Did a car hit you while you were riding your bike, and now you want to be compensated? Wondering what the average bike accident settlement is? This post should help!
If you have been hit by a car while riding your bike, you might have heard that you can file a legal case in order to recoup at least some or all of the losses you sustained because of the accident. And if you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably wondering if it’s actually worth it.
For a lot of people, pursuing cases like this might be the only time they are ever taking part in an insurance claim, a formal arbitration, and/or a court case. And that can be a little scary. Many cyclists are uncertain whether their case or injuries are “serious” enough to hire a lawyer to help them. Other cyclists wonder if it would just be too costly.
If you don’t know what to expect, it can be hard to know if you should pursue a case.
What Bike Accident Settlements Cover
The money you get in a bike accident settlement is coverage for what is known as “damages”. Damages are the costs that you have paid out, or the losses you have experienced, as a result of the accident.
There are two primary kinds of damages:
Economic damages are apparent: if you have $10,000 in medical bills, that amount is totaled in your economic damages. Additionally, if you missed out on a $10,000 job you couldn’t do because of your injuries, that amount would also be added towards your economic damages.
Non-economic damages are a little more complicated. While it may seem straightforward to see the money you’ve lost by not being capable of working, what about your fear you feel every time you ride your bike? What about your lack of freedom caused by injuries limiting you from doing normal activities?
Determining your damages — the total of your financial losses in addition to your emotional ones — is something that a knowledgeable attorney can help you with. There are a lot of people that calculate the value of their damages wrong or forget to consider significant costs, and it can be extremely valuable to have an experienced attorney helping you know what to ask for and receive everything that is owed to you.
How Bike Accident Settlements Are Determined
When you follow through with your bike accident settlement, one of the first and most crucial things that you and your attorney need to do is collect evidence.
The evidence will support your claims for the amount you are requesting, as well as the degree at which you were at fault (if you were at all) versus the driver.
Some evidence is pretty straightforward to gather: you will need your medical bills, any repair bills incurred, a record of your lost wages, receipts for prepaid things like vacations or weddings, that you could not attend because of your accident.
A useful piece of evidence that you keep is a post-accident diary. After the accident and as soon as you can, start recording everything that you are going through, including what you can remember about the accident. The more details you record, the better — you never know what will be significant in determining a successful your case.
In addition to establishing a written record of how the accident happened — which will shed light on who’s fault it was and to what degree — this is also a crucial place to record how your life has changed since the accident.
You can also write about how you feel. Are you stressed? Anxious? Scared? Worried about your future, such as how you will support your family or if you’ll ever want to ride your bike again? Write these down in your diary, this will provide a basis for you to figure out the non-economic damages you need to be compensated for.
Once you and your attorney have figured out the settlement amount that will be acceptable to cover your damages, your attorney will start to negotiate with the driver’s insurance company for you.
(If you don’ hire an attorney, you can pursue these negotiations yourself. However, the insurance company will probably take you less seriously and try to offer you a smaller settlement; they will also be looking for you to slip up and admit it was your fault or change your story so they can denounce your story and not pay you at all. A knowledgeable attorney will know their tricks and will typically be able to negotiate better than you could on your own.)
The amount of your settlement will depend on these negotiations — how effective your requests are supported by your evidence and how much you may be at fault for the accident — in addition to the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage.
If their policy has a maximum of $50,000, then the max amount that you can expect to be compensated for is $50,000. Usually this is not the case 100% of the time, but in general, this is the rule.
What Happens After My Settlement Is Determined?
Once you and the driver’s insurance company have come to a settlement amount that is approved by both of you, the transferring of the settlement funds to you will start.
If you hired an attorney, the insurance company will usually send a check that will be made out to them. This is because they have been negotiating on your behalf in the case and will take their attorney’s fee from that amount prior to transferring it to you. Most attorneys typically take 1/3 of the settlement as their fee.
They will also use the settlement money to pay off liens or any other financial responsibilities you have because of the case.
After the required payments have been made, your attorney will then give you the remaining funds. At this point, your case is basically closed, and you can start to move on with your life.
It’s vital to note that once you receive your settlement, that’s it. You can’t go back and ask for more, so you have to be sure that you are requesting the right amount when you are asking.
This is why a lot of attorneys suggest you wait until your injuries are completely healed (or as healed as they’ll get) before you reach out to the insurance company with a settlement request. You want to know precisely how much you will need to be compensated for (you will want to know if you’ll need life-long care or if you’ll be able to work any more) before you ask.
The average bike accident settlement is $2,132,500. Although total amounts will vary between cases, average bike accident settlements usually ranged from $15,000 to $4,250,000 for the US in 2019, according to Keating Law Offices.
Talk With One Of Our Accident Lawyers In Mesa, Arizona Today
Our personal injury attorneys will ensure you have the finest comprehensive representation. If you need legal help with in a bike accident, speak with our knowledgable car accident lawyers in Mesa today.