If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident, you may have very serious injuries, such as brain injury or spine injury. The cost of your injury in terms of lost work, medical bills, and ongoing disability may be substantial. Why should you and your family have to bear that cost if the accident was the fault of an inattentive driver?
This page contains background information on bicycle accidents, but the only way to learn what compensation might be available in your case is to talk to a lawyer. Please call (423) 443-3973 or email Herbert Thornbury, Attorney at Law in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a free initial consultation.
What Are Some Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
There are many ways that negligent motorists cause bicycle-car accidents, such as:
- Failing to yield to bicyclist
- Turning or merging into the path of cyclist
- Trying to pass bicyclist without adequate spacing
- Opening car door in front of bicyclist
Car drivers have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings, including other vehicles and bicyclists.
What Are The Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Unfortunately, on your bicycle you are always at a disadvantage compared to motorists, and are more likely to suffer serious injury, such as:
- Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Neck Injury
- Abrasion injury
- Broken bones
- Internal injury
When you suffer these types of severe personal injury, the personal cost to you and your family can be great.
Who Can Be Held Liable in A Bike Accident Case?
Parties that may be held liable in a bicycle accident case include:
- The driver or drivers of other vehicles
- Government entities
- Construction or work crews
- Property owners
- The cyclist
The best way to determine liability is through a comprehensive investigation performed by a qualified bicycle accident lawyer.
What Should I Do Immediately After A Bike Accident?
If you are not incapacitated by your injury, it is a good idea to collect information from the driver including name, address, phone number, insurance policy information, and license number, along with information about the vehicle such as the license plate and VIN.
Try to get the contact information from any witnesses as well. Call emergency services and be sure to cooperate with EMTs and file a police report. While waiting for emergency personnel, take pictures of the scene from various angles, including all of the damage done to your bicycle and any involved vehicles. Ask for a copy of the police report once it has been completed. As soon as possible after an accident, seek medical attention.
Some brain and spinal cord injuries may take weeks to present symptoms. It is a good idea to have a full evaluation to make sure nothing is overlooked. Regardless of what action you can take on the scene of a bicycle accident, you will want to call an attorney as soon as you can to begin the process of determining liability and to help you understand what your claim is worth.
What Potential Evidence Might Be Used in A Bicycle Accident?
Evidence used in a bicycle accident claim may include medical records, police reports, pictures you took on the scene, and related documentation. It may also include witness statements and information gathered during the discovery phase of your claim. Gathering this information can be incredibly difficult, particularly if you are recovering from a serious injury. Having a lawyer on your side can help to ease this process, make sure nothing is overlooked, and work towards securing the best recovery possible.
What Can I Expect from Insurance During My Bicycle Accident?
Insurance companies often try to settle bicycle accident claims quickly to avoid further legal action. Having a lawyer on your side as soon as possible following a bike accident can help to ensure you are not tricked or coerced into waiving your right to seek fair and full compensation. Remember, insurance companies are for-profit corporations. They have boards of directors and shareholders who demand profits increase each year. This goal is not compatible with paying large settlements to victims of bicycle accidents.
How Can I Collect Compensation Following a Bicycle Accident with A Hit-And-Run Driver?
When you are hit by a driver who leaves the scene of an accident, it is best to try and get the license plate number. Hit and run is illegal and there may be criminal consequences for leaving the scene of the accident – it may also prove impossible to collect full compensation without being able to identify the driver.
You may be able to file a claim with your own automotive insurer. If you have comprehensive coverage and/or uninsured motorist coverage, you might be covered for injuries you sustain from other drivers even when you are on a bicycle. Barring these options, filing a claim with your medical insurance provider may be your best path forward. During your free case review, Attorney Thornbury will assess your claim, discuss all of your options, and help you choose what is right for your case.
How Much Is My Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
Fortunately, a bicycle accident lawsuit may be able to help you with compensation for damages including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain, diminished quality of life, disfigurement, and other noneconomic damages
To learn whether you can receive compensation for your bicycle accident injuries, please contact Herbert Thornbury, Attorney at Law for the help of a certified Civil Trial Specialist in Chattanooga, Tennessee. You can also call us at 423-443-3973.