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How To Handle Douglas County Bicycle Accident Injuries
Commuting by bicycle has been around for many years, but with how many more cars there are on the road, it can be a dangerous situation to ride a bike on the roads. Many drivers are not paying attention or expecting bikers to be around them, so it is very common for bicyclists to get hit by negligent drivers. In the unfortunate event that you are hit by a motorist, make sure to get in touch with us right away to avoid any issues.
Common Causes Of Bicycle Accidents
There are many different types of situations where bicycles and motor vehicles may collide on the roadways, but we have narrowed it down to some of the most common accidents that we see in Douglas County these days.
Impaired Drivers – There are a lot of impaired drivers on the roads and they tend to cause a lot more accidents than sober drivers. Impaired drivers will usually have a higher degree of liability in accidents due to their poor motor skills while intoxicated.
Excessive Speeding – Motorists traveling at rates higher than posted speed limits increase the chances of getting into an accident due to their limited reaction timing to avoid cyclists on the road or in bike lanes. Excessive speeds can also make accidents that do occur even worse in severity by causing bad injuries that may not have happened if they were traveling within the posted speed limits. Excessive speeds may also increase the amount of liability placed on the driver during an accident.
Distracted Drivers – There are countless distractions these days while driving, from cell phones to billboard advertisements. The driver’s attention may not be fully on the road and could cause them to hit you even if you are safely riding in the bike lane.
Right Turn Accidents – Most of the time, drivers don’t look right before making right turns which is a very common way for cyclists to get hit when they are going straight through an intersection but a car ahead of them turns right without seeing them and causes a collision
Left Turn Accidents – When a driver has a green light, but not a green arrow, cyclists will be allowed to cross the street and might not be seen by drivers turning left across intersections. This is also a very common problem in downtown areas and when drivers are emerging from alleyways and driveways that have obstructed views until the car is already in the intersection.
Side-Swipe Accidents – Vehicles side-swiping bicycle riders is a common occurrence even when bike lanes are present. Many drivers don’t give the cyclists enough room when passing or get angry with slow cyclists and run them off the road or cause them to crash.
Door Opening Accidents – On roads with parking along the roadside, many drivers and vehicle passengers will open their doors without looking and an unknowing bicycle rider can run into their door and get severely injured.
Defective Bicycle Parts – On rare occasions, bicycle parts manufacturers can be liable for accidents if the parts were defective and ended up causing a bicycle accident to happen.
Who is at fault during an accident is never an easy thing to prove unless you have video evidence showing the entire event. If video evidence of the bike accident is not available, you have to rely on statements from the parties involved as well as witness testimonials, pictures, medical records for the injuries sustained and accident reconstruction expert opinions.
Each party will most likely try to shift blame onto the other person to avoid having to pay damages, but here at Rector Stuzynski LLC we gather evidence and prove liability without a doubt so that you can get maximum compensation in your case as long as you weren’t more than 50% liable for the accident.
Colorado only lets damages be received by accident victims if the party is less than 50% liable for the accident, so some cases will vary depending on the situation surrounding the event.
What Should You Do Afterwards?
When you get into a bike accident, there are going to be a lot of things running through your head about what to do, how you feel, etc. Don’t get flustered, just stay calm and process it all just like you would a car accident. First, get yourself to safety, meaning get out of the road and into an area where you are not in danger of being struck by another vehicle. Then, check yourself for injuries and if you feel back or neck pain, don’t try to move very much until you can get medical attention.
Call the police and ambulance if needed. Make sure to get the license and insurance information from the driver that hit you as well as statements from any eye witnesses. These will help prove what happened in your lawsuit. Make sure you document the scene of the accident as well, including road signs, skid marks, damages to your bike, their car and any other property. Also, make sure to take pictures of any injuries like scrapes, bruises, broken bones, and anything else that could help your case.
Once you have situated all of that, make sure to get in touch with an attorney right away so you can get your compensation for your injuries as quickly as possible. Don’t wait to be checked by medical professionals either, as that could end up hurting your case.
How To Know If Your Accident Claim Is Valid
What Is The Timeline To Get A Settlement?
Seeing as how every bicycle accident case is different, the timeline to reach a settlement varies. When both parties can agree on what happened, how much compensation is deserved and who is at fault, then claims can usually be settled within weeks to months after the injured party completes medical treatment. This is typical with bike accident claims but it is not always the way things end up. When both parties can’t agree on everything or the insurance company wants to get away with a lower settlement, then you may find yourself taking the case to trial which can add months or even years to the length of time before a settlement happens. Each case is different so until you speak with your Douglas County bicycle accident lawyer, you won’t know unless the details of the case are clearly showing fault and damages are all easy to calculate and prove.
