Most bicycle crashes strictly involve the person riding the bicycle, so they only have themselves to blame. Once you start riding nearby other motor vehicles, your risk of getting hurt greatly increases.
Did you know that about 30% of all bicycle injuries happen because of a vehicle striking a cyclist? In 2015 alone, more than 850 bicyclists died in motor vehicle crashes.
If you get hurt in a bike accident involving a motor vehicle, you may want to file a bicycle accident lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries. Learn how below.
The Most Common Bicycle Accidents
More than 40,000 bicycle accidents occur every year across the United States. Understanding why and where these accidents most commonly happen can help you avoid getting hurt.
Most accidents involving a bicycle and a motor vehicle occur at intersections. Both parties may not fully understand who has the right of way at an intersection. If one or the other fails to yield, an accident will likely occur.
Drivers Not Paying Attention
Most bicycle accident injuries happen when a vehicle strikes a cyclist. Drivers can get distracted by talking on the phone, adjusting the radio, or texting while driving.
Cyclists Not Paying Attention
Cyclists listening to music while riding or spacing out can also lead to an accident. Not paying attention while riding a bicycle can cause you to hit a curb and fall or drift into traffic.
Hazardous Conditions on Road
Hazardous road conditions also contribute to the thousands of bicycle accidents each year. Paying attention while riding can help you falling after striking a pothole or crashing because of an uneven road.
Riding your bicycle at night without reflective gear makes it much harder for drivers to see you. Wearing a reflective vest or putting reflective tape on your bike and outfit helps drivers see you so they can avoid hitting you.
Typical Injuries from Bicycle Accidents
Some cyclists only wear a helmet for protection. However, that is not nearly enough protection. The cyclists with minimal protection are often the ones who suffer greater injuries in an accident. These injuries range from minor to fatal depending upon the extent of the collision.
Typical injuries from a bicycle accident include:
- Scrape, cuts, and bruises
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Permanent disfigurement and scarring
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you suffer injuries from a bicycle and motor vehicle crash, you likely can get compensation. Especially if the injuries require long-term rehabilitation or life-long care.
5 Steps on How to File Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
Do you think you may have a case for compensation after a bicycle accident? Filing a bicycle injury lawsuit works the same as filing any other kind of personal injury lawsuit.
Here is a quick overview of how to file a bicycle accident lawsuit in 5 easy steps.
1. File a Police Report
If you are injured in a motor vehicle crash while on a bicycle, always call the police and have them file a police report. A police report will detail everything that happened from the perspective of you, the driver of the vehicle, and any persons who witnessed the event.
You will need to present evidence to prove your claim when you file a personal injury lawsuit. Asking the police to document the day of the event, especially if they believe the vehicle driver is at fault, will make presenting your case for compensation much easier.
2. Go to a Doctor
Most personal injury lawyers will not take on a bicycle accident case unless you have suffered a physical injury. Seeking damages for the driver breaking your bicycle would not be worth the amount of money needed to file a lawsuit.
Be sure you go to the doctor a couple of times after your accident. It can take a few days or a couple of weeks for all of your injuries to become apparent.
You may also want to consider seeing a mental health professional if you suffer from mental distress after your accident. This can impair your ability to live your life and may count as evidence for compensation, depending on the severity of your impairment.
3. Gather Evidence
Once you establish if you have any injuries, begin building your case. Gather the police or accident report, witness statements, medical records, invoices and bills, photographs, and any other documentation relating to the accident.
You need the evidence to prove the driver owes you a duty of care and they failed to follow through. Not only that, but also that their breach of care led directly to your injuries.
4. Present a Demand Letter for Settlement
Before you file a bicycle accident lawsuit, you may want to try writing a demand letter to present to the driver or their insurance company.
In the letter, you want to describe the events of the accident, the injuries you sustained, and your demand for appropriate damages. You also want to detail how the driver is at fault.
Be sure to include a deadline for the driver or insurance company to reply to your letter. 30 days for a response is industry standard.
If they respond to your demand letter, you might work on negotiating a settlement for your property damage and medical expenses. However, if they do not reply, the next step is to file a bicycle accident suit in your local district court.
5. Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney
Do you not feel comfortable writing a demand letter by yourself? Or are you still unsure if you have a bicycle accident case or not?
Speak to a personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with bicycle accidents. Often lawyers provide free consultations so you can find out if you have a case without paying a cent.
Get Compensation with a Knowledgeable Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Riding a bicycle near motor vehicles comes with risks, but that does not mean you should expect to get hurt. Drivers have an obligation to watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists. As long as you stay aware and respect motor vehicles on the road, if you do end up involved in an accident – it will not be your fault.
Are you looking for a bicycle accident lawyer in Orange County?
Contact Car Accident Lawyer – Daniel Kim for a free consultation over the phone or through the 24/7 live chat. Their knowledgeable team of lawyers work hard to fight for what was taken from you.
Call today for your free consultation!