Injured in a Bicycle Accident? Learn What Your Claim May Be Worth
A bicycle accident is usually far more devastating for the person on the bicycle than the person in the vehicle. Bicycle riders have very little protection in an accident, even if they are wearing helmets along with knee and elbow pads. Luckily enough, a high percentage of cyclists are left with minor injuries after a crash.
A smaller number of cyclists who are involved in crashes suffer permanent damage e.g. traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and more. For those who do suffer serious injury, they may wonder what their accident claim may be worth. There are several factors that can have an impact on the amount of a claim.
Who Was at Fault?
When you are riding a bicycle, you must follow the rules of the road as any other moving vehicle must follow. A police report may indicate fault which is helpful when determining how much your claim may be worth, but the driver can contest that in court. It is also possible the police report may not name who was at fault which can make the claim trickier.
Some states have what is known as either contributory or comparative fault statutes. Under comparative fault statutes, if you are found to be at fault in any way, the percentage of your fault will be deducted from the claim. For example, if your claim is for $100,000 and you are 10 percent at fault, you will only receive $90,000. If your state has a contributory fault statute and you are found to be at fault in any way, you cannot collect any compensation.
Severity of Injuries
How severe your injuries are will also have an impact on how much your claim is worth. If you simply have some road burn, scrapes or bruises, your claim may be fairly small. However, if you fractured bones, torn ligaments, damaged muscle or suffered a severe head injury, those may qualify you for a higher claim.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that scarring may actually raise the amount you are offered in a claim. If your road burn or scrapes will leave noticeable scars, that could increase the amount you can ask for.
Length and Cost of Treatment
Minor injuries usually do not require extensive medical treatment, but if you suffer a severe injury, you could be facing several days to weeks in the hospital. You may also need physical therapy or other forms of treatment that could last months or even years.
Some bicycle accident injuries can result in a lifetime of treatments. Cost of your treatment will also be a factor. You may have treatment bills that are just a few hundred dollars from a quick ER visit or your costs could range into the hundreds of thousands.
Being unable to work while you are recovering from your injuries will also have an impact on how much your claim may be. If you are not able to return to your previous job due to your injuries, you may be able to receive compensation for job training, vocational rehabilitation or other services designed to keep you in the workforce.
If you own a small business, you may be entitled to additional compensation as your business could suffer if you are unable to manage the day-to-day operations.
Pain and Suffering
Your claim after a bicycle accident may also include pain and suffering. These are non-economic damages related to your accident and may include:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental suffering
- Physical disabilities
- Physical pain
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer to see what rights you may have. Getting treatment for injuries is expensive, and if you’ve been in a bicycle accident you may not be able to work for a while. Reach out to an attorney to learn more about compensation you may be eligible for.
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