Damages You May Be Able To Recover
Keep in mind however, that the ultimate settlement amount depends upon the amount of available insurance coverage. In Douglas County, a driver only needs to carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance to comply with the law. That is rarely enough to fully compensate a bicyclist who is hit by a car while cycling. That’s why it’s always a good idea to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own car insurance policy. This is a special kind of coverage that you pay a premium for that protects you in the case of an accident if the at-fault driver does not have adequate coverage to meet your needs. We always recommend that people carry as much uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as they can afford. If you have questions about this type of coverage, call our office or your insurance agent. Often times it is less expensive than people think, and it can be the difference between getting a minimal settlement or receiving full and just compensation for injuries if you are ever in a bad accident.
Amount Of Time You Have To File Your Claim
If it has been a few months or even a year or so since your bicycle accident, don’t worry, you still have time to file your claim. Douglas County allows up to 3 years from the date of this type of accident to file a claim so that people have plenty of time to decide if they want to file and recover from their injuries before filing.
Even though Douglas County allows up to 3 years to file your claim, we don’t recommend waiting the full amount of time because evidence can get lost, damaged or witness testimony can be skewed due to the event being so long ago. Once you find the right attorney to represent you however, the process can seem like it drags on for a long time. This is because being fully recovered from your injuries and having a complete tally of the medical and therapy bills associated with the injury can be very useful and even beneficial to have when asking for compensation for those bills. Under most circumstances, it is not recommended to make the initial settlement demand until after completing medical treatment. Make sure you speak with one of our Douglas County bike accident lawyers right away to find out the best option for your case.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
Non-economic damages are any type of suffering you went through as a result of the accident that does not have a specific dollar value attached to it. These can be things such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life or long term injuries or disfigurement. To put a value on these, the severity of the non-economic damages will be evaluated and usually an insurance adjuster will just take a guess at an amount to add on for non-economic damages. This is the area where an experienced personal injury attorney can make a big difference to getting full and fair compensation for your injury claim. If you want to speak to someone about this for more clarification, feel free to contact our Douglas County bike accident attorneys today for a free consultation.
What Our Attorneys Do For You
The Process Of Litigation
First, we need to go over all of the details surrounding the bicycle crash and review any evidence that is available. Then we need to determine who is at fault and see if we have a case worth pursuing. If we believe there is merit to the case then we will proceed with gathering evidence for the case, reconstructing the accident scenario and getting all of the necessary documentation and records prepared to file a solid bicycle accident claim on your behalf.
At this point the at-fault parties will respond with a settlement that we will negotiate for you or they will deny the claim and we will have to take it to court. If we are able to reach a good settlement the case could take as little as a few months, but some cases extend much longer than that even if we are getting a settlement. If we have to go to trial the process will become much more lengthy and can sometimes take more than a year to complete.
No matter how we have to go about it, we will fight for you to get the maximum compensation for your injuries and give your case the attention it deserves to get the best outcome possible. Our lawyers will notify you of updates to your case promptly and go over potential timelines for your case once all of the details have been ironed out.
Contact Our Law Firm For Help With Your Case
If you were injured in a bicycle accident due to another person’s negligence, give us a call today for a free consultation to see if you have a case. There are many details that can’t be overlooked to get a full recovery package, so let our attorneys handle the process for you to avoid costly mistakes. We fight for the best possible outcome with every case and gladly represent bicycle accident victims anywhere in Douglas County. Call today for an appointment, you can reach us at (719) 578-1106 anytime.
Areas We Serve
We serve clients injured in bicycle accidents anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Falcon, Calhan, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.
At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we help injury victims all over the state of Colorado. Here is a detailed list of the areas we serve:
We also serve clients injured in the following zip codes: 80907, 80909, 80918, 80917, 80931, 80932, 80933, 80934, 80935, 80936, 80937, 80941, 80942, 80946, 80947, 80949, 80950, 80960, 80962, 80977 ,80995 ,80997 80901, 80912, 80904, 80915, 80905, 80910, 80923, 80922, 80919, 80920, 80916, 80939, 80914, 80951, 80924, 80927, 80938, 80906, 80840, 80829, 80902, 80809, 80841, 80911, 80908, 80929, 80819, 80921, 80925, 80132, 80926, 80913, 80863, 80817, 80831, 80133, 80930, 80860, 80814, 80813, 80118, 80106, 80928, 80866, 80816, 80808, 80104, 80116, 81008, 80864, 80135, 81240, 81007, 80109, 81290, 80107, 80108, 80425, 81215, 81221, 80117, 80827, 81212, 80134, 80835, 81003, 80131, 81226, 81001, 80138, 80125, 81002, 81009, 81010, 81011, 81012, 80124, 81244, 80126, 80820, 80130, 80163, 80433, 80129, 80833, 80112, 80832, 81025, 81005, 81223, 81006, 80470, 80127, 80122 and beyond.