Bicycle Accident Lawyer
State and local governments save money by building roads at the lowest possible cost. They dig a shallow roadbed, fill it with gravel that isn’t compacted well, then add a thin layer of paving material. Temperature extremes and poor drainage cause the road to form potholes, sometimes in just a few months.
Potholes are hazardous conditions for bicycle riders. A rider who hits an unseen pothole at normal riding speeds is likely to fall as the front wheel stops spinning. Bent frames and damaged wheels are less costly than the medical expenses that accompany head injuries, broken arms, and treatment of infected road rash.
The government that owns a road is responsible for maintaining it. States, counties, and municipalities all have street departments that are charged with fixing potholes. Most of those departments are underfunded. Fixing potholes isn’t seen as a high political priority.
Bicyclists can nevertheless bring legal claims against a government that neglects to inspect and repair its roads if that negligence causes a bicycle accident. Since the laws governing those claims vary from state to state, a bicycle accident lawyer is in the best position to advise victims of their legal rights.
Time Limit for Visiting a Doctor After a Bicycle Accident Caused by a Pothole
Although there are time limits for filing a notice of claim and for filing a lawsuit, no state imposes a time limit upon the decision to see a doctor. Failing to see a doctor immediately can nevertheless have serious consequences.
Bicycle accidents pose the risk of a head injury. While bicycle helmets provide some protection from brain injuries, they do not provide the same degree of protection as motorcycle helmets.
Any blow to the head creates the possibility that the brain will begin to swell or bleed. An accident victim might feel a mild headache or no symptoms at all until it is too late to save the victim’s life. Even if a bicycle rider does not lose consciousness, visiting a doctor can be a life-saving essential after the rider’s head strikes the pavement.
Other serious injuries may also develop over time. The temptation to “walk it off” might result in the gradual worsening of a soft tissue injury. Treating an injury in its early stages improves the odds of making a full recovery.
Settlements Improve When Victims See a Doctor Immediately After a Bicycle Accident Caused by a Pothole
Seeing a doctor promptly after a bicycle accident also improves the opportunity to settle an injury claim for its full value. The claims managers who work for the government look for reasons to deny claims. Delaying treatment gives them a reason.
Claims managers assume that anyone who is injured in an accident will see a doctor immediately. When accident victims wait until it is clear that a nagging injury will not go away, claims managers question whether the injury was caused by the accident. They argue that there may have been an intervening accident that was completely unrelated to the pothole.
Claims managers make similar arguments when injury victims stop treating prematurely or when they miss doctor’s appointments. They assume that treatment stopped because of the injury healed. When treatment resumes, they attribute the new treatment to a new injury.
Negotiating a fair settlement is much more difficult when bicycle riders do not follow their doctor’s orders. Medical records showing uninterrupted treatment are vital to proving the full extent of an injury. It might be time-consuming to keep doctor’s appointments, but the effort will help the victim recover full compensation for bicycle accident injuries.
If you have questions about a bicycle accident case, please contact a bicycle accident lawyer today.