Like motorcyclists and pedestrians, bicycle riders have little protection in an accident scenario. With the possible exception of their helmets (that may crack in a forceful collision), a bicycle rider has no barrier between their head and the ground in an accident.
Suppose they strike their head on the ground with much force. In that case, they are likely to suffer debilitating and sometimes fatal head injuries, including concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
In addition to getting the medical treatment you need immediately after a bicycle accident – and following through with that treatment – you need to contact a local Tulsa bicycle accident attorney as quickly as possible.
Your attorney can handle the legal components of your case while you attend medical appointments and undergo necessary medical treatment. Moreover, your lawyer can negotiate with insurance company representatives and pursue litigation options if the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly.
Unlike the insurance company, your attorney will advocate in your corner throughout the proceedings and work to maximize your total settlement award or litigation result in your case.
Successfully Proving a Bicycle Accident Claim or Lawsuit
First, you must show that the other driver owed you a duty of reasonable care. This legal element is fairly easy to establish since motorists owe bicycle riders a duty to drive responsibly and safely under the circumstances. They also must follow all local traffic laws and regulations.
Next, you must establish that the at-fault driver deviated from the standard of care by acting unreasonably. For example, the driver might have engaged in distracted driving, road rage, or intoxicated driving. Finally, you must show that the other driver’s negligence brought about the bicycle accident as well as your head injury.
A bicycle accident lawyer in your area can introduce documents and other evidence to satisfy these legal elements in your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Some of the most important types of evidence in a bicycle accident case that involve a head injury include:
- Witness statements
- Police report that a responding police officer prepares after the accident
- Medical treatment records (including medical reports, procedure reports, and physical therapy reports)
- Medical bills
- Surveillance footage showing the accident
It is also a good idea to keep a detailed journal documenting the overall effects of the accident on your daily life. This personal account can be compelling evidence when establishing the non-economic damages associated with your accident.
Finally, if your bicycle, clothing, or other personal items sustained damage in the accident, you should preserve them as evidence. These items may be subject to inspection to determine the force of impact and further substantiate your claims.
Seeking experienced and compassionate legal counsel is often crucial in navigating the complexities of a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit.
An experienced bike accident attorney can guide you throughout the legal process, handle all correspondence with insurance company representatives on your behalf, and pursue the financial compensation you deserve.
How Can a Lawyer Help Following a Bicycle Crash?
If you or someone you love suffered a head injury in a bicycle accident, an experienced bicycle accident attorney can be an invaluable help. Their experience extends beyond legal guidance, encompassing a range of services aimed at securing compensation for injuries (both physical and emotional), property damage, and other losses incurred during a bicycle accident.
First, bicycle accident lawyers possess in-depth knowledge of personal injury laws and regulations that apply to their jurisdiction. They can guide accident victims through the complexities of the legal system, helping them understand their rights, potential avenues for compensation, and the steps involved in pursuing a successful personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Next, an experienced bicycle accident lawyer may conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence supporting the accident victim’s case. This includes obtaining copies of police reports, collecting written eyewitness statements, analyzing medical records, and assessing the accident scene.
An experienced bicycle accident attorney can also help the accident victim satisfy the liability element of their case. Bicycle accident lawyers assess the incident’s circumstances to determine who is at fault. This process may involve reviewing applicable traffic laws, analyzing the other driver’s actions (or inactions), and consulting with accident reconstruction specialists, if necessary.
Following a bicycle collision, dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as their primary goal is often to minimize monetary payouts to accident victims. However, a skilled bicycle accident lawyer will advocate for the accident victim, negotiating with insurance companies to secure fair and just compensation that makes them whole again.
A knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer may also assist in evaluating the full extent of damages the accident victim suffered. These damages may include medical expenses, property damage, lost income, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
During bicycle accident litigation, an experienced attorney can file legal documents, such as complaints and motions, on the accident victim’s behalf and prepare the accident victim for various court proceedings, including depositions and civil jury trials.
A lawyer can also represent the accident victim during various legal proceedings that take place in their case, including settlement conferences, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings like mediation or arbitration, and trial.
