Indiana grows more and more bicycle-friendly with every passing year. Whitestown bicyclists are beginning to enjoy some additional protections on the road, but unfortunately, not everyone is looking out for their best interests. Negligent and reckless motorists, pedestrians, and related parties can actively endanger Whitestown’s bicyclists.
If you’ve recently fallen victim to someone else’s negligence while trying to bike through Whitestown, let Vaughan & Vaughan investigate your losses. We can connect you with a Whitestown personal injury attorney and discuss what right to compensation you have based on someone else’s negligence.
Reacting to a Whitestown Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents can leave you in shock for hours and even days afterward. There are steps you need to take, though, if you want to restore your previous quality of life after a jarring accident. You need to:
- Contact first responders, even if your initial injuries don’t appear severe
- Assess the scene of your accident for evidence of negligence, including debris
- Talk with bystanders and get their contact information for later use
- Exchange insurance and contact information with the person who caused your accident
- Contact your insurance provider to discuss what coverage you can immediately benefit from
These steps seem relatively straightforward, but they can be difficult to complete when you’re contending with post-accident injuries. When in doubt, turn to friends, family, or an attorney for help throughout the days immediately following your accident.
When to Contact a Whitestown Bicycle Accident Lawyer
You do not have to contact a bicycle accident attorney after a collision. You may choose not to take action against the party liable for your losses, or your losses may feel inconsequential. Even if you choose to take legal action against an offending party, you have a right to defend yourself when your case goes before a judge.
That said, taking a case to civil court while you’re also dealing with bicycle accident injuries, essential medical care, and your other daily responsibilities can prove overwhelming. If you don’t have much exposure to civil law, the process contending with the legalese tied up in the filing of a civil suit may prevent you from filing a claim before your statute of limitations expires.
This is where an experienced bicycle accident lawyer steps in. Vaughan & Vaughan’s team of lawyers can help you understand what damages your accident may entitle you to and how you can argue for that financial support. We can keep your case out of court or request that a judge oversee the arguments related to your losses.
You can discuss what role, if any, you want an attorney to play in your post-bicycle accident recovery during a free, no-obligation case consultation with our team.
Initiating a Civil Cases
If you decide that you want to hold the party responsible for your recent bike accident accountable for their negligence, you need to bring a civil claim forward to Whitestown’s court within two years of your accident.
This deadline is firm. Indiana’s personal injury statute of limitations, or Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4, states that victims of personal injury accidents, including bicycle accidents, may have their cases rejected if they try to bring claims forward outside of this deadline.
What steps do you need to take to initiate a civil claim, then? You can work with a Whitestown, IN, bicycle accident attorney to:
Estimate Your Due Damages
The primary reason victims of bicycle accidents choose to pursue personal injury claims is to secure the compensation they need to recover from said accidents. You have a right to non-economic and economic damages after a bicycle accident, so long as you can prove your right to that kind of support.
Proving your right to economic bicycle accident damages is often more straightforward than proving your right to non-economic support. If you want to argue for economic damages, you can bring forward evidence of expenses, including:
- Bicycle accident-related medical expenses
- The cost of repairing or replacing your damaged property
- Wages lost while you were recovering from your injuries
- The cost of pain medications, mobility aids, and at-home assistance
Your non-economic bicycle accident damages are less concrete, as these damages don’t generate bills. However, case precedent may allow you to request damages for your accident-related pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. You can discuss the dollar value of these losses with one of our bicycle accident lawyers in Whitestown, IN.
Use Evidence to Assign Liability
You’ve established what damages you want from your bicycle accident claim. Now you need to prove to a court that a particular party owed you a duty of care and violated it when they caused your accident. You can do this by presenting a court with evidence of a named party’s negligence. The evidence you bring forward to prove a violated duty of care can include:
- Photos of your accident
- Videos of your accident
- Statements from people who witnessed your accident
- Accident recreations
- Statements from expert witnesses regarding the nature of your accident
- Physical debris from your crash
Note that it is the defense’s responsibility to challenge what’s known as your burden of proof. You must have the evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that another party bears the fault for your losses. You can work with an attorney to analyze the evidence you have on hand and prepare yourself for any cross-examination the defense may attempt to stump you with.
You should also be aware that while motorists are the primary offenders in today’s bicycle accident cases, other parties may be liable for your losses. Construction crews, pedestrians, and even other cyclists can take the blame for your accident. If you’re not sure which of these parties may be responsible for your accident, follow the evidence to your answer.
Let’s Discuss Your Right to a Civil Bicycle Accident Case Today
Bicyclists in Whitestown deserve the opportunity to take their bikes out without having to worry about negligent drivers, pedestrians, or other parties. If you’ve fallen victim to someone else’s poor behavior, you have the right to take action against the party in court.
You can work with a Whitestown, IN, bicycle accident lawyer to discuss what information you need to bring a civil claim forward in court. Vaughan & Vaughan’s team of experienced lawyers can investigate your losses, file your claim, and defend your right to financial support while working on contingency. Contact us through our website or by calling our office today.