Pandemic-induced changes have become the “new normal,” but some are very positive. For instance, statistics reveal that bike riding has increased by about 12% in 2020.
There are many reasons why more people are riding bikes. From saving the environment to staying healthy, the list goes on. What’s important to note, though, is that those bike riders must share the road with motorists.
Motorists have an obligation to watch out for bicyclists on the road. When an accident does happen, a bicycle accident claim often ensues.
If you’re in the process of a bicycle accident claim, then you might be wondering if you should hire a bike accident lawyer. Read on to learn the tell-tale signs that reveal you need an attorney’s expertise.
You Were Injured in a Bicycle Accident
The first sign that you might need a lawyer is that you got hurt in your accident. While you might have initially thought you were okay, the reality of your accident may be setting in.
A bicycle versus vehicle accident can lead to serious injuries. You need to get a medical exam after the crash to check for injuries like:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Road rash
- Internal bruising
- Broken bones
Any of these injuries can result in medical bills. You might want to explore your legal options to recover these losses.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a case to pursue compensation for medical bills.
Your Losses Are Adding Up Quickly
Depending on the extent of your injury, you may incur expenses quickly.
Your injury might prevent you from going back to work right away. It could lead to lost wages and long-term problems with your projected career path.
In addition, your bike may have sustained damage or may need to be replaced. All these losses might start to accumulate.
In that case, it’s best to start researching bike accident lawyers in your area.
Your Recovery Will Take Time
Will recovering from your injuries take a while? If so, then your losses might extend for the duration of your recovery period.
If that’s the case, then it makes sense to hire a lawyer. A good lawyer can work towards getting your compensation so that you can focus on healing.
What’s more, a lawyer can help speed up your claim by using their expertise to file ASAP. They will also help compile all the evidence you need to prove your injuries and losses.
This strong evidence could lead to a settlement before you even make it to court!
You Need Help With the Legalities of Your Case
You might believe your accident was straightforward, but bike claims can get complex. Even if you feel like you have an open-and-shut case, the law can get complicated quickly.
For instance, your crash may involve multiple parties. More than one person could be considered at fault. It also might be difficult to put a monetary value on long-term losses like an inability to return to your dream career.
A lawyer can deal with the legalities of your claim so that you don’t have to. Your lawyer will know the ins and outs of the law in your area.
You Know You Were Not at Fault
In general, both bicyclists and motorists have a duty to care for one another. Both must share the road with each other and remain vigilant while traveling.
California courtrooms operate on an at-fault basis. In other words, whichever driver caused the crash will get held liable for the financial losses associated with the injury.
California is also a pure comparative fault state, though. This means that you can still seek out compensation even if you were 99% at fault for the accident. The other driver might still be 1% liable.
Your Insurance Company Doesn’t Have Your Back
Car insurance is mandatory in California. As a driver, you likely believe you pay all that money to your insurance for protection. You expect to get taken care of in the event of an accident.
Unfortunately, the insurance company usually doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
In many situations, the other party’s losses might exceed your policy limits. Your insurance might even outright deny your claim.
If you get pushback, then don’t make the mistake of thinking you have no recourse. A good lawyer can help you challenge your insurance and make them pay what they should.
You Are Running Out of Time
Another clear sign you need the help of a California bike accident lawyer is that your claim has stalled. If time is going by without action, then that’s not good for your case.
For one thing, investigators need to gather various types of evidence in a timely fashion. If they don’t, then some forms of evidence will disappear completely.
Surveillance footage, for instance, often gets deleted if it isn’t deemed important.
Don’t let time slip by. If too much time passes, then you’ll give up your right to seek compensation. You have two years from the time your injury becomes apparent to seek out compensation.
A Lawyer Can Resolve Your Bicycle Accident Claim
It’s possible to handle a bicycle accident claim on your own, but it won’t be easy. The more complex your situation is, the more challenging your claim will be.
If you’re experiencing any of the scenarios above, it makes sense to hire a bike accident attorney. Securing the right Fontana bike accident lawyer can help you seek justice.
Are you currently considering filing a claim? Our experienced bicycle accident attorneys can help you determine if you have a case. Contact the Fontana Injury Law Group to learn more about your legal options.