From investigation to negotiation and, if necessary, trial advocacy, an experienced bicycle accident attorney will work diligently to secure the best possible outcome in your case, either through a favorable settlement offer from the insurance company or litigation result in the court system.
What Happens During Bicycle Accident Litigation?
Bicycle accident cases typically proceed to litigation when settlement negotiations are not fruitful or where the at-fault party’s insurance company denies liability (or fault) for the accident.
Litigating a bicycle accident case in court involves a structured legal process to determine liability and seek compensation for injuries and damages.
Some of the most important steps during litigation include:
- Filing the Complaint – The litigation process begins with filing a legal document called a Complaint. This document outlines the details of the bicycle accident, the head injuries and other injuries claimed, and the legal basis for seeking monetary compensation. The defendant (i.e., the negligent party or their insurance company) responds to the Complaint following service.
- Discovery – This bicycle accident litigation stage involves exchanging information between both parties. Discovery may include Interrogatories (written questions), requests for documents, and depositions (sworn statements made outside of court). Discovery aims to acquire all relevant facts and evidence that the trial will present.
- Pre-trial motions – During bicycle accident litigation, attorneys may file motions to address specific legal issues before trial. For example, a motion for summary judgment may request the judge to rule on certain aspects of the case without going to trial.
- Settlement Negotiations – Before trialing the bicycle accident case, there is often a push for settlement. With their attorneys’ guidance, both parties may engage in ongoing settlement negotiations to reach a favorable resolution. Settlements can save time and additional litigation expenses (such as expert witness fees)
- Trial preparation – The attorneys will prepare for trial if the parties do not reach a settlement. This process involves strategizing, gathering and organizing evidence, identifying witnesses, and formulating legal arguments.
- Jury selection – In bicycle accident cases involving a jury, attorneys will participate in selecting jurors through a process called voir dire. This process ensures an impartial jury and a fair trial.
- Opening statements – Attorneys present their opening statements, outlining the case’s key points and what they intend to prove during the trial. However, opening statements are not evidence in the case.
- Presentation of evidence – During a bicycle accident trial, both parties will present evidence, including testimony from witnesses (including expert witnesses), documents, expert opinions, and any relevant exhibits.
- Closing arguments – During closing arguments, the attorneys will summarize their case, emphasizing key points and urging the jury or judge to rule in their favor. Like opening statements, closing arguments are not evidence in the case.
- Verdict – The jury or judge deliberates and issues a verdict, determining whether the defendant is liable and, if so, the amount of compensation the bicycle accident victim is eligible to receive for their head injury.
Litigating a bicycle accident case in court is a meticulous process that requires legal experience, thorough preparation, and effective presentation of evidence to achieve a favorable outcome for the injured accident victim.
Maximizing Financial Compensation for Head Injuries in a Bicycle Accident
In a bicycle accident case, monetary damages aim to compensate the injured victim for the losses incurred in the collision.
Some of the most common types of monetary damages that an injured bicycle accident victim can recover include payment for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering (both current and anticipated)
- Property damage
- Loss of the ability to use a body part
- Permanent cognitive impairments
- Permanent physical or mental disabilities
In cases where the at-fault party’s actions are especially reckless or intentional, the bicycle accident victim may be eligible for punitive damages, depending upon the jurisdiction. These damages aim to punish the defendant at fault and discourage similar behavior in the future.
Moreover, if a bicycle accident results in a fatality, the surviving family members may pursue wrongful death damages. These damages can include compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of the decedent’s financial support, and compensation for the emotional impact of losing a loved one.
Understanding the various types of available monetary damages is crucial when seeking compensation after a bicycle accident. A skilled bicycle accident lawyer in your area can help assess the specific damages applicable to your case and work to secure a fair and comprehensive settlement on your behalf.
Speak with a Knowledgeable Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a person you love recently sustained injuries in a bicycle accident that a negligent driver or someone else caused, you need to consult with a bike accident lawyer in your area right away.
Tulsa personal injury lawyers can promptly investigate your accident circumstances, file a legal claim on your behalf, and negotiate for the settlement compensation you deserve.
If litigation becomes necessary in your bicycle accident case, your lawyer can represent you during all legal proceedings and work to maximize the compensation you recover for your head injury.