Bicycling is popular in Canada, and that means more potential for accidents with so many bicycles on the road,
In Canada, the number of residents using bicycles to commute nearly doubled over a 10-year period, according to the Canadian Automobile Association. The association also reports that an average of 74 Canadians die each year in cycling accidents, with 73% of those deaths involving collisions with motor vehicles.
Cyclists are more vulnerable in vehicle accidents because they are not as protected. With more exposure to injuries, cyclists should understand their rights to recover damages if they are involved in these accidents. An experienced personal injury lawyer can obtain a reasonable settlement for bicycle accident victims. They can ensure that cyclists are not hurt by insurance company efforts to avoid paying for damages, including:
- Denying claims
- Offering low settlements
- Dismissing injuries and property damage
- Intimidating cyclists who seek claims
- Using your statements against you
Cyclists who suffer injuries in accidents caused by negligent drivers can recover damages for medical services, bike repairs, lost wages, and other impacts.
When should a personal injury lawyer be contacted?
An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide advice early in the process. For this reason, it is important to contact a lawyer immediately after an accident so they can help make important decisions from the beginning of the claim and recovery process.
A reputable personal injury lawyer will not charge for an initial consultation, and many will only charge the client if they win the case. When a lawyer is hired early, they can protect your interests, help you avoid doing or saying something that impacts your rights, and makes it clear that you are serious about pursuing your claim.
An experienced personal injury lawyer ensures proper consideration is given to your:
- Medical costs, both existing and future
- Non-economic damages, such as loss of consortium and emotional distress
- Injury claim, including investigating the incident
- Negotiations with insurance companies and other parties
It is important not to discuss any aspects of your case or to sign anything with an insurance company without consulting a personal injury lawyer. You could jeopardize your case and make negotiations more difficult.
What should you look for in a personal injury lawyer after a bicycle accident?
Cyclists hiring a reputable personal injury lawyer after an accident should consider their experience and track record with such incidents. It is important that they specialize in this type of accident case because they are unique. Be wary of lawyers who promise quick cash settlements. An experienced lawyer will explain that such cases can take months, if not years, to conclude. But the goal is not a fast settlement; it’s a fair settlement.
You want a lawyer who is not afraid to take the case to trial if necessary. Their goal should be to obtain the highest and best settlement they can for you. Ask lawyers you talk to provide:
- Examples of similar cases they have handled
- References from prior clients
- Evidence of their track record in these cases
- Estimates on the time they will have to spend on the case
What should you do after a bicycle accident?
In addition to consulting with a personal injury lawyer, you should take the following steps after a bicycle accident:
- Contact police to file an accident report
- Obtain medical treatment as needed
- Share information with others involved in the accident
- Take photos of the accident scene, others involved in the accident, and any damage
- Save records relating to the accident and your expenses