A bicycle accident can be hard to recover from, but clients are able to go through the claims process after and seek compensation. Unfortunately, there are several misconceptions that can hinder individuals from seeking rightful compensation and navigating the legal system effectively. Here are four common misconceptions about bicycle accident claims:
Insurance is not necessary for cyclists:
One of the most significant misconceptions is that cyclists don’t need insurance since they’re not operating a motor vehicle. However, cyclists should strongly consider having insurance coverage, such as personal injury protection (PIP) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In cases where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, having proper insurance can be crucial in covering medical expenses and damages. Additionally, some insurance policies might cover bicycle-related accidents even if you weren’t directly hit by a vehicle, such as if you swerved to avoid a collision and fell. It is always best to seek the advice of a reputable bicycle accident lawyer like one from the Law Firm of Edward Blinder, PLLC so that you can get the best legal advice.
Not pursuing a claim if there are no visible injuries:
Many cyclists assume that if they don’t experience immediate and visible injuries after an accident, they shouldn’t bother pursuing a claim. However, some injuries, like soft tissue injuries or concussions, might not manifest symptoms right away. It’s vital to seek medical attention promptly after an accident, even if injuries seem minor, to ensure any potential issues are documented. If victims delay medical help, their condition can not only worsen but they may not be able to get the highest compensation amount. Insurance companies and legal representatives will often look for medical records and professional evaluations to assess the extent of injuries and their connection to the accident.
Blaming the cyclist by default:
One unfortunate misconception is that cyclists are often to blame for accidents involving vehicles. While it’s true that some cyclists might engage in risky behaviors like running red lights or not following traffic rules, not all accidents are the cyclist’s fault. Many accidents occur due to negligent driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, speeding, or failing to yield the right of way. It’s important to gather evidence and witness statements to establish the actual cause of the accident. If the motorist is the one at fault, cyclists can have a valid claim and fight for the compensation they deserve to cover their losses.
Settling quickly is the best option:
It is common for many victims to feel pressure and accept a settlement as soon as they can. This can be a major mistake. Insurance companies often make lowball settlement offers early in the process, hoping that the victim will accept a smaller payout to avoid a lengthy legal battle. It’s essential to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in bicycle accidents before accepting any settlement offer. An attorney can assess the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and future medical needs, to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Understanding the complexities of bicycle accident claims can help cyclists make informed decisions and protect their rights. Dismissing the need for insurance, not pursuing claims without visible injuries, assuming blame automatically falls on the cyclist, and rushing into settlements are all common misconceptions that can harm a victim’s ability to receive fair compensation. Find out how a skilled lawyer can assist you if you are needing assistance following a serious bicycle accident.