Bike accidents can be very serious because cyclists have very little protecting them from the hard surface of the road and the vehicles that hit them. Even when cyclists are wearing helmets, grave injuries may result from a collision involving a car, truck, SUV or motorcycle.
Recovery time following the injuries typically suffered in bike accidents can be months and sometimes years. During that time, bike accident victims may rack up a lot of medical bills lost wages, and other expenses they will not be able to manage. If you’re considering filing a bike accident claim, an attorney like those at Wood Law Firm LLP can explain in more detail what compensation you might qualify for. First, however, let’s take a look at typical bike claim damages.
Medical Damages: Even if health insurance covers some of your medical bills, you may be entitled to compensation for medical procedures, hospital bills, doctors’ visits, physical therapy, and any equipment you may need during the recuperation process. If you were seriously injured and lost a limb or are confined to a wheelchair, you may have ongoing medical expenses. Your bike accident attorney will gather your medical information to present the value of your claim to the defendant’s insurance adjuster and/or legal team.
Lost Wages: It was pointed out earlier that serious bike accidents can result in long periods of recovery because the cyclist is unprotected. While you’re in a hospital, rehabilitation center or home focusing on your recovery, working to get stronger, and trying to resume a degree of normalcy in your life, you are entitled to payment for lost wages. You and your attorney will provide evidence to prove that you have been unable to work and show how much money has been lost due to your inability to perform your job.
Lost Earning Capacity: Permanent injuries and impairments like a traumatic brain injury (TBI) will result in lost earning capacity, which is simply future lost wages. If your physical abilities have been forever altered by the bike accident, you may be entitled to lose earning capacity damages.
An extreme case of this would be a professional baseball player who is injured so badly in a bike accident that his arm must be amputated. His lost earning capacity may be calculated in the millions of dollars because his career as a professional baseball player was cut short by someone else’s mistake. If the ability to earn has been taken from you, you may be entitled to lose earning capacity damages.
Pain and Suffering: The trauma you’ve suffered due to the bike accident is worth monetary compensation, and if your injuries are catastrophic results in a lower quality of life than you’ve been accustomed to, you may be entitled to pain and suffering damages. While medical damages and lost wages can be nailed down to an exact dollar amount, pain and suffering are more subjective and the ultimate value may depend on how effectively your attorney presents your case – initially to the insurance company in settlement negotiations and, if necessary, to the jury.
BIKE ACCIDENTS STATS
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bike accident injuries and fatalities are both on the rise:
- Bicyclist deaths in 2006: 772
- Bicyclist deaths in 2015: 818 (6% increase in almost-ten-year period)
- Estimated bicyclist injuries in 2006: 44,000
- Estimated bicyclist injuries in 2015: 45,000
- The average age of bicyclists killed in crashes is increasing
- 88% of cyclists killed in crashes are male
- 71% of bike fatalities occur in urban areas of the country
- 20% of fatalities occur between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:59 p.m.
- 29% of bike injuries and deaths are caused by a cyclist being hit by a vehicle
One of our attorneys would be happy to meet with you. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and will listen to the details of your bike accident and advise you on how best to proceed with your claim.