle accident on Wrightsboro Road, here in Augusta, and that was one of his first questions – “How much money is my claim worth?” If you are reading this, you probably are wondering the same thing.
A bicycle accident claim’s value, just like any other personal injury claim, depends on many different factors. In any type of personal injury action, you get damages associated with what are called special damages. Those are damages for things like medical expenses and lost wages. Those damages are easy to quantify; you can put a dollar figure on those damages. Those damages also depend, however, on how badly the person is hurt. If someone’s not hurt very bad – and hopefully they’re not – they’re probably not going to miss much time from work, and their medical expenses are probably not going to be as high. For that reason, their case is probably not going to be worth as much as it would be under other circumstances.
There’s also a value of damages called general damages, and those are damages involving pain and suffering. These are also the damages that are harder to put dollar signs on, and they can really vary with the individual person. There’s also punitive damages, and those damages depend more upon the conduct of the person who caused the accident. For example, if you were in a bus or bicycle accident and the person who hit you was drunk, then your case is going to be valued much higher than if the person simply made a mistake.
When looking for an attorney to represent you in any case involving personal injury, make sure that that attorney is focused on personal injury, has trial experience, and has experience in litigating claims related to bicycle accidents. If you have been the victim in a bicycle accident, we would be more than happy to sit down and answer any questions that you might have.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured in a bicycle accident and have questions about our 4 bicycle accident tips?
Contact the experienced Augusta bicycle accident lawyers at Nimmons Malchow Johnson, today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Let our experience and dedication work for you.
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