Bicycle Accident Lawyer DC
Bicycles are an excellent means of transportation, but unfortunately others on the road are not always as cautious around bikes as they should be. Cyclists are at higher risk of becoming an accident victim due to factors like their lack of protective barriers and small size. Drivers are supposed to be mindful of cyclists and share the road, but unfortunately they do not always drive carefully around them. Some drivers are aggressive around cyclists because they are much slower than surrounding traffic. However, this doesn’t excuse their negligent actions. Thankfully, legal recourse is usually available to cyclists who have been struck by inattentive or otherwise negligent drivers. If you have been injured while riding your bike, you may have grounds to file a legal claim with the assistance of a DC bicycle accident lawyer.
What should I do if I have been involved in a bike accident?
Collisions involving bicycles are common occurrences. When streets have uneven pavement or are dimly lit, the chances of an accident happening is even higher. If you are involved in a collision, it’s important to remain calm and take the necessary actions so that you can properly file a claim.
The first thing you should do is to call the police, and make sure an officer comes out to you and checks out the scene of the accident. Once they are finished, ask for the officer’s contact information and a copy of the police report as your DC bicycle accident lawyer will need this down the road. Give them a brief statement about how the accident occurred. You may be able to get the police report a few days after the accident.
Then, make sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some of your injuries may not be visible, so you will want to speak to a doctor and ensure your health and wellbeing comes first. In addition, you will want to keep all medical bills, insurance information, and any other documentation of the accident for your DC bicycle accident lawyer to use when creating your claim.
The next thing that you should do is take photos of the accident scene. Capture photos from all angles around the site. Make sure to get details of the damage to your bicycle, skid marks made by the vehicle, and any property that was hit. These photos will be critical pieces of your case and you need compelling photos to support it.
After you report the accident to an insurance adjuster, the insurance company may present you with a settlement offer. Be wary about any offer that the insurance company gives you, and instead speak to a lawyer and have them evaluate it. Chances are that they will give you a lowball offer that is not reflective of the full compensation amount that you could be actually entitled to. Talk to a lawyer for a professional opinion about any settlement offer. They can negotiate on your behalf if the offer is much lower than what you deserve.
What kinds of damages am I eligible for?
No two accidents are the same, so it is almost impossible to figure out what exact damages you qualify for before you speak to a DC bicycle accident lawyer. However, in most personal injury cases, it is common to receive compensation to cover the cost of any medical bills, pain and suffering, any lost wages and loss of potential earning capacity. The severity of your injuries will also be accounted for when your losses are calculated. To get the most accurate cost estimate, have a lawyer do the math and they will be able to tell you an estimated case value.
What happens if I do not have car insurance?
You do not need car insurance if you have been hit by a car while riding your bike. The car insurance of the driver responsible for the accident will pay for your compensation. If the driver does not hold a policy, then your DC bicycle accident lawyer will likely recommend that you both fight for the driver to personally pay for everything. In cases where the at-fault driver does not have car insurance, your case will be more complex to fight. Have a lawyer who has experience working on a variety of cases and they will know what legal strategies to use so that you can obtain the highest compensation possible.
How long should I wait before I contact an attorney?
It is pivotal to contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident. This is important for two reasons; there are statutes of limitations when it comes to personal injury so if you wait too long you may not have a claim. Additionally, having a lawyer investigate the accident while evidence is still present can be especially helpful when it comes to building a strong case. Waiting too long can make it much harder to prepare your case and you risk not being able to submit it on time.
Will my case be brought to trial?
Again, this depends on your case. In most cases, it is not necessary to go to court and a settlement is awarded to the victim. You may be able to settle out of court, if you can come to an agreement with the other persons involved in the accident. But even if this doesn’t happen and you have to go to court, your lawyer will speak and act for you on your behalf and you will not be alone. They can prepare a plan and advise you about the best strategies that can increase your chances of achieving a successful outcome.
When you are an accident victim, the thought of filing a claim and going through the motions of a legal matter can be daunting. You probably want to deal with the issue as quickly as you can, and you may be concerned that filing a claim will only make the matter much more complicated. Since you are the victim however, you should take the time to understand what your options are. You don’t want to miss out on compensation that can lift your burdens and potentially cover all of your expenses related to the accident.
Do not feel that you need to navigate the aftermath of an accident by yourself. The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. is here to help you, so do not hesitate to contact our law firm today to schedule a consultation.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicyclists have to be extra cautious on the road to avoid getting into an accident. They have less protection than motorists and are prone to greater injuries, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Here are the most common causes of bicycle accidents.
