Bicycling is a popular way to get around in the U.S., considered a healthy and fun way to travel. But a bicycle can also be a dangerous way to travel, resulting in serious injury and, sometimes, in death.
The National Safety Council notes an increase in the number of preventable deaths from bicycle transportation incidents, up 16% in 2020 and up 44% in the past decade. The council also notes that the number of preventable non-deadly injuries increased 5% in 2020 over the previous year, although the number is down 39% over the past decade.
Cyclists obviously are more vulnerable when involved in accidents with vehicles because they lack the same protections. Cyclists should know their rights to recover the compensation they deserve if they are involved in an accident. An experienced Arizona bike accident lawyer can ensure that cyclists are not hurt by insurance company efforts to avoid paying for damages, including:
- Denying claims
- Offering low settlements
- Dismissing injuries and property damage
- Intimidating cyclists who seek claims
- Using your statements against you
When negligent vehicle drivers cause accidents, cyclists who suffer injuries can recover compensation for medical services, bike repairs, lost wages, and other expenses.
When should a personal injury lawyer be contacted?
The earlier you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer after an accident, the better. Their advice can help guide you in early discussions with authorities, insurance companies, and other parties who may have an interest in your case. It is critical that you not discuss anything related to your case or to sign anything with an insurance company without consulting a personal injury lawyer.
You should ensure that you work with a reputable lawyer who will not charge for an initial consultation to discuss your case. In such personal injury cases, a lawyer is paid only if they win the case. They can protect your interests, help you avoid doing or saying something that hurts your case, and show the other parties that you are serious about your claim.
Your personal injury lawyer pursues the compensation that you deserve, including:
- Medical costs, both existing and future
- Non-economic damages, such as loss of consortium and emotional distress
- Injury claim, including investigating the incident
- Negotiations with insurance companies and other parties
What should you look for in a personal injury lawyer after a bicycle accident?
One of the most important things to consider when hiring a personal injury lawyer to help with your bicycle accident case is to make sure they have experience with such claims. You should ask them about their experience and track record with such incidents, which are unique and often require a certain type of specialization.
Ask lawyers you contact to provide:
- Examples of similar cases they have handled
- Cases where they have had to go to trial
- References from prior clients
- Evidence of their track record in these cases
- Estimates on the time they will have to spend on the case
Don’t be fooled by attorneys who offer quick cash settlements. In reality, such cases can often take time, anywhere from a few months to a few years. Remember, your goal is not a fast settlement; it’s a fair settlement.
What should you do after a bicycle accident?
If you or a loved one is involved in a bicycle accident, you should:
- File an accident report with police
- Obtain medical treatment
- Share information with others at the accident scene
- Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicles, people and damage
- Save accident and expense records