You’ve been injured in a cycling accident and you don’t think the accident is your fault. Many encounters with cars, trucks and buses end badly for cyclists when the driver makes a mistake, or behaves irresponsibly. If you have been injured in that type of cycling accident, you may have a case to sue for compensation.
Extent of Damages
If you got some bruises and your bike is scratched, trying to sue is probably a waste of time. If your bicycle is destroyed and you have suffered disabling injuries, this is a clear case for filing a suit. In between those extremes there is plenty of room for uncertainty. If the accident resulting in serious injuries like broken bones and incurred hospital and emergency room bills, you should consult a lawyer.
Signs of Negligence
If the driver was in a bike lane, or opened the car door without looking ,or made an illegal turn, these are cases where an injured cyclist might have a great case to sue for compensation. Collect contact information from witnesses if you can. If you think you saw the driver looking at their phone just before the accident, mention this to your attorney.
This rule mostly applies in serious injury cases where the other party refuses to admit any responsibility. In cases where the other party admits responsibility and the injuries are superficial, you probably do not need a lawyer.
Response to the Accident
After some accidents the responsible party’s insurance company responds and handles the claim well. Often that is not that case, which makes sense because the insurance company wants to minimize its costs. Sometimes, they simply move as slowly as possible to handle a claim.
Insurance adjusters and insurance companies sometimes act in bad faith, meaning they intentionally fail to live up to standards of fair dealing that the law implies. If you are a victim of bad faith on the part of an insurance company it will be almost impossible to make them take responsibility on your own. If you even suspect you are being cheated by the insurance company, call an attorney.
Be Prepared When Starting a Lawsuit
If you want to speak to a bicycle accident attorney, be prepared to deliver a long list of documents related to the accident. Medical records, insurance details, and a copy of the police report, if the police responded.
If you have been injured in an accident because of someone else’s negligence, you should discuss your legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney.