If you were involved in a bicycle accident, chances are you are dealing with serious, expensive injuries, likely with no idea how you will pay for them. Fortunately, you have someone in your corner who can help you get the money you need to pay for those injuries and any other accident-related costs. A bicycle accident lawyer in Haymarket, VA is here to fight for you.
Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation: 571-229-1800.
Call Us Before You Speak with an Insurance Adjuster
A claims adjuster may have already contacted you for statements and medical records. Do not agree to a recorded statement and do not release your medical records before speaking to a lawyer. Insurance companies are often eager to settle a case and close their file far short of their claims reserve. (A claims reserve is money that the insurance company has set aside for the eventual payment of your claim.)
To pay less than their claims reserve, insurance companies often use specific tactics to reduce your settlement or deny your claim entirely. These often include:
Getting You to Admit Fault
You would never admit to something you did not do, right? Well, when dealing with an insurance adjuster, it is rarely that easy. The insurer adjuster can use something as innocuous as apologizing for the accident as an admission of fault.
If the insurance adjuster finds you even partially at-fault, recovering the compensation you deserve can seem impossible.
Claiming You Are Exaggerating or Falsifying Your Injuries
If you did not receive medical attention immediately after your accident, the insurer can claim that you are exaggerating or falsifying your injuries. This can be especially successful in low-speed collisions.
The insurer might also use your medical records to claim that your injuries were pre-existing and not a result of the accident.
However, Jim Parrish spent much of his career defending insurance companies, so he knows how to pick apart their arguments and win you the compensation you need.
When Is a Driver Liable for a Bicycle Accident?
Bicyclists have the same rights as motor vehicle drivers. However, drivers and claims adjusters do not always see it this way. Many claims adjusters and drivers attempt to blame a cyclist for an accident by alleging the cyclist should have yielded the right-of-way to the driver, which is often not the case.
Other drivers refuse to follow safe-passing laws. Virginia law mandates that a motor vehicle driver allow at least three feet between the automobile and the bicycle when passing. Many drivers ignore this law and accidentally or purposefully infringe upon a cyclist’s space.
Many drivers also fail to check the area for cyclists before changing lanes or opening doors. If a driver failed to respect your right to the road, he is liable for any injuries that occur.
Unfortunately, we cannot win you compensation by simply claiming the driver hit you while riding your bike. We must prove the driver was liable by establishing negligence.
Proving negligence is the first step in recovering compensation for injuries or death from a bicycle accident. There are four elements we must establish to prove negligence:
- The other party(s) had a duty.
- It breached that duty.
- The breach proximately caused the accident.
- You suffered damages.
There could be multiple causes (and multiple liable parties) for your bicycle accident injuries. It is important that you discuss your case with an attorney who has experience on both sides of the table. Discuss your case with Jim Parrish today.
Haymarket Bicycle Accident Lawyer Near Me 571-229-1800
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Bicycle Accident?
Depending on the severity of the accident, your out-of-pocket expenses could grow quickly. If you have not been able to earn income since the accident, your financial woes are likely particularly intense.
Compensatory damages are those that you can add up as a direct and proximate result of the accident. A compensatory damages award or settlement reimburses you for losses you have sustained. Compensatory damages are either special or general.
Factoring into the decision of what compensatory damages an insurance company should to pay or court can award is the degree and probable duration of the injuries. An adjuster or a jury may need to hear and weigh the opinions of a medical expert on this issue.
We will get in touch with experts if this is necessary.
Special, otherwise known as economic, damages are those with set dollar amounts. Bills for medical treatment, hospitalization, and residential care are examples of special damages. Devices, therapy, prescriptions and over-the-counter medication will also be part of your damages.
Lost earnings also constitute special damages. Lost earnings include any money you lost while recovering as well as any accident-related diminishment of earning capacity or loss of retirement benefits.
It is critical to have an attorney calculate your damages rather than attempting a dollar-for-dollar settlement yourself. Once you accept a settlement check and release your rights to pursue a claim, you forever close the door on your claim. This is true even if you have problems down the road that you did not know about at the time you settled the case. Some injuries can take a while to present themselves.
General, or noneconomic, damages are those that you cannot add numerically. For example, you cannot put a price tag on the “pain and suffering” and inconvenience the accident has caused. Emotional distress such as anxiety or humiliation about disfigurement may be part of noneconomic damages.
Beyond special and general damages is the category of punitive damages. Punitive damages in Virginia are rare, other than in cases where extremely intoxicated drivers cause accidents.
If an intoxicated driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher caused the accident, you may be able to pursue punitive damages.
Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC Today
Demanding fair compensation starts with hiring the right lawyer. The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC has experience handling the complexities of spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, orthopedic trauma, punctured organs, and other consequences of bicycle accidents. Familiar with the various causes of these injuries (including collisions with other cyclists), the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC will explain the direction your case is likely to take.
As a former insurance defense attorney, Jim Parrish knows how insurance companies handle bicycle accident claims and is prepared to help you with yours. The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC focuses its practice on helping personal injury victims maximize their compensation and minimize their stress during the process.
Do not put off hiring a bicycle accident lawyer any longer. To schedule your free consultation at the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC, call 571-229-1800.