Personal Injury Claim After Bike Accident: How Much Can I Expect?
If you have brought a personal injury claim after a bike accident, it is natural to want to know how much you can expect in compensation. Before any personal injury attorney can answer that for you, there are a number of factors to consider when evaluating your claim.
Factors Determining Value
Factors that may be considered in determining compensation include:
- Liability: Can you demonstrate that the other party was at fault?
- Comparative negligence: Did your conduct contribute to the accident?
- Safety equipment: Were you wearing a helmet? Do you have lights on your bike or helmet?
- Preexisting condition: Did you injure a part of your body that was previously injured?
- Nature and extent of your injury: Did you sustain any broken limbs, torn ligaments, cartilage damage, head injury, or disfigurement?
- Reasonableness of your medical care and bills: How long were you treated, with whom, and what was the cost of your care?
- Lost wages: Were you unable to perform your usual occupation? If so, for how long?
- Permanent injuries: What are you unable to do now that you once were able to do? Do you have permanent disfigurement?
All of these factors must be considered and evaluated by your attorney.
Bicycle accident injuries can be very slight or catastrophic. Traumatic brain injuries are not uncommon, even if a bicyclist was wearing a helmet when he or she collided with a motor vehicle. Other typical injuries are severe road burns and lacerations, broken limbs, and knee injuries.
Experience of Your Attorney
Bicyclists are expected to abide by the traffic laws, which includes stopping at red lights and stop signs, and not riding on sidewalks, unless signs permit it, or in crosswalks. Bikes must also abide by the speed limit. In residential areas where speeds may be as low as 10 miles per hour, you could be cited for exceeding the speed limit on your bike.
Your attorney's experience and knowledge in handling bicycle accidents can be vital in cases where a motorist claims that you violated a traffic law. Motorists often ignore or are inattentive to a bicycle and may claim that you appeared out of nowhere and should have yielded to the vehicle.
Your attorney will also ensure that you are receiving the proper medical attention, are attending your appointments, and that your physician has properly documented your inability to work, if applicable. If more serious injuries are involved, specialists can be consulted and the proper medical/legal reports prepared that describe the extent of your injuries, future medical care, and future problems.
Once this information and all medical, wage loss, or lost income capacity information is obtained, your attorney can compare your injury, possible liability or comparative negligence issues, and other above factors to similar cases and give you a reasonable range of your claim's value and help you reach a settlement.