Why You Need An Attorney
While cities have added more bike lanes and other safety features, bicyclists often ride their bikes on busy roads, and motorists are often not paying attention. This can lead to a tragic accident due to the lack of protection you might not have been wearing. Even with a helmet and padding, you might suffer from a contusion or a concussion. Your injuries might leave you in the hospital for a very long time, so it’s absolutely essential to contact an experienced Bicycle accident attorney in Springfield, MO.
Frequency of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents have actually gone down in recent years. In 2015, there were 467,000 bicycle-related injuries nation-wide. However, they are more common in urban areas and often much more serious. Cities struggle to install bicycle safety features and their roads are much more heavily traveled.
Common Reasons for Bicycle Accidents
The most common reason for a bicycle accident involving a car is driver inattention. The driver may not see you. Some drivers are on their cell phones, applying makeup, or talking to other passengers when they accidentally hit you. Other common reasons include:
- Failure to yield
- Road conditions
- Accidents that occur late at night
Make sure to wear reflective clothing that makes you easier to see when riding at night. If you are not careful, you might suffer a serious accident.
Common Bicycle Injuries After a Car Accident
Cyclists struck by cars often suffer from musculoskeletal injuries, especially for the wrist and elbow. Some motorists strike cyclists with a large amount of force and cause broken bones and lung injuries. Being dragged along a road surface can lead to serious injuries such as road rash.
If you have suffered a serious injury, seek medical attention promptly. If you are not able to move without experiencing pain, have someone contact an ambulance and wait for medical personnel to arrive. You may need to make several doctor’s appointments and you may feel like you are spending all of your free time receiving medical care. However, your health is of utmost importance and you will need medical documents to support your case.
Building Your Case
You will win your bicycle case based on the preponderance of the evidence. Therefore, if there were any witnesses to your accident, you will need to obtain their contact information. Oftentimes, after an accident, you may be too injured to walk around and ask questions. However, you may put out fliers and place a notice on social media asking if anyone who saw your accident to come forward.
Keep every receipt related to your case. For example, if you needed to undergo any tests to determine if you suffered a head injury, keep this record. Also, keep all of your pay stubs so you may prove that you are now suffering from lost wages. A bicycle accident attorney in Springfield MO may help you realize that there are several other expenses you may have incurred that were directly related to the accident. For example, even if you were not able to attend an event because of your accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
Winning Your Legal Battle
In most cases, a bicyclist is not at fault for a car accident. Even if the driver is entirely at fault, the driver’s insurance carrier will do everything they can to deny your claim.
Rather than negotiating directly with the insurance adjuster, you should contact a lawyer to handle all negotiations for you. Anything you say to an insurance adjuster can be used against you in court. You have the right to refuse to have your conversation recorded by the adjuster.
If you do speak to the insurance carrier, they will do everything possible to trick you into admitting that you were at fault for the accident. They may even hire a private detective to follow you around and look for evidence that you are not as injured as you claim.
Claims adjusters will typically seek to only compensate you for direct monetary damages. For example, they may pay for your medical bills but they may do everything possible to avoid compensating you for pain and suffering. If your case eventually goes to trial, the jury may believe that you are asking for too much money for your injuries. Therefore, you will want to work with a great attorney who will help you settle your case out of court and receive the compensation you deserve.
Don’t Let the Claims Adjuster Ignore You
You may assume that the insurance provider will pay you what you are owed but insurance providers do not make money when they pay out claims. An insurance adjuster may simply cease all communications because they believe that they can simply ignore your claim. They may even promise to call you back and the call may never arrive.
The solution to this problem is to work with a car accident lawyer to draft a demand letter after you have recovered from your injuries. Once you have finished recovering, you will have a better sense of how expensive your medical bills will be and the extent of your pain and suffering. Your attorney will send a professional demand letter that will state:
- The facts of the case
- Evidence that the driver was at fault
- Injuries you suffered
- Damages you suffered
The demand letter will itemize your expenses and will make a settlement offer. This is not necessarily the settlement that you will ultimately receive, but you will want to make the largest settlement offer possible so you will have room to negotiate.
The majority of car accident cases do not go to trial because the plaintiff risks being forced to pay for the attorney fees of the defendant after losing a lawsuit. However, in the rare cases where you are unable to receive an adequate settlement from the other party, your attorney may recommend that you take the case to trial. Another option is to turn to a third-party mediation and arbitration service. This is entirely private, much less expensive and you can have your case resolved immediately.
The adjuster may try to talk you out of hiring an attorney, but those who hire an attorney are statistically more likely to have more money once a case has been resolved than those who don’t. This is even with all of your attorney fees paid. If you were injured on your bike or if a loved one was killed riding a bike, contact our law office today. Your initial consultation is free.