Getting into a bicycle accident is a very traumatic experience. Even if you don’t receive a permanent disability, the recovery can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. While the insurance company may claim to be on your side, their goal is to reduce your claim as much as possible.
To pursue compensation from the driver responsible for your injuries, it’s best to speak with a qualified Colorado Springs bicycle accident lawyer. At McCormick & Murphy, P.C., we aggressively fight for our clients’ recovery and their right to ride.
Everything You Need to Know About Bicycle Accident Claims
If you get into a bicycle accident, chances are you have many questions about the claims process or don’t even know where to start. Whether you are just beginning your research or deciding whether to hire a Colorado Springs bicycle accident lawyer, here is everything you need to know about bicycle accident claims.
While the law expects motor vehicles to share the road with bicyclists, they often refuse to treat them with the same respect. In most cases, accidents happen due to the driver being negligent and disregarding the safety of the bicyclist. There are several ways that a driver may act negligently, including but not limited to:
- Opening doors in the bike lane,
- Driving while distracted or intoxicated,
- Not yielding to a cyclist’s right of way, and
- Turning without looking.
All these scenarios are especially dangerous for bicyclists because they frequently result in serious injury or death. This is why it’s important to seek the help of an experienced Colorado Springs bicycle accident lawyer after an accident.
Types of Injuries
Accidents between a bicycle and a motor vehicle tend to result in injury to the bicyclist involved. In addition, since there is little protection outside of pads and helmets, those injuries tend to be life-threatening. This includes injuries like:
- Road rash,
- Neck injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries, and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Unfortunately, many of these types of injuries result in lifelong disability or disfigurement. This means that the cyclist, especially if they suffer from paraplegia or quadriplegia, may be left with tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in future medical costs. Knowing this fact, our bike injury lawyers in Colorado Springs always keep future costs in mind when determining the value of your case.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
When you get into a bicycle accident, it may not always be possible to get the information you need due to your injuries. However, if you find yourself able to safely do so, you should collect as much evidence as you can at the scene. This evidence becomes a crucial part of your insurance claim and may help if your case goes to trial. At McCormick & Murphy, P.C., we highly recommend you take the following steps after an accident if possible.
1. Take videos and photographs of the scene
While it may not seem obvious at first, photo and video evidence helps show the seriousness of the accident and possibly determine the events leading up to it. Try to take pictures of any damage to your bicycle, the driver’s vehicle, and your injuries. Do not forget to get photos of any debris or tire marks on the road as well.
2. Collect the driver’s insurance details
Another important step to take after a bicycle accident is to ask for the driver’s insurance information. Since Colorado requires drivers to carry auto insurance, it’s important to know whether the driver has a policy. If they resist giving you information, tell the responding police officer. In some cases, the driver may be driving without insurance, which may change the claims process.
3. Get contact information from any potential witnesses
Since many bicycle accidents happen in urban areas, it’s common for other people to witness them. If anybody saw the accident, try to get their contact information and ask if they would be willing to give a statement. This testimony may be necessary to help show your side of the story.
4. Ask the responding police officer to file an official accident report
When the police show up at the scene, they may begin an investigation into the cause of the accident. They collect various information including the damage to the vehicles, the identifying information of each party involved, and the possible cause of the accident. This may be a boon for your case if it contains accurate information, so always ask the officer to create an accident report. Every department has its own process for doing this, so don’t be afraid to ask how to request one.
5. Get medical treatment
While it may be tempting to not seek medical treatment if your injury isn’t apparent, you should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. If you refuse medical treatment, the insurance company may use this as evidence of your injuries not being serious. By receiving medical treatment, you create a record of your injuries to use in your claim.
In Colorado, personal injury claimants may recover three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and exemplary. However, in most claims, economic (which includes an additional category of “physical impairment”) and non-economic damages make up a majority of the compensation.
Economic damages specifically refer to any tangible losses you have from the accident. In other words, these damages must have a standard economic cost that’s relatively easy to calculate. This includes things like medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and more.
Non-economic damages are different in that they cover subjective losses you experience as a result of the accident. Some examples would be: Did you have to go through significant pain during recovery? Do you still have pain? How significant is the pain? Do your injuries prevent you from enjoying previous hobbies? Have you suffered from mental anguish such as depression or other emotional injuries? Non-economic damages help cover these aspects of your case.
Exemplary damages, although rare, may be awarded by the court in certain circumstances. They aren’t meant to cover a loss but rather to punish the defendant if they acted exceptionally reckless or intentionally caused injury. As an example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, that would be a case where exemplary damages could be pursued.
Why Choose Our Colorado Springs Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Since 1995, McCormick & Murphy, P.C., has provided exceptional legal service to clients in Colorado Springs. With over 50 years of combined experience, our bicycle accident injury lawyers know how intimidating the claims process can be. That’s why we handle 100% of your case from the very beginning. This includes:
- Investigating the cause of the accident,
- Gathering necessary evidence,
- Calculating your damages,
- Negotiating with the insurance company,
- Defending any claims of shared fault,
- Hiring expert witnesses, and
- Representing you at trial if necessary.
We believe that you deserve to be compensated for current and future medical expenses as well as any suffering you go through as a result of your injuries. Our goal is to help ease the burden on you during recovery. In addition, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us nothing unless we win your case.
Contact Our Bicycle Crash Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, call McCormick & Murphy, P.C. One of our Colorado Springs bicycle accident lawyers will walk you through your legal options and fight for the compensation you need to recover. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call. We can answer any questions you may have about filing a bicycle accident claim in Colorado.