Bicycle accidents can result in severe injuries that leave cyclists in the hospital and in need of continuous medical treatment. These injuries are prevalent in cases where the force of a collision knocks a cyclist off their bike and onto the ground.
In some bicycle accident scenarios, the bicycle rider hits another vehicle, such as a car or truck. However, the other driver may still be at fault for the accident in many instances. The cyclist might have been unable to avoid the vehicle, or the other driver’s negligence may have caused the cyclist to hit the car.
If you sustained injuries in a bicycle crash that another driver caused, you should immediately contact skilled legal counsel for ongoing representation in your case. Failing to retain a lawyer to represent you can be a serious mistake, and insurance companies will likely take advantage of your situation.
A strong and experienced bicycle accident lawyer on your side can help you file a claim with the appropriate insurance company, negotiate that claim, or file a lawsuit in court for you. Your lawyer will do everything they can to help you successfully prove the legal elements of your case and recover the monetary damages you deserve.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation
How Do You Prove Fault in a Bicycle Accident Case?
To recover monetary damages for your bicycle accident injuries, you must demonstrate that another driver caused your accident. To establish fault on the other driver’s part, you should take photographs of the accident scene, including property damage to any of the involved vehicles. Moreover, if other individuals witnessed your accident, you should also speak to those individuals.
If the injuries you sustained at the accident scene were so severe that you were unable to take pictures or speak to witnesses, you should reach out to a bicycle accident lawyer in your area right away. Your lawyer can retain an accident reconstructionist to help you with your case.
An accident reconstructionist can speak with witnesses on your behalf, review property damage photographs, and visit the accident scene, to piece together exactly how your bicycle accident happened.
An accident reconstructionist may obtain:
- The police report
- Eyewitness statements
- Diagrams of the accident scene
- Property damage photographs
- Medical evidence
How Do Bicycle Accidents in Alberta Happen?
Bicycle accidents in Alberta can occur for a variety of reasons. In cases where a bicyclist hits another vehicle in an accident, the driver of the other vehicle may still be responsible if they disregarded one or more road rules and if the cyclist followed all road rules.
A knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer, often with the help of an accident reconstructionist, can help you determine how your accident occurred and whether you are eligible to file a personal injury claim seeking monetary damages. In some instances, the negligent actions and inactions of other vehicle drivers may cause cyclists to hit their vehicles.
- A cyclist may hit another vehicle when the driver of that vehicle fails to watch the road attentively. Sometimes, a distracted driver might be fiddling with a GPS navigation system, sending a text message, listening to loud music in their vehicle, adjusting the radio, or turning their head to discipline a young child sitting in the back seat. Instead of watching the road, the driver might negligently cause their vehicle to swerve into another travel lane, causing an oncoming cyclist (who has the right-of-way) to hit their vehicle by accident.
- The other driver might also be speeding or violating another traffic law. Consequently, they may be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid a crash, or the cyclist (who has the right of way) may be unable to stop before hitting the other car.
- Similarly, another driver might fail to yield the right-of-way to a bicycle at a traffic intersection, causing the cyclist to hit the other vehicle.
- Finally, the other driver might be operating their vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances can alter a driver’s mental state, limit their concentration, delay their reflexes, and prevent them from stopping their vehicle in time to avoid a crash. Moreover, an intoxicated driver might veer off into another travel lane where an oncoming cyclist has the right of way. The cyclist may then inadvertently cause their bicycle to hit the other vehicle.
If you suffered injuries in a bicycle crash that another driver caused, you might be eligible for monetary damages. A skilled bicycle accident lawyer can review your individual circumstances with you and determine your eligibility for pursuing financial compensation. Your lawyer can then help you file a claim or lawsuit that seeks the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Elements of Negligence in a Bicycle Accident Claim?
In every bicycle accident claim or lawsuit, the crash victim has the legal burden of proof. Consequently, the injured cyclist must establish that another driver was negligent to recover monetary compensation and damages for their injuries. This process can often be an uphill battle, but it becomes much easier if you have a strong bicycle accident lawyer advocating for you at every stage of your legal proceedings.
First, a bicycle accident victim must establish that the other driver owed them a legal duty of care. This is the easiest element of a personal injury claim to satisfy since all drivers owe other vehicle operators, including bicyclists, a duty of reasonable care while on the road. Specifically, drivers must drive in a reasonably prudent, careful, and safe manner at all times.
Next, the bicycle accident victim must establish that the other driver violated their duty of care in one or more ways. For example, the other driver might have engaged in distracted driving or road rage. Alternatively, they might have violated one or more traffic laws or operated their vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Any of these negligent actions amount to a breach of the duty of care.
Next, the bicycle crash victim must establish that the other driver’s negligent actions or inactions were the actual and foreseeable cause of the traffic accident.
