Bicycling to work, school, or just for fun can be a satisfying way to get exercise and reduce one's carbon footprint. When there are no other, larger vehicles around, it's also quite safe. Unfortunately, that situation changes when bicyclists must share the road with cars, and bicyclists tend to face much more serious injuries than the drivers and passengers of standard autos.
Common bicycle injuries include broken bones, concussions, contusions, and internal hemorrhages. What all of these injuries have in common is that they require expensive medical care, make it impossible for the affected riders to work, and negatively impact victims' quality of life. The good news for bicyclists who have been injured by drivers is that they may be able to get compensated for all that pain and suffering. Read on to find out why it's so important to hire an attorney following a bike accident.
Compensation Can Help Cover the Cost of Damages
Every bike accident is different, but anyone who has been seriously injured on a bicycle is likely to face medical bills, ongoing physical therapy, lost wages, property damage, and even reduced earning capacity. Seeking compensation from the liable driver's insurance company can help to cover the cost of these and other, non-economic damages.
While no amount of money can make up for a permanent disability and the suffering it causes, a settlement can remove a practical barrier to recovery. Hiring an attorney allows accident victims to maximize their chances of receiving fair compensation.
Attorneys Have Access to a Greater Resource Base
There are some steps that bicyclists can take following an accident, such as obtaining police reports, gathering driver and witness contact information, documenting what happened, and preserving evidence related to any hospital care obtained. However, attorneys have access to a greater resource base both in terms of knowledge and evidence collection. Unlike the average bicyclist, an attorney can:
· Provide a clear understanding of state and local bike accident laws
Accurately estimate the value of a claim
Interview accident reconstruction experts and other professional witnesses
Negotiate effectively with insurance company representatives
Gather, preserve, and present additional evidence effectively
A good attorney will also help with practical matters such as keeping track of imposed deadlines and filing the necessary paperwork for injured clients. After all, accident victims have more pressing matters to attend to, such as focusing on making a full recovery.
Insurance Companies Rarely Offer Fair Compensation
Since there's no legal requirement for cyclists to carry insurance, most accident victims rely solely on the liable party's insurance company to provide compensation for injuries. Unfortunately, the insurance adjusters, lawyers, and others who work for car insurance companies are hesitant to pay any more on a claim than they absolutely have to.
Instead of offering fair compensation that will cover all of an injured cyclist's expenses, a representative will reach out to the accident victim and offer a laughably low benefits package, which, if taken, will make it impossible for the injured bicyclist to seek additional remuneration. It's very difficult to negotiate with insurance companies, but attorneys have all the strategies available to do just that. If the liable party's insurance company won't offer a fair benefits package, an attorney can also take the case to court.
Find an Attorney ASAP
The first thing any injured bicyclist should do following a car accident is to seek medical attention. After that, it's time to start looking for an attorney who can help.