In these times of going “green” and staying healthy, riding your bike to work is more popular now than ever before. Sadly, a lot of drivers on the road don’t always pay attention to bicycles, and the services of bicycle injury lawyers are called on more than you might think. If you are the victim of a cycling injury in Richmond, VA, that was due to someone else’s negligence, contact a Richmond bike accident attorney at CAIL for a FREE case evaluation.
People drive too fast and don’t always check for other traffic. They certainly don’t look carefully enough. The scary thing is that most bicycle accidents involve a bike and a car. It doesn’t take a physics major to identify the problem here. A machine weighing thousands of pounds striking a person on a bicycle can be devastating to the bicyclist. There is nothing protecting the cyclist other than a helmet, and the injuries can be life-threatening.
If you are involved in a bicycle accident, you are going to need an attorney. After you get medical treatment, you should call one right away. There are things you need to do to protect your rights and an experienced bicycle accident attorney will do just that.
Who do I File a Claim Against?
If you are in a bike accident, you are most likely going to be injured. Chances are, these injuries will be serious, and you’ll need one of our bike accident attorneys to stand up for you. You will also need to file a claim against the driver’s insurance company and maybe file a suit against the driver, as well as anyone else who may have been involved.
Our attorneys will review your case. They will help decide which parties you must pursue. You may need to file claims against more than just the driver. Here are a few people your personal injury attorney will consider filing a claim against:
- The driver of the car involved in the accident
- The city if the streets were not maintained properly
- The bike manufacturer if it was defective
- Your employer if you use a bicycle as part of your job
- Any party that impeded traffic (crowded corner restaurant, etc.)
When you think about it, it all depends on the situation. Each bicycle accident is unique. Your attorney needs to look at the big picture. There may be multiple parties responsible for your injuries. We will consider them all and seek your opinion on this decision.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Bike Accidents?
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you only have a certain amount of time to file suit. The statute of limitations in Virginia is only two (2) years. This means you need to file suit against the guilty party within two years. The two years starts on the date of the accident. There are no extensions or excuses.
The unique thing about bicycle accident insurance is that car drivers are required to carry auto insurance, while bicyclists are not required to carry insurance. This is because they don’t cause a great risk. The odds of a bike hurting someone are quite small. So, therefore, bicycle riders don’t have to carry insurance.
The insurance issue can be very important. If you are hurt by someone without insurance, you have nowhere to turn. If the driver is uninsured, you can’t file a claim against his insurance. Normally, this would mean you would file a claim under your own uninsured motorists’ policy. As a bicycle rider, however, you don’t have this policy.
If you are injured by an uninsured motorist, you will have to file suit against him directly. You will need to do this within two years. Keep in mind, you may win a very large judgment against him. However, this doesn’t mean you will be able to collect on it. Collecting on a judgment is not always easy.
You will want a bicycle accident attorney to handle this for you. They will try to settle the case with the other driver, however, they may have to go after the other party’s wages and bank accounts.
How to help your bicycle attorney fight your case
In a perfect world, if you were hurt in a bicycle accident, you would call an attorney. You would ask that attorney to fight your case. He would hang up and call three months later with a settlement offer. It doesn’t work like this in real life. In real life, your bicycle accident lawyer will need some help from you.
When you have your initial consultation with the lawyers at CAIL, you will want to bring some information. Here is a short list of what your attorney will need from you:
- Copy of police report
- Copy of accident report
- Other driver’s insurance information
- Contact info for driver and eyewitnesses
- Medical documentation
- Paystub and tax returns for the last 3 years
- Pictures of the scene and your injuries
Your lawyer needs as much information up-front as possible. This will help to determine what parties to pursue on your behalf. If the pictures show large potholes, perhaps you can file a claim against the city. If the other driver was driving a bus, you may have a commercial claim.
Your bike accident lawyer doesn’t want to do extra work. If he files suit against the driver and later finds out the driver worked for a company, he’ll have to refile his suit. Provide all of this information at the beginning and you won’t waste time and resources.
Contact a Richmond lawyer
There are about 800 bicycle accidents every year in Virginia. About 10-15% of these take place near Richmond. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, contact a lawyer in Richmond, Virginia immediately. The initial consultation is free. You pay nothing until you win your case. Call CAIL now and schedule your consultation. We will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Our experienced lawyers at CAIL have decades of experience. We have handled all types of personal injury cases, and we have seen our fair share of bicycle accidents so we know what it takes to win a bicycle accident case. If you are the victim of a bicycle accident, speak to one of our attorneys for a FREE consultation.