When a bicyclist is involved in an accident, they have very little protection against injury. Aside from a helmet, the frame of the bicycle is the only other factor that can help minimize the effects of a crash. Because of this, a collision that would result in a minor fender bender between two passenger cars can cause severe damage when you swap a bike in for one of these vehicles.
Securing compensation from the liable party following an accident can be critical for covering your medical bills and additional accident-related expenses. At the law firm of Vaughan & Vaughan, we have been helping injury victims recover favorable compensation for over a century.
To get started on your case, reach out to us today by phone or through this website. You can schedule a free case review with one of our Frankfort personal injury lawyers.
Damages Commonly Available in Bike Accident Cases
After suffering an injury in a bicycle accident, there are a variety of damages for which you will likely be eligible to recover compensation. While identifying all of the damages for which you qualify is critical for recovering the full value of your claim, it can also be quite challenging. Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help you determine which damages apply.
All recoverable damages are split among three categories.
Every loss resulting from your bicycle accident that directly impacted your financial situation belongs in this section. Because these losses are all of monetary nature, calculating their value tends to be fairly straightforward. The economic damages most often available in bicycle accident cases include:
- Lost income
- Decreased earning ability
- Property damage
- Money spent to accomplish daily tasks you can no longer perform yourself
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
Every loss that does not have a direct financial impact gets sorted into this category. Because non-economic damages do not deal with monetary losses, assigning a dollar figure to these damages is far more challenging. The non-economic damages most often available in bicycle accident cases include:
- Permanent disability
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Punitive damages differ drastically from economic and non-economic damages. Instead of being used to replace the losses suffered by accident victims, punitive damages are awarded as a way of punishing the liable party for the part they played in causing the accident.
A judge will only award punitive damages in extreme cases. To qualify, the liable party in your case must have acted with gross negligence or the purpose of causing damage.
How a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover Financial Compensation
After hiring a Frankfort bicycle accident attorney to help with your case, they will take several steps to ensure you recover favorable compensation. The first thing your attorney is likely to do will be to begin their own investigation into your accident. They will investigate your case to determine liability and collect evidence in support of your claim.
The next step will be for your lawyer to determine all the damages you are eligible to claim and calculate how much your case is worth. They will then file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.
If attempting to recover compensation through a lawsuit, your lawyer will proceed through all the steps of the pre-trial process and eventually argue your case in court unless a settlement deal can be reached. Throughout the process, your attorney will be in constant negotiations, attempting to find a settlement deal that works for both parties.
Be Sure to File Your Bicycle Accident Lawsuit Before the Deadline
When working to recover compensation through a bicycle accident lawsuit, you have to pay attention to the personal injury statute of limitations. In Indiana, accident victims have two years to file a lawsuit in most cases. Missing the filing deadline could result in the loss of your ability to pursue damages from the liable party.
In most cases, the statute of limitations sets a firm deadline. However, there are some circumstances under which the standard deadline does not apply. The details of your case could permit you to file a lawsuit even if the usual cutoff date has already passed. Alternatively, you could find yourself in a position where you have far fewer than two years to file.
To ensure that your right to compensation is protected against an unexpected deadline, it is essential that you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Your attorney will be able to identify all applicable deadlines in your case and submit your lawsuit well before the deadline.
Benefits of Taking a Settlement Deal
While there is the possibility that you could recover more compensation through a court ruling, putting your fate in the hands of a jury is rarely worth the risk. In addition to an assured outcome, taking a settlement deal will allow you to recover compensation far more quickly than if you took your case to court.
A settlement is also often in the best interest of the defendant. For the defendant, a settlement means they will pay less money in legal fees and won’t have to worry about any unwanted press coverage that may accompany a trial.
While your case will most likely resolve through a settlement, it is still essential to ensure that you are prepared for court in case you are unable to reach a deal. An experienced attorney will help build a case that will not only assure you are ready if your case goes to court but will also help you leverage your position in settlement negotiations.
Get a Free Case Evaluation from a Frankfort Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
When you hire an attorney to help with your case, you need to choose someone with experience and a history of securing favorable compensation on behalf of their clients. You need to ensure that the lawyer you go with has a proven track record both in settlement negotiations and in court.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we have been helping accident victims get the money they need and deserve for over 100 years. Contact us today by phone or through this website to schedule a free case review with a member of our legal team.