Bicycling is a popular activity enjoyed by millions of people across the United States, offering a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around town. Unfortunately, sharing the road with motor vehicles can be dangerous, and bicycle accidents are all too common. In fact, each year, thousands of cyclists are injured or killed in collisions with cars and trucks.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Virginia bicycle accident, you may be struggling to deal with the aftermath. From physical injuries and emotional trauma to mounting medical bills and lost wages, the impact of a bike accident can be devastating.
In this page, you will learn about the types of injuries bicycle accident victims get, how to deal with the insurance company, and what you can expect to file a claim. If your questions aren’t answered here, you can contact the Parrish Law Firm for a FREE claim review with one of our experienced Virginia bicycle accident lawyers.
I founded the Parrish Law Firm to help Virginia accident victims overcome their challenges of their personal injury claim. As a former insurance company attorney, I know the tricks and tactics these companies use to minimize payouts, and I bring my knowledge to each case our firm takes.
My experienced legal team has a proven track record of success in representing Virginia bicycle accident victims. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to fight for your rights and help you secure the compensation you deserve.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycling is a wonderful form of transportation, but it also comes with risks. Bicycle accidents can happen in various ways, but the most common type of accident involves the rider losing control of the bike. Other crashes involve bicycles and motor vehicles, and approximately 96 percent of fatal bicycle accidents involve an automobile. Here are some types of bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles:
- Vehicle driver overtaking the bicyclist: In this scenario, the bicyclist is legally occupying the roadway and gets hit from behind by an overtaking vehicle.
- Driver merging to another lane: Bicycles and motorcycles are smaller, and a driver may not see the bicycle in their blind spot and merge before their way is clear. At high speeds, this can throw the bicyclist from the vehicle and cause major injuries.
- Improper turning: Drivers may make a left turn in front of a bicyclist, either because they didn’t see the smaller vehicle or because they underestimate the bicyclist’s speed. This can cause the bicyclist to collide with the car at high speeds and can cause broken bones, TBIs, and road scraping.
- Getting “doored”: Getting doored occurs when a driver parks their vehicle on the side of the street and opens their door without checking for bicyclists. The bicycle rider then collides with the open door, resulting in injuries such as broken bones, lacerations, or head trauma.
Bicyclists and motorcyclists have to be ultra-aware of other drivers on the road and give cars plenty of space. Unfortunately, not all accidents are unavoidable, and bicyclists are often the victims of accidents caused by a car, truck, or commercial vehicle.
Riders should take adequate steps to protect themselves on the road and always stick to the safest, least trafficked routes. Always wear protection while riding, and never ride too close to a vehicle. Make sure to add reflective tape and lights to your clothing and bicycle, and use all precautions even during the day or in sunny weather. Remember, not all drivers are looking out for bicyclists.
What to Do If You’re Involved in a Bicycle Accident
Bicycle accidents can be serious and potentially life-threatening. If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, it’s important to take the following steps to ensure your safety and protect your legal rights:
- Stay Calm and Check for Injuries: If you’re able to, stay calm and assess your injuries. Check yourself for any cuts, bruises, or broken bones. If you’re seriously injured, call for medical assistance immediately.
- Contact the Police: Call the police and report the accident. They will file a report and gather information from you, the other party involved, and any witnesses. Be sure to get a copy of the police report for your records.
- Seek Medical Attention: Even if you don’t feel injured, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as concussions or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent but can be life-threatening.
- Gather Evidence: Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to your bike, injuries, and the surrounding area. This evidence can be helpful in proving your case if you decide to pursue legal action.
- Notify Your Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company and report the accident. They will guide you through the claims process and help you understand your coverage.
- Consult with an Attorney: If you’ve been seriously injured or the other party involved is disputing fault, it may be necessary to consult with a personal injury attorney. They can help protect your legal rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Remember that as a bicyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. Drivers should respect your rights and be mindful of sharing the road and avoiding accidents, but it is also important to take the proper steps after an accident to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the care and compensation you deserve.
Virginia Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 571-229-1800
Who Is Liable for a Bicycle Accident in Virginia
In Virginia, liability for a bicycle accident depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Here are some common scenarios:
- Car Hits Bicyclist: If a car hits a bicyclist, the driver of the car is typically liable for the accident. Drivers have a duty to exercise reasonable care while operating their vehicle, and failing to do so can result in liability for any resulting injuries.
