Cycling has a lot of inherent benefits. This popular mode of transportation is a great form of exercise, helps avoid traffic jams, and can significantly cut back on fuel costs. However, sharing the road with motor vehicles is often perilous.
If you’re in a bicycle accident, an expert attorney can help you get coverage for your medical costs and loss of income. Here are five reasons to hire a bicycle lawyer, if you get in a cycling accident.
Thorough Knowledge of the Law
A personal injury attorney who specializes in cycling accidents will have an in-depth knowledge of the local traffic laws. As each state treats cyclists a little differently, it’s valuable to have someone on your side who knows the local nuances.
Skilled bicycle accident lawyers will quickly be able to determine whether or not you have a case. Rather than deciding for yourself – with likely no prior legal knowledge – it’s worth reaching out to an expert for a consultation.
Ability to Evaluate Non-Driver Charges
When most cyclists think of a bicycle accident case, they tend to think of a motor vehicle collision. However, there are many other types of accidents that can create the foundation for legal proceedings.
For example, an unmarked pothole in a bike lane could cause an accident and damage your bike, or, someone leaving things extended onto a sidewalk could also cause an accident. Additionally, if your bike malfunctioned, you could have a case against the manufacturer.
There are a lot of variables that could result in having an accident, beyond getting hit by a driver. A bicycle accident lawyer can look at the scene and find the right course of action.
Best Chance at Getting Compensation
If you get in a cycling accident with a vehicle, there’s a good chance you’ll sustain some kind of injury. Furthermore, your bike could be completely destroyed. As many cyclists spend thousands of dollars on their bikes, this can be a significant financial loss.
Working with an attorney is the best possible way to get compensation for your injuries and damages. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to work, processing PTSD from your accident, and facing unforetold medical bills. Hiring a lawyer isn’t about profiting from your accident — it’s about protecting your health and financial well-being.
Help with Unclear Fault Cases
Everyone makes mistakes, even the most vigilant cyclists. So what happens when the accident has unclear blame or shared fault? For example, if you missed checking your blind spot and got sideswiped by a vehicle while changing lanes. If this is the case, an attorney can help protect your best interests and possibly get you a percentage of the settlement.
Depending on what transpired, the settlement may not be as much as if the accident was completely the other person’s fault. However, it’s a case of something is better than nothing. Your attorney will help negotiate on your behalf to minimize your financial risk.
Lack of Insurance on Bicycles
Finally, while most drivers are required to have insurance on their motor vehicles, few cyclists have insurance on their bikes. While there are certain auto insurance policies that offer coverage, it is usually an additional requested supplement, rather than one that is written into the original policy.
In the event of an accident, a driver will have an insurance company fighting against you to protect their client. Hiring an attorney can help you put a protective barrier in front of yourself, and then can handle communications on your behalf. By doing so, you mitigate the risk of saying the wrong thing or accepting a settlement below what you deserve.
Remember to practice safe cycling while on the road to reduce the risk of an accident. If you do get in an accident, however, have someone document the scene and seek medical help immediately.