While it's tempting to try to save money and settle the claim on your own, hiring an attorney has more to do with the severity of your injuries and the resulting need for compensation. If you were injured in a bike accident caused by a negligent driver, you could have suffered serious injuries even if the vehicle was traveling at a slow speed. Some of these injuries may not present in full form until days or even weeks later.
If this happens, your health and financial stability could be compromised.
How to Decide When You Need an Attorney in Your Bicycle Accident Case
In limited circumstances, you may be able to handle settlement of the claim on your own. If the accident caused only damage to your bike or you suffered a cut or stitches, and the insurance company agrees to pay for your costs, you can probably complete your settlement without an attorney.
However, in other cases, you would be at a serious disadvantage if you don't retain an experienced bicycle accident attorney. Here's why you may need professional help:
- Your injuries were serious enough that EMT arrived on the scene and transported you by ambulance to the hospital.
- You were off work because of your injuries for one week or more.
- You have injuries that are limiting your activities or ability to work.
- Your injuries are serious enough to require follow-up medical treatment or surgery.
- You were knocked unconscious and are exhibiting symptoms of a concussion or traumatic brain injury.
- Someone died in the accident.
- The insurance company denied your claim, or is offering less than what you believe is rightful compensation.
Benefits of Hiring a Bike Accident Attorney
Even if you were clearly the victim in a bicycle accident, you must prove the driver’s negligence and your right to compensation. It takes someone with legal experience to handle this process effectively. Benefits of retaining an attorney include:
- Free consultation. Many bicycle accident attorneys offer a free, no-obligation consultation that allows you to get an understanding of your legal options and how the firm can help you.
- Claim evaluation. An attorney can investigate your bike accident to prove the driver’s negligence and obtain documentation regarding your injuries. Once he has this information, he can evaluate the value of your claim based on his experience successfully handling other cases like yours and the strengths and weaknesses of your claim.
- Settlement negotiation. The insurance adjuster for the negligent driver won't be looking out for your interests and may try to deny or reduce your claim, even if its insured’s fault is obvious. An experienced attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement for what you deserve, or file a lawsuit if the insurance company will not be reasonable.
- Few require up-front payment. Most attorneys take these cases on a contingency basis, which means you pay for the majority of services through a percentage of your settlement only if he or she is able to settle the claim or win the case at trial.
If you or a family member was injured in a bike accident, let us help fight to obtain the compensation you're entitled to from the negligent driver’s insurance company. Call our office today to schedule a free case consultation.