Bicycle accidents are frequent in Virginia Beach. Everyone promotes bike riding as a solution to escape the crowded traffic and reduce pollution. It is also a great way to enjoy the beautiful local landscapes. Unfortunately, it seems these beautiful landscapes are distracting, and enjoying them is dangerous. Many of the accidents in town occurred on the Oceanfront and the streets leading to it. Pacific Avenue, 16th Street, and Virginia Beach Boulevard often make the news. At CAIL, we often receive inquiries from clients needing a bicycle accident attorney. Some cases involve serious injuries, like internal injuries, traumatic brain injury, and spine injuries.
Some of our clients contact us right from the accident scene. Others turn to us when they realize how difficult it is to obtain compensation from insurance companies. We gladly help everyone as soon as we can. If we cannot get to a client immediately, we guide them from a distance. Here is some advice to guide you until you speak to a Virginia Beach bike accident attorney.
Basic Tips for Those Who Do Not Have a Virginia Beach Bicycle Attorney to Assist Them
1. Always Undergo a Medical Examination
In the first minutes after the accident, you may feel fine. Not having broken bones and not bleeding heavily does not mean you were not hurt. You probably do not feel the pain due to the adrenaline rush. You could have internal injuries, traumatic brain injury, whiplash, or back injuries.
If you do not see a doctor and the injuries get worse, the aggravation will be your responsibility. Therefore, undergoing a preventive medical examination is a much more convenient alternative. In the best case scenario, the doctor will confirm that you are not hurt.
2. Gather Evidence from the Scene
The law gives you the right to recover your losses (medical expenses, bike damage, and more). However, you need to prove how the accident occurred and what consequences it had. Photos, video recordings, and witness testimonies help. They are best gathered from the accident scene. The sooner, the better.
Also, do not forget about the contact and insurance data of all the parties involved. You need to know against whom to file the compensation claim. You also need the contact data of the witnesses, in case your claim ends up in court. If the accident had multiple victims, you may want to join your efforts in a common case.
3. Think Twice Before Saying or Signing Anything
Confused, in pain, worried, or glad you escaped in one piece, you are vulnerable to mistakes. The most serious ones you can make refer to apologies, fault admission, and right waivers. Never apologize, admit fault, or sign agreements.
It is better to focus on getting a Virginia Beach bicycle accident lawyer to assist you. The latter will review your case and help you make the best decisions. To obtain compensation for your injuries, you will need to prove your status as a victim. Any percentage of contributory negligence could cost you your right to compensation.
If you are worried that you may share fault for your crash, consult a bicycle accident attorney. They will review your case details and explain Virginia bike laws to you. They will tell you exactly what your options are and what to expect. Until then, an overview of the main Virginia bike laws may help.
Laws a Virginia Beach Bike Accident Attorney May Review with Their Clients
Virginia bicyclists have to obey the laws referring to motor vehicles unless otherwise specified. Several law sections, mentioned below, refer specifically to bicyclists. According to the Virginia Code § 46.2-1015, bikes need to be equipped with a:
- Front white light for night use, visible from a minimum of 500 feet in good weather
- Rear red reflector visible at night from a minimum of 600 feet to cars with the low beam on
- Red taillight visible from minimum 500 feet at night, when riding on highways with a 35mph speed limit
Section § 46.2-1066 imposes brakes that allow the bike to skid on dry, even, clean pavement. Although helmets are not mandatory, it helps your case if you were wearing one. Other law stipulations to keep in mind are sections § 46.2-906 and § 46.2-1078.
The former prohibits riding with packages or articles that prevent you from holding the handlebars. It also prohibits carrying passengers on bikes that were not designed for this purpose. The law allows carrying children younger than 6 in dedicated seats of trailers. Section § 46.2-1078 prohibits riding a bike on Virginia highways with headphones on both ears.
If you were violating any of these laws during your crash, you should consult a bicycle accident attorney. The insurer will most likely try to use this as an excuse to avoid paying the compensation you deserve. They may succeed, as, in Virginia, contributory negligence cancels the right to compensation. Hopefully, that is not your case.
With the help of an experienced Virginia Beach bicycle accident lawyer, you may recover:
- Bicycle repair or replacement costs and any other property damage (smartphone, watch, etc.)
- Medical expenses (doctor consultations, exams, blood tests, surgery, medication, etc.)
- Recovery costs (physical and psychological therapy, home care, etc.)
- Disability adjustments, if necessary (wheelchair, home ramps, and support bars)
- Lost earnings and earning capacity
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment and consortium
Of course, you will need relevant evidence for each type of loss you claim. To make sure you have it or gather whatever is missing, you should consult a bike accident attorney. They can evaluate your claim and take over the preparation, submission, and negotiation process.
Get the Compensation You Deserve with the Help of a Virginia Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Dealing with paperwork and following procedures can be challenging after a bike accident. At Commonwealth Accident Injury Law, we know that better than anyone. We are ready to help, and we can put an entire team and extensive resources in your service. Schedule a consultation at our office online or by calling 1-800-HURT-123! Our Virginia Beach bicycle accident attorney will help you with everything you need.