When you go out for a leisurely bike ride, the last thing you expect is to have an accident. However, as more cyclists are on the road, collisions with automobiles have become more and more common. When this happens, lives can be changed forever. With head injuries, broken bones, or other issues resulting from these accidents, medical bills can begin to skyrocket, forcing the injured cyclist and their family into possible financial ruin.
To avoid this, it’s critical to work with an attorney who has experience handling these cases. To find out how much you can expect if you file a bike accident claim, here are some key points to consider.
Types of Damages
In bike accident claims, the two types of damages are economic and non-economic. While economic damages are obvious ones such as medical bills and lost wages, non-economic damages can be more difficult to determine. However, if you have thousands of dollars in medical bills as well as a high amount of lost wages, it’s reasonable to assume your non-economic damages may be high as well. While non-economic damages may be more difficult to determine, there are ways to do so. One of the most effective is to keep a journal of your feelings after the accident. For example, if you now fear riding your bike or are stressed by a lack of independence following the accident, documenting your feelings can make an impact when it comes to how much money you could expect to receive from your claim.
Determining Your Settlement
After sitting down with your attorney to determine your economic and non-economic damages, the next step will be to have your attorney begin negotiations with the insurance company representing the driver who was at fault. In these cases, it’s crucial to have an attorney do this for you, since trying it yourself usually results in the insurance company offering a much lower settlement than you deserve, or in some cases attempting to pay nothing at all by accusing you of lying or changing your story in an effort to receive more money.
So How Much Will I Get?
In most cases, the amount you will receive will depend largely on the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. Generally, the amount at which the policy maxes out is the amount you will receive, whether that is $50,000 or $100,000 or another amount. And once an amount has been settled upon, the fund transfer process begins. If you have worked with an attorney, the insurance company will send them a check, and the attorney will usually take 1/3 of the amount as their fee, and will also pay off any other financial obligations you have as a result of the case. Once this is done, you will receive whatever funds are left over, and the case is closed. However, most accident attorneys advise clients wait until they are completely healed, so that the amount of money asked for will cover all damages sustained as a result of the accident.