Life on two wheels is an excellent way to stay fit and protect your long-term health. However, as with most things, there is a downside. With little protection to shield cyclists from injury in the event of a collision, the consequences of an accident can be devastating.
Recovering from serious injuries can be challenging and frustrating, especially if they were caused through no fault of your own. Furthermore, it can be difficult to pursue compensation if you are not familiar with the legal process or know the full financial impact of your injuries. Our bicycle accident lawyers serving Delaware can help you understand all options for economic recovery and guide you through the legal process.
Bicycle Accident Injury Claims Can Arise from Many Situations
According to a 2020 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fatal road traffic accidents increased across the board, with accidents involving cyclists up by more than 9% from the previous year – the highest recorded since 1987. The three most common contributing factors in many accidents are distracted driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and reckless driving.
Relating specifically to cyclists, here are some examples of how a motorist could be liable for negligence in a bicycle injury case:
- Failing to observe traffic controls and signals causing an accident with a cyclist
- Failure to yield to a cyclist’s right of way
- Tailgating or following a cyclist too closely
- Driving while texting or using a smartphone
- Driving while drunk or high
- Failing to look for cyclists before pulling out or turning
- Opening a door into the path of a cyclist
- Motorists who drive while too tired to concentrate properly create unnecessary risk to other road users
- Speeding or driving too fast for the road or weather conditions increases the risk of an accident
Of course, many other causes of bicycle accidents exist, and potholes in poorly maintained roads are still the bane of many cyclists. However, whatever the cause of your accident, if you believe another person or organization was responsible, you will likely be able to recover compensation if the evidence supports your case.
What to Do If a Motorist Hits You While You Are On Your Bike
If it is safe to do so and you are able, the following pointers can help to protect your health and your legal case later on if you are involved in an accident while cycling:
- Report the accident to emergency services.
- Seek medical advice straight away, even if you consider your injuries minor. Many injuries can be masked by adrenaline or not always immediately apparent, such as a concussion or internal injuries.
- Obtain the driver’s information, name, contact information, license number, and insurance details.
- Take photographs of the vehicle and the driver.
- Photograph the accident scene noting the road conditions, weather, skid marks, damage, and location of the incident.
- If there are any witnesses, gather their contact information.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accident attorney in Delaware, call (614) 538-1116
Understanding Your Insurance Options If You Are Hit by a Motorist While Cycling
A few options are available to you from which to seek compensation if you are injured by a motorist while riding your bike. In Delaware, you could tap into your MedPay to help cover medical expenses if you hold an auto insurance policy, as it applies to cyclists and pedestrians as well as drivers and passengers.
However, MedPay is best used when there is not enough insurance available to cover your losses from an accident, to avoid the possibility of having to pay back some of the billed amounts by going through two sources.
Typically, most bicycle accident claims involving a negligent driver are pursued through the liable party’s insurance company, which can include financial recovery for:
- Lost wages due to your injuries
- Reduced earning potential if your ability to work is affected in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Medical expenses and rehabilitation costs
Unfortunately, being injured is not proof enough to win your case. You or your lawyer will need to demonstrate the following aspects of liability before compensation is awarded:
The Driver Owed You a Duty of Care to Keep You Safe.
All motorists in Ohio have a legal duty of care to other road users, so this step is relatively straightforward.
The Driver Breached This Duty of Care in Some Way.
This is where negligence comes into play. If the driver did or failed to do something they should have to keep you safe, they breached their duty of care toward you, such as texting while driving.
Driver Negligence was the Direct Cause of Your Injuries.
We will use your medical records to prove your injuries link to the accident. We also work with medical professionals who can provide expert testimony to support our clients’ cases where necessary.
The Injuries Resulted in Financial Losses.
Here we will present evidence to show the physical, emotional, and financial losses you suffered due to the accident.
Delaware Bicycle Accident Attorney (614) 538-1116
We Do Not Settle for Anything Less Than You Deserve
If you have been injured in a cycling accident caused by someone else’s negligence, Bressman Law can help you recover the compensation you deserve to move past this difficult time.
- We provide a free initial consultation and offer our legal services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay us anything unless we win your case.
- We have over 60 years of combined courtroom experience and will not settle for anything less than you deserve.
- We pride ourselves on maintaining high levels of client satisfaction by sharing all documents, keeping you updated on your case’s progress, and going the extra mile to do all we can to support you.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us to arrange a free consultation.