4 Questions (& Answers) Asked by Bicycle Accident Victims
In a collision between a bicycle and a car, cyclists don’t stand a chance. Even a small accident that does minor damage to a car can seriously injure or kill a cyclist. With airbags, seat belts – not to mention the tons of metal and plastic separating motorists from exposure - trucks, and cars have irrefutable advantages when it comes to protecting motorists.
- Should I accept the offer or hire a lawyer?
- How much is my case worth?
- What is the Statute of Limitations for bringing a claim?
- How much does a personal injury lawyer charge?
Should I Accept the Adjuster’s Settlement Offer or Hire a Lawyer?
Not all accidents result in legal battles, but there are some that would greatly benefit from an attorney’s guidance. Here are a few situations that may benefit from hiring an attorney:
- Life-Altering Injuries: If you are permanently injured after being hit by a car, it is possible that you will face a lifelong battle of challenges. Especially when your injuries affect your ability to earn a living. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help the insurance companies, and a jury, understand just how much your injury will affect you for the rest of your life.
- Your Injuries are Severe: Even if your injuries are not permanent, if they are severe enough, you are likely to have expensive medical bills and lost wages. An experienced injury lawyer knows that their client should reach maximum medical improvement before beginning negotiations. As well, they understand how to make the insurance companies understand how your accident has affected your life.
- Liability is Uncertain: It isn’t always clear who caused the accident and who should be liable. When multiple parties are involved, insurance companies will try and shift liability to another insurer. If there are numerous injuries, there may be less money to go around. Sometimes it isn’t clear whether the at-fault driver has any insurance at all. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will make sure all avenues of compensation are explored.
- Low-ball Settlement Offers: Insurance companies often make low-ball settlement offers within just a few weeks of your accident. If you are okay with accepting their offer, you may see your check in only a few weeks. Unfortunately, when you accept a settlement you sign an agreement that you will not seek additional compensation relating to that accident. If you accept an offer too early, you’ll be out of luck should health complications set in later.
How Much is My Bicycle Accident Case Worth?
Depending on the specifics of the crash, cyclists may be entitled to one or more of the following types of compensation:
- Medical treatment. When a negligent driver has caused your bicycle accident injuries, you may seek compensation for all of the medical care necessary for your healing process, hospital bills, physical therapy, and future medical bills associated with the injury.
- Lost wages & Future Earnings. Most bicycle accidents result in injuries that leave victims recovering for weeks or even months and unable to work. You may seek compensation to recover those lost wages. When life-altering injuries occur, victims may not ever be able to return to work. This future loss of earnings may be considered as well.
- Pain and suffering. The emotional and psychological pain of an accident can outlast even the most serious of physical injuries.
- Punitive damages. Reckless, careless drivers are often punished for their negligence through punitive damages. In addition to compensation for your injuries, punitive damages serve as a deterrent for the driver and a warning to the public.
- Wrongful death. When a cyclist is killed in a crash, they leave behind bills and funeral costs – and the loss of future income for their family. Of course, their loss is felt emotionally as well. This loss of companionship and affection is priceless. A personal injury lawyer experienced with the Wrongful Death act will fight on behalf of your family.
Statute of Limitations (Strict Time Deadlines)
In Virginia, there are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. In many cases, Virginia provides a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, sometimes special circumstances apply and can alter that deadline. It is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident to protect your rights.
Virginia Bicycle Accident Lawyer
We understand that the costs associated with a lawsuit can be a barrier to justice and that insurance companies have tremendous resources. We offer a no free promise which means you don’t owe us any legal fees unless we settle or win your case. If we accept your case, we will work on your behalf to get a fair settlement, and only charge legal fees if you receive a settlement or verdict.
If you were injured because of a reckless, inattentive, or drunk driver, contact the Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe for a free, no obligation, consultation today.