Finally, the bicycle accident victim must establish that as a direct result of the accident, they suffered at least one physical injury. To establish medical causation in a bicycle accident case, the accident victim or their lawyer may need to retain a qualified healthcare provider to testify during the case. A medical provider must establish, to a reasonable degree of medical probability, that the injuries are directly related to the accident. In addition, a medical provider can confirm that the accident victim’s injuries are permanent in nature.
Permanent injuries are those that are unlikely to get better as time progresses. Therefore, a bicycle rider who suffers a permanent injury in an accident may experience ongoing pain and lifelong complications.
A bicycle accident lawyer can help you satisfy your legal burden of proof and then pursue the monetary compensation you need for your injuries.
What Are Some Common Bicycle Accident Injuries?
Bicycle accidents, especially at high speeds, can lead to catastrophic injuries. The injuries that a bicycle accident victim suffers depend on various circumstances, including the size of the other vehicle, the force of the collision, and whether the cyclist falls off their bike during the crash. Moreover, if the cyclist is not wearing a helmet or other protective gear, they may suffer more serious injuries than they would have otherwise suffered.
Some common injuries that bicycle accident victims suffer include internal organ injuries, broken bones, rib fractures, crush injuries, road rash, spinal cord damage, paralysis, amputation of a limb or digit, traumatic head injuries, and death.
Before doing anything else after a bicycle accident, you should visit your local hospital emergency room for initial medical treatment. While there, the responding medical provider can examine you, order X-rays and MRIs, and diagnose your medical condition. If you need to undergo surgery or other time-sensitive medical procedure, you can do that while at the hospital. In addition, you may need to seek ongoing medical treatment after your initial hospital visit, depending on the extent of your injuries.
Failing to seek immediate medical treatment after a bicycle accident can be problematic. This is true even if your injuries do not appear all that serious. In some instances, relatively benign injuries can become much more severe the longer they go untreated.
Moreover, symptoms of some injuries, like soft tissue contusions and traumatic head injuries, do not always appear immediately. In fact, it might take days or even weeks for symptoms of those injuries to appear. Therefore, you are likely better off receiving prompt medical treatment after your bicycle accident.
If you do not seek prompt medical treatment after your accident, the insurance company may hold that fact against you when evaluating your case. Insurance company adjusters tend to believe that bicycle accident victims who delay their medical treatment do not suffer serious injuries in their accidents. Consequently, they may refuse to make a reasonable settlement offer.
While you continue receiving treatment for your bicycle-accident injuries, a bicycle accident lawyer can start advocating for you by gathering the necessary documentation in your case. Once you finish your medical treatment, your lawyer can file a personal injury claim on your behalf and begin settlement negotiations with the insurance company adjuster.
Recoverable Monetary Damages in a Bike Accident Case
Bicycle accident victims often suffer severe and catastrophic injuries. As a result, they may incur significant losses that affect every facet of their lives. In many cases, bicycle accident victims cannot work for a considerable period after their accident. In those situations, the accident victim can bring a lost wage claim by introducing documentation from their employer. This documentation must show the number of days they missed from work and the total amount of money they lost.
In addition, if an accident victim had to switch jobs or careers due to the injuries they suffered in their accident and took a significant pay cut, they may be eligible to assert a claim for loss of earning capacity.
In addition to economic damages, bicycle accident victims can recover non-economic damages for the intangible losses they suffered in their accidents. Although these damages are not measurable in exact dollars and cents, they may still amount to significant compensation.
Potential non-economic recovery in a bicycle accident case may include compensation for an accident victim’s inconvenience, mental distress, pain and suffering (both past and future), loss of spousal companionship, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of the ability to use a body part.
Bicycle accident victims can recover monetary damages through a favourable settlement or by litigating their cases in the court system. If the accident victim chooses litigation, they may obtain compensation through a favourable jury verdict or binding arbitration award. An experienced bike accident lawyer can help you maximize your total monetary recovery by zealously advocating for you during settlement negotiations and during litigation proceedings.
Call a Skilled Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near You Today
One of the best ways to increase your chances of recovering favorable monetary damages in your bicycle accident case is to retain skilled legal counsel to represent you at every stage of the legal proceedings. Remember, no matter how ironclad you think your case is, it is never a good idea to try to deal with an insurance company on your own.
Your lawyer can help you file your claim, negotiate with settlement adjusters, and litigate your case through the court system if you must take that step. In addition, your lawyer will represent you at all in-court proceedings and settlement negotiation sessions. Finally, your lawyer can help you make informed decisions in your case that will maximize the monetary compensation you ultimately recover.
Never wait to schedule a no-cost case evaluation with a bike accident lawyer to start protecting your rights. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by finding the right personal injury lawyer in Edmonton to help you with your claim.