- Turning without looking. When motorists turn at a green light, they are obligated to look out for bicyclists and pedestrians. If they don’t check for bicyclists as they make a turn, motorists can crash into them.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving causes a large percentage of accidents, including ones that involve bicyclists. Common distractions may include texting, eating and talking on the phone. When motorists are focused on these distractions instead of the road ahead, they are more likely to hit a passing bicyclist. Motorists must not give into these distractions if they want to avoid hitting bicyclists.
- Door accident. This type of accident occurs when a bicyclist runs into a parked car door that has opened. To avoid door accidents, motorists should check to see if bicyclists are coming before opening their car door.
- Unsafe lane changes. As a bicycle accident lawyer in DC can confirm, unsafe lane changes can also cause bicycle accidents. If motorists merge into cyclists’ lanes without looking to make sure the lane is clear, they may hit a bicyclist.
- Speeding. When motorists drive above the speed limit, they put everyone on the road in danger, especially bicyclists. If they are speeding, they may have enough time to stop for an oncoming bicyclist, causing an accident. Motorists should always follow the posted speed limits to avoid these collisions.
- Rear-end accident. Just like the name suggests, this type of accident occurs when a motorist hits a bicyclist from behind. It is important for motorists to keep their distance so that these accidents don’t happen. Bicyclists can also reduce these accidents by making themselves more visible to motorists.
- Drunk driving. Despite all the warnings against drinking and driving, some motorists still choose to get behind the wheel drunk. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol have poorer judgment and lower reaction times. They may notice an oncoming bicyclist and hit them.
- Aggressive driving. Aggressive drivers are a danger to everyone, particularly bicyclists. When motorists become impatient around a bicyclist that is moving slower, they may hit them.
The number of people commuting on a bicycle is growing every year, so too are crashes that may require the help of a bicycle accident lawyer DC riders’ turn to for advice. While every bike accident comes with it’s own particular set of circumstances, there are few general questions and answers The Law Offices of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. wants injured cyclist to understand while they consider filing a personal injury claim.
It’s important to keep in mind the following Q&A are absolutely no substitute for a consultation with a top bicycle accident lawyer DC respects. Rather, they are meant to provide general knowledge while enabling the cyclist to prepare the potential case with a bicycle accident lawyer DC can be proud to have fighting on their side.
1. How long should I wait before contacting a DC bicycle accident lawyer?
If you’ve been in a bike accident, you should consider contacting a lawyer with experience in handling these types of cases immediately. Generally, the sooner the better; because the lawyer may want to investigate the accident scene and examine remaining evidence (when applicable) to identify any possible flaws or causes.
2. My insurance company keeps hassling me, what should I do?
Before you discuss the details with your insurance company, talk to a bicycle accident lawyer DC cyclists rely on. Reaching out to an attorney first could help protect you from any attempt by your insurance company to use your account of the accident as a means of holding you at fault.
3. Is there are deadline to file a bicycle injury lawsuit in DC?
Yes, you will almost always have to adhere to the statute of limitations. A bicycle accident falls into the personal injury category, which means claims are often limited to three years from the date of the incident. In the case of a minor, he or she will likely have three years from his or her 18th birthday. Regarding wrongful death bicycle accident claims, the family almost always has two years from the incident.
4. Do I have a case?
A reputable bicycle accident lawyer DC counts on will tell you to contact him or her for advice about a potential case. This is because a claim will depend on facts and laws applicable to your accident. Regardless of what a police officer, insurance company, witness or involved person tells you, these individuals may not have adequate knowledge of the legal process, nor have your best interests in mind. For advice on the merits of your case, it can be essential to contact a bicycle accident lawyer DC respects to give you an honest assessment of a claim.
5. How much can I be compensated for?
The amount of compensation for a bicycle injury will vary with every case. The settlement should be dependent on the incident and relevant facts, legal issues, your injuries and your losses. Damages which could be considered to calculate a sum may include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, out of pocket expenses, pain and suffering or punitive damages.
I’m Ready to Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in DC
Many legal questions require complex answers, which can be bettered explained through a consultation. The Law Offices of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., specializes in personal injury claims which include bicycle accidents. With over 75 years of combined experience, we have the skills and knowledge to help you defend your rights. If you’ve been the victim of a cycling injury, contact a bicycle accident lawyer DC trusts for a free consultation at 202-888-0953.