When looking at the number of cars and trucks on the road, it’s easy to forget how many people enjoy riding a bicycle. As a cyclist, you are obligated to follow the same rules as any other motorist and you should have the same protections after an accident. If you have been involved in an accident, it is important to meet with a Spokane bicycle accident attorney to talk about your case and learn about your options. Your injuries could be severe and medical expenses could end up being very costly; you may also be unable to work while you recover, thus resulting in further financial trouble.
Twyford Law Office represents the injured victims of bicycle accidents. Our personal injury attorneys have decades of combined experience helping clients fight for the compensation they need and deserve.
Contact us at (509) 327-0777 to schedule a free consultation.
Bicycle Accidents Cause Significant Injuries
Since a bicycle offers very little protection, cyclists can sustain significant injuries in an accident, particularly if a motor vehicle is involved.
While every incident varies, some common injuries include:
Injuries to the head, back, and neck
Road rash and other abrasions
Broken bones and damage to extremities
Many of the issues in bicycle/auto accidents are the same as those in an automobile accident lawsuit. When the driver is at fault, his or her insurer typically tries to blame the cyclist. Common claims include a bicyclist who wasn’t visible, one who was speeding, or one who was riding in a lane instead of on a shoulder of the road.
In settling injury claims, states look to the doctrines of comparative or contributory negligence. They govern how much a plaintiff can be held at fault and still receive some type of damages.
States expect both drivers and cyclists to obey traffic laws. Driver negligence – be it speeding, driving into a bike lane, or running a stop sign – is all too common. The cyclist must prove that the driver of the vehicle violated a basic duty of care that should have been observed for everybody else on or even near the road. Being cited at the time of the accident for a traffic violation like speeding or a conviction for a criminal charge such as a DUI can be evidence of negligent behavior.
If you have been injured by a motorist or other individual who harmed you with intent or because of their own negligence, then you can expect to be compensated for the wrongs against you.
While each individual case will vary, you can be compensated for:
Medical care costs, including emergency room expenses and doctor visits
Therapy, including physical, occupational, and other restorative therapies
Wages from missing your job or days lost from work
Damage to your bike and property
Disabilities that result from your injuries
Scars and other disfigurements caused by the accident
Long-term care costs or future medical costs you can expect to have because of your injuries
Adaptive equipment needed for your injuries or disabilities
Pain and suffering arising because of the accident
Fight Back Against the Insurance Company
If you have been injured by a motorist while riding your bike, you could experience difficulties dealing with the insurance company. Insurers often attempt to assign blame to cyclists who have been struck while riding legally; it is essential that you have an attorney on your side to navigate the legal process and proceedings.
It is not uncommon for an insurer to fail to recognize the extent of your injuries or the full amount of damage done to you. They also undervalue your bike and related property and will often attempt to offer a fast – and low – settlement in an attempt to close things out quickly. If you have been offered a settlement or need to speak with an insurance company, you should contact a Spokane personal injury attorney who works with bike accident cases first. Doing this protects your rights and preserves your case.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
Following an accident, you may be extremely frazzled, anxious, and injured. This mental and physical state can make it difficult to react appropriately, but taking the necessary steps will improve your case moving forward.
It’s important for a cyclist hit by a car to:
Get the driver’s license plate number, insurance information, and contact information. If unable, get a bystander to do this.
Seek out medical attention right away; some injuries may not be immediately apparent, so it is important to see a doctor. Your ER or doctor visit will also help document your claim and prove the extent of your injuries.
Call the police to the scene
Obtain witness contact information
Try to write down a license plate number or take a photo of the plate if the crash is a hit and run.
Take pictures of the scene, the bike, a helmet, and clothing in its damaged condition. Photograph or videotape the scene and fully document what happened.
Contact a lawyer right away after your accident
Loss of a Family Member Due to a Bike Accident
If your family member was struck while riding or involved in a fatal bike accident, you may be able to be financially compensated by the at-fault party. While financial compensation will in no way replace your family member, it can provide security for your family moving forward and give you some closure.
Product Failure Injuries
While most bicycle accidents involve another bike, a car, or even a pedestrian, a product defect can also cause injuries. If your bike design leads to a failure or injures you in some way, the manufacturer can be held liable for your injuries and expenses.
If your bicycle or a part of your bike fails and you are injured, you can file a personal injury suit against the manufacturer. You should keep both the bike and any components so that these pieces can be examined; you’ll need them if you file a lawsuit against the maker of your bike.
Contact a Bike Accident Attorney Today
At Twyford Law Office, our team of qualified, knowledgeable, and caring lawyers and staff will help you every step of the way as you go through your accident case. We can help you get through this troubling time and make the process a little less stressful. We care and are here to help.
Give us a call at (509) 327-0777 to request a free consultation.