Contact The Barker Law Firm today if you have suffered personal injuries as a result of an accident. You will immediately receive prompt, courteous attention, and the help you need in deciding how to deal with medical bills, property damage, wage loss, insurance claims, and other important questions that you or your family may have following an accident.
Bicycle accidents can result in serious and often fatal injuries. Lawsuits to recover damages for injuries or death due a bicycle accident involve many of the same issues as an automobile accident.
Although most bicycle riders observe safety practices to avoid any kind of accident, there is always the risk of an accident when a bicyclist is traveling in traffic with other vehicles or just on the road. Liability for the accident is always a question of negligence and whether the auto or other motorized vehicle operator caused the bicyclist’s injuries and whether the actions of the bicyclist contributed in any way to the accident.
Cyclists are required to obey the rules of the road the same as motorized vehicles. This includes obeying traffic lights and traffic signs just the same as if they were operating a motorized vehicle. They also have a duty to exercise extraordinary care in the operation of a bicycle on the roadway for sake of the safety of everyone on the road.
In spite of bicyclists taking all of the necessary precautions while sharing the roadway with motor vehicles, accidents still occur. When a bicyclist (or their estate in the case of a wrongful death claim arising from a bicycle accident) brings a claim, the outcome of the case relies on two very important questions:
Did the negligence of the bicyclist in any way contribute to the occurrence of the accident?
Did the negligence of the motor vehicle operator on the roadway cause and/or contribute to the accident and the resulting injuries and/or death of the bicyclist?
Many roads now have bicycle travel lanes specifically for bicyclists. Even with this, negligence by a motor vehicle driver can still cause an accident and injury or death to the bicyclist. The driver of the motor vehicle could be speeding, running a stop sign, drifting their motor vehicle into the bicycle lane, or making a turn and failing to observe that there is a bicyclist beside their vehicle.
As with all accident lawsuits, the specific facts of how the accident occurred and what the bicyclist and driver of the motor vehicle accident will allow the bicyclist’s attorney to prove negligence of the motor vehicle operator. In accidents involving a motor vehicle, behaviors which constitute traffic violations can be seen as constituting negligence “per se”. What this means is that if someone was cited for a traffic violation at the time that the accident occurred, such as running a traffic signal or traffic sign, evidence of that traffic law enables the bicyclist to prove negligence against the other driver.
Representing yourself in a claim for an injury sustained while operating a bicycle is never a good idea. In these types of cases, insurance adjusters are usually quick to blame the bicyclist for the accident. Insurance adjusters keep their jobs by settling claimants of people who are really injured to the negligence of the insured drivers for as little money as possible. Once you sign a release, you no longer have a right to bring a claim for any injury which you sustained as a direct result of the accident. You will be responsible for payment of any outstanding medical bills and any time lost from work that results in a loss of income to you will not be compensated by the at-fault driver’s carrier.
For this reason, it is important that when the other driver’s carrier contacts you, you decline to speak to them, to give any information about how the accident happened or how bad your injuries are. Oftentimes, you do not know immediately how bad your injuries really are, especially unlike in a motor vehicle, you have no protection while operating a bicycle from any kind of collision with another vehicle.
At the scene of the accident, adrenaline is often pumping and you are emotional and you do not immediately realize that your neck, back or some other part of your body is injured. It is, in fact, sometimes a few days before you feel any real pain or limitations. Even more importantly, a disc injury is something that will not be discovered until an MRI or other diagnostic testing is performed at the request of a doctor by a diagnostic facility. There are no outward signs of a disc injury. Just pain and physical limitations. A medical provider will often treat you conservatively before resorting to expensive diagnostic studies. But, if you do not feel better within a few weeks, diagnostic studies will show the injuries that we cannot see.
The Barker Law Firm will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. We will make sure that the insurance company for the at-fault party does not have the opportunity to take advantage of you and settle your claim for a nominal amount which is likely significantly less than what your case is really worth.
If you are injured in an automobile accident, contact The Barker Law Firm to represent you. And when the adverse insurance company calls you to settle with you for $500, you can tell them call my attorneys.
To schedule a free consultation or request additional information about our services, please contact The Barker Law Firm at 727-328-9000 or click here to contact us by e-mail.