Can You Sue Someone for Hitting You on a Bike?

Personal Injury Attorneys Blog

Even if you are a careful cyclist, sharing the road with larger vehicles can be risky. After a bike accident, you’re likely facing extensive injuries and financial burdens. You might wonder whether you can sue the at-fault party for monetary compensation.

You may be able to file a lawsuit, depending on the details of your crash. A qualified bicycle accident attorney can provide the legal guidance you need to seek the financial recovery you deserve.

Bike Accidents Often Result in Injuries

Bike Accidents Often Result in InjuriesThousands of cyclists get on bicycles every day, expecting to get safely to their destinations but accidents happen more frequently than they should. Over 130,000 cyclists suffer injuries in accidents every year, and nearly 1,000 more die.

While they’re fun to ride, bicycles provide riders with no protection. In the event of a collision, a cyclist is much more likely to suffer significant injuries than someone in a larger vehicle.

If you’re injured in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent driver, it’s only fair to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.

How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?

Many bicycle collisions happen when drivers fail to obey traffic rules.

The causes might include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Aggressive driving
  • Speeding
  • Fatigued driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failing to check mirrors and blind spots
  • Opening doors without looking
  • Making unsafe lane changes or left turns
  • Failing to yield

If someone causes a collision by driving negligently and injures you, you can seek compensation for your wrongdoing. Aside from negligent drivers, a city or governmental entity may be responsible for accidents caused by damaged or defective roadways.

A bicycle accident lawyer can determine the cause of the crash and seek justice and financial recovery from the correct party.

Injuries Often Resulting from Bike Accidents

Because cyclists have little to no protection, they’re prone to suffer serious injuries in collisions:

  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Head trauma
  • Neck injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Amputations
  • Internal injuries

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may face a long road to recovery and require extensive medical treatment. Aside from the physical toll, your finances will also take a hit as medical bills start rolling in.

Pursuing financial compensation is crucial, as it can take some of the stress and pressure off you and allow you to focus exclusively on your physical recovery.

Obtaining Compensation After a Bicycle Accident

If you’ve been in a bicycle crash and sustained injuries, you may wonder how to seek monetary recovery from the at-fault party. There are certain steps to take and paths to cross on the way to compensation, but a bicycle accident attorney can guide you.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Many bike accident victims will start by filing an insurance claim with the liable driver’s car insurance company. While this may seem easy to do on your own, it’s best to have the help of a bicycle accident lawyer, as dealing with insurance companies can be tricky.

The insurance company can either approve or deny your claim. It may also lowball you, which means it will try to settle your claim for less than what it’s worth.

Insurance companies frequently put up fights in an attempt to limit their financial losses and avoid paying your claim. Therefore, it is not uncommon for this route to compensation to fail. Fortunately, you have many other options.

Filing a Lawsuit

If the insurance company is unwilling to settle your claim, you can consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Your bicycle accident lawyer will draft the required documents and file them with the court to initiate the lawsuit. The other side will be notified of the impending lawsuit and file its response with the court. Once these initial steps have been taken, the lawsuit officially takes off.

A majority of the personal injury lawsuit process is spent on discovery. This phase of a case allows time for both parties to seek and obtain relevant information and evidence to build up their arguments.

Once discovery has concluded, your bicycle accident attorney can attempt to re-engage in negotiations with the insurance company in an attempt to settle the case before it goes to trial. Most personal injury cases settle before they ever reach the courtroom, as settling pretrial can save time and money for both parties.

While time-consuming, filing a lawsuit could be the best way to achieve a favorable result and allow you to collect the compensation you deserve.

Compensation for Bike Accidents

In your lawsuit or claim, you’ll ask for compensation to cover the expenses you incur after your bike accident. How much you’re entitled to receive depends on the details of your case.

After a bike crash caused by a negligent driver, you may receive compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Pain and suffering

Punitive damages may also be available in cases where the defendant’s actions go well beyond mere negligence. While Virginia does not cap economic or non-economic damages, it caps punitive damages at $350,000.

Your bicycle accident attorney can determine how much your case is worth and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Time Limits for Filing Suit After a Bike Accident

The law imposes time limits on the ability to file a lawsuit. Virginia sets the statute of limitations for bike accidents at two years from the crash.

Should you fail to file your lawsuit within two years, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries. For this reason, you should consult with a bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to begin working on your case.

Rely on a Bicycle Accident Attorney for Legal Guidance

Walter H Emroch, Bicycle Accident Attorney
Walter H Emroch, Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you suffer harm after someone hits you on your bike, you don’t have to engage in your legal battle alone. A bicycle accident lawyer can take every necessary step to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.