Bicycles are America’s least used mode of transport, yet they contribute to numerous deaths and injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 1,000 cyclists die from bicycle accidents, while another 130,000 get injured on our roads annually.
The cost of rehabilitating a bicycle injury can amount to millions, especially if the injuries cause permanent disablement. As such, it is essential to know the legal modalities to pursue if such a crash happens to you or a loved one. Read on to discover the steps to take after a collision and why a West Virginia Bicycle Accident Lawyer should be by your side.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle crashes occur due to many factors, though most can be traced back to driver-related issues. Knowing the cause of your accident is crucial to mounting a case and protecting yourself from future accidents. In that light, some of the most common reasons for bicycle accidents are:
- Distracted Driving: Most bicycle and car accidents are caused by drivers using their phones instead of focusing on the road.
- Speeding: Driving at high speed increases the time a driver needs to slow down, by which an accident may have already occurred.
- Failing to provide sufficient buffer: Drivers who follow cyclists too closely (less than three feet) leave little maneuvering space, putting themselves at a higher risk of an accident.
- Unsafe Lane Changes: Sudden shifts to the right or left lane by car drivers and cyclists without conducting due diligence cause serious bicycle accidents.
- Maneuvering Traffic: Drivers drifting outside of traffic into other lanes rarely notice cyclists or leave little room for them to perform evasive moves. These kinds of drivers also contribute to pedestrian accidents.
- Impaired driving: Drivers and cyclists engaging in acts of drinking and driving are more likely to cause bicycle accidents.
What to Do After Being Involved in a Bicycle Accident
Accidents involving motor vehicles, whether cars or trucks, cause severe injuries that take time to recover from. As a result, the weeks, months, or years after the accident can become quite burdensome financially as you seek to recover from these injuries.
A bike injury lawyer can be crucial in obtaining compensation for your injuries, provided you take these steps following the accident:
Wait for the Authorities to Arrive
The evidence obtained by the police after a bicycle accident is crucial when mounting a serious compensation claim. If possible, wait for the police to arrive at the scene and collect a detailed case report, such as personal information and eyewitnesses to the accident. The police may also give you an early idea of the fault designation to help you know the party at fault.
Get Medical Treatment
Whether you feel fine after a bicycle accident or not, it’s essential to seek medical attention. Going to the doctor as soon as you’re done with the police helps detect any hidden internal injuries or others that are yet to manifest. Your injuries are also medically documented, which can be used as evidence in a compensation claim.
Don’t Engage Insurance Firms
When a driver is at fault, their insurance company immediately sends a claims investigator to try and obtain as much information as possible from you. They will try to get the minor details concerning the accident to use against you in a court of law. Avoid speaking insurance representations until you have a West Virginia bicycle lawyer by your side.
Contact a West Virginia Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle injury claims involve multiple legal facets that must be considered to receive total compensation for a bike injury. A bicycle injury lawyer can help you obtain the necessary evidence in a meaningful manner and present it in the best possible way to receive damages for physical and emotional suffering.
What Does a West Virginia Bicycle Accident Lawyer Do?
West Virginia allows victims of bicycle accidents to file for compensation for injuries suffered, provided they can prove negligence. Bicycle accident attorneys can help build a solid case as you recuperate from your injuries: They will:
- Gather all police reports connected to the incident
- Obtain witness statements, surveillance footage, and any other evidence.
- Calculate economic and non-economic losses from medical records
- Reconstruct a crash scene, if necessary
A bike crash lawyer also handles all aspects of communication, including negotiating with insurance firms for excellent out-of-court settlements.
When to Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle accidents cause several fatal injuries while others take a significant time to heal or permanently disable victims. A motorcycle accident attorney can help you file a claim for compensation in wrongful death and personal injury cases. Some of the injuries that qualify to contact a cycling accident lawyer are:
- Head injuries (brain injuries)
- Spinal cord trauma
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Dislocated or broken bones
- Road rash or severe lacerations
How Can a West Virginia Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help?
In West Virginia, you can file a claim against another motorist for injuries they caused after a bike accident. Bike accident attorneys can help you receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses – including hospital and emergency service bills, prescription costs, and necessary ongoing treatments.
- Pain and suffering – psychological distress and physical pain caused by an accident.
- Property damage – damaged belongings such as the destroyed bicycle.
- Lost wages – Money lost as a result of time off from work.
A West Virginia attorney can also help you file other personal injury claims, including workplace accidents, defective products, and medical malpractice.