Although bicycle trips only make up 1% of all trips in the US, statistics show that they account for 2% of fatal road injuries. Cycling is particularly popular in Orange, CA, thanks to the great weather and abundance of scenic trails and bike paths.
Bicycle accidents can result in severe injuries and long-term complications. Not every bicycle accident case requires a lawyer, but many do. Trying to handle a bicycle accident lawsuit or claim without an attorney on your side could rob you of the just compensation you’re entitled to.
If you’re wondering whether you need a bicycle accident lawyer, here are some of the signs that you need to enlist legal help.
You’ve Suffered Moderate or Severe Injuries
Unfortunately, bicycle accidents can often involve serious injuries on the part of the cyclist. Cyclists have much less protection and are more exposed to impact than car drivers.
If a car collides with a bicycle, the driver might come off entirely uninjured, and with very minor damage to their vehicle. The cyclist, on the other hand, might suffer severe injuries. Some common injuries from bicycle accidents include:
- Friction wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Skull fractures
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Rib fractures and lung injuries
Many of these injuries could leave you unable to work while you recover. Injuries like skull fractures, serious TBIs, broken bones, spine injuries, and scarring could have lasting effects on your health, ability to earn an income, and quality of life.
If you’ve suffered moderate or severe injuries as a result of a bicycle accident, it’s absolutely imperative that you are justly compensated. The bicycle accident compensation you receive should cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any lost income. It should also cover any future medical costs, impairment, disability, and loss of quality of life.
For instance, if you’re left with a disfiguring scar, you deserve to be compensated for this. Scarring and disfigurement can cause emotional suffering, impact your mental well-being, and compromise certain aspects of your life, such as your career and intimate relationships.
If you’ve come off lightly, you might have only sustained minor lacerations and friction wounds. Most minor injuries heal quickly and aren’t likely to have long-term impacts. However, you should still be compensated for these injuries and any medical costs you incurred in their treatment.
You’re Unable to Work
As we mentioned above, severe injuries could affect your ability to work and earn an income, not only during recovery but years into the future as well.
If a bicycle accident injury is likely to impact your earning power in the future, this is another strong reason to hire a bicycle accident lawyer.
A good attorney will be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the far-reaching effects of your injuries. They’ll look into all areas of potential loss and build a strong bicycle accident case.
If a bicycle accident injury has temporarily barred you from being able to work while you recover, this is also a sign that you need a bicycle accident lawyer on your side. Even if you are able to take paid sick leave, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be compensated.
If you have to use up all of your sick leave to recover from a bicycle accident injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence, this might force you to take unpaid leave later in the year should you fall ill.
What’s more, some people don’t have a job that provides paid time off for illness. If you’re self-employed or working as a freelancer, any time you take off is time you’re likely not getting paid.
Finally, even if you don’t work, being incapacitated could be costly. For instance, if you are a stay-at-home parent, you might have had to hire help or pay for additional childcare services.
A bicycle accident lawyer will make sure that your claim includes compensation for any losses you suffered as a result of your injuries.
The Liability Isn’t Clear
If liability isn’t 100% clear-cut in your bicycle accident case, this is another instance where you should seek legal help. A bicycle accident lawyer will make sure the insurance company or defendant doesn’t try to shift blame onto you for the accident.
For instance, research shows that wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of brain injuries by 58% and head injuries by 60%. If you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, the opposing party or their insurance might try to use this to reduce their liability.
Many localities have bicycle helmet-use laws, but this doesn’t mean you should assume all responsibility for the accident or your injuries if you weren’t wearing a helmet.
The Insurance Party Isn’t Offering a Fair Settlement
If you’re dealing with an insurance company, and they are employing delaying tactics or offering you a low settlement value, it’s critical that you engage a bicycle accident lawyer.
Many insurance companies will try to pay out claimants as little as possible. Some carriers will go so far as to manipulate the claims process with delays or turn your statements against you.
Most people don’t have the experience or legal know-how to counteract these tactics. An experienced bicycle accident lawyer, on the other hand, will have extensive experience dealing with insurance carriers. They know exactly how to negotiate with them to reach a fair settlement.
If the carrier still holds out and won’t extend a fair offer, your attorney will be able to spearhead a bicycle accident lawsuit and take matters to court so you can receive justice.
You’re Not Sure How Much Compensation You’re Entitled To
As an accident victim, it can be very hard to estimate what level of bicycle accident compensation you should receive. You also shouldn’t take the insurance company’s word on this.
An experienced bicycle accident lawyer will be able to accurately estimate the damages you’re entitled to, both economic and non-economic.
Are You in Need of a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve suffered injuries, are unable to work, and aren’t sure how much compensation to hold out for, or how to prove liability, you should engage a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
If you’re in need of an experienced attorney to represent your bicycle accident case in Orange, CA, we’re here to help.
We have the experience and negotiation skills to go up against the most aggressive insurance companies. We can also put you in touch with the best medical providers in Southern California so you can receive the care you need.
Contact Santiago Accident Lawyers today for a free consultation.