- Bicyclist Hits Car: If a bicyclist hits a car, the bicyclist may be liable for the accident. Bicyclists must also exercise reasonable care while on the road, and failing to do so can result in liability for any resulting injuries.
- Contributory Negligence: Virginia is a contributory negligence state, which means that if a bicyclist is found to be even 1% at fault for the accident, they may not be able to recover damages. This can make it more difficult for bicyclists to recover compensation, as they must prove that they were not at fault for the accident.
- Government Liability: If a bicycle accident is caused by a hazardous road condition, such as a pothole or uneven pavement, the government agency responsible for maintaining the road may be liable for the accident.
Determining liability for a bicycle accident can be complex, and it’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. An attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
What Types of Compensation Are Available After a VA Bicycle Accident?
Our law firm is often contacted by Virginia accident victims to estimate settlement values for their bicycle accident claims. The truth is, it’s hard to determine the exact amount someone will receive until settlement negotiations are complete. However, when I talk to callers during our FREE claim reviews, we cover all of the potential damages they could collect from their accident.
These damages can include medical expenses, compensation for lost wages if you had to miss work due to your injuries, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. Depending on the specific situation, there may be other damages that can be recovered as well. See below for an overview of bicycle accident damages.
- Medical Expenses: You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses related to your accident, including hospital bills, doctor visits, physical therapy, and other medical costs.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. This can include past and future earnings, as well as any benefits you may have lost.
- Pain and Suffering: You may be entitled to compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of the accident.
- Property Damage: If your bicycle or other personal property was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacement.
- Punitive Damages: In some cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious behavior, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When discussing a bicycle accident claim with potential clients, my goal is to help them understand what type of compensation they could expect from their case. It’s important for them to have realistic expectations and know that every case is different so it’s impossible to guarantee an outcome.
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Your First Steps after a Virginia Bicycle Accident
Most personal injury attorneys won’t say this, but not all bicycle accident claims would benefit from hiring a lawyer. If your injuries were minor and you recovered quickly, then you might save money by handling your car accident claim on your own.
All personal injury claims start with the same rough process, starting with the moments after an accident. You need to:
- Notify the Police of the Accident: Virginia law requires that the police are notified after any car accident with injuries and property damage.
- Exchange Information with the Other Driver: Get the car driver’s name, address, license number and insurance information. It will be very helpful to have this all in writing for later use.
- Seek Medical Treatment: If you have suffered any type of injury after an accident, your first priority is taking care of your health. Make sure you visit a doctor as soon as possible or as soon as needed after an accident and follow all their instructions or recommendations. This should be done BEFORE you contact a lawyer.
- Notify your Insurance Company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident to notify them of the incident. Provide them with any relevant information, such as the location of the accident, the name and contact information of the other party involved, and the extent of your injuries and damages.
- Get a FREE Claim Review with an Attorney:Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations for Virginia car accident victims. These consultations are typically a risk-free evaluation of your case, and the attorney will let you know if your case would benefit from the help of an attorney.
- Keep Records: Keep detailed records of all medical treatment you receive and any expenses you incur as a result of the accident. This includes hospital bills, doctor visits, medication costs, and any other expenses related to your recovery.
When to Hire an Attorney for Your Bicycle Accident Claim
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident and you’re not sure whether you need an attorney, here are some signs that it may be time to hire one:
- You’ve suffered serious injuries: If your injuries are severe or long-term, you may need an attorney to help you receive fair compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages.
- Liability is in question: If there is a dispute over who was at fault for the accident, an attorney can help gather evidence and argue your case in court.
- The insurance company is denying your claim: If the insurance company is refusing to offer you a fair settlement or denying your claim altogether, an attorney can help negotiate on your behalf and represent you in court if necessary. However, since most attorneys offer free consultations, you should speak with an attorney after any accident involving injuries before trying to negotiate with the insurance company.
If you’re unsure whether you need an attorney for your bicycle accident claim, it’s always a good idea to consult with one. Our law firm offers FREE claim reviews for any Virginia bicycle accident victim.
What Can you Expect When You Hire the Parrish Law Firm
I could tell you the same things other law firms will tell you. “The experienced attorneys of the Parrish Law Firm are here to provide compassionate care and aggressive help for your case..,” but I’d rather you make that judgment yourself.
If you’ve been involved in a Virginia bicycle accident, you can call us or fill out our contact form to request a 100% FREE claim review with one of our attorneys. We can talk over the details of your case and discuss your best course of action.