Do You Have to Go to Court for a Bicycle Accident?
You do not have to go to court for a bicycle accident. If you are worried about going to court, you do not have to be. Most bicycle accident cases in New York do not ever go to trial. Most injury cases settle outside of court.
Despite safety laws that have been enacted to minimize accidents between vehicles and bicycles, accidents still occur. Sometimes, accidents happen because someone was breaking laws or behaving in a negligent manner. For instance, bicycle accidents can occur because a vehicle driver was texting while driving, which is both reckless and against the law, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
If you suffered injuries in a bicycle accident caused by someone’s careless or wrongful actions, you might be thinking about filing a personal injury claim.
The Difference Between a Settlement and a Verdict
Some people believe they must go to court to win compensation for an accident. When you sue someone, you are filing legal paperwork in court, but you do not have to go to that step right away. You can also file a claim with the at-fault person’s insurance company.
If you and the insurer are able to reach an agreement on compensation, you will not need to go to court. The insurance company can pay you a settlement for the injuries and damages you faced.
For example, if a drunk driver caused your bicycle accident, the insurance company of the driver could offer you a settlement. If the settlement fairly accounts for the losses you suffered, you can accept it and move on with your life. Other types of bicycle accidents may be the result of dangerous or defective conditions on the road. You may be able to bring a claim against a utility company such as Verizon or Con Edison, a construction company or The City of New York if your accident was the result of negligent roadway maintenance or construction.
A court award is meant to compensate you for the injuries you suffered, pain and mental trauma you experienced, and financial losses you were forced to deal with. If your case goes to trial and you win a verdict in your favor, you could receive a financial award. Even if you do file a lawsuit in court, you can still settle your case outside of court before a trial.
For a free legal consultation, call (646) 692-0204.
An Insurance Company Can Deny Your Claim
Insurance companies often deny injury claims or offer a sum of money that is not reasonable given all of your injuries, physical and financial. There are many reasons they may do so:
- They may believe that their insured client or defendant was not to blame for your accident.
- They may believe that you are asking for an unfair amount of compensation.
- Denials sometimes occur if paperwork is not completed correctly.
An insurance claim denial is not the end of the road. Just because an insurer denies a claim or part of a claim does not mean you are not entitled to financial compensation. You could continue to negotiate with the insurer, perhaps providing additional evidence that proves your case.
Compensation You Can Receive Through a Claim or Lawsuit
Whether you go to court or go through the insurance claims process, your ultimate goal is to receive fair compensation for a bicycle accident caused by another party’s dangerous or careless behavior. When you can prove fault, you could receive compensation for all the ways you have suffered.
Compensation for your bicycle accident could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Loss of earning potential
- Medical bills
- Cost of rehabilitation
- Mental trauma
- Cost of mental health services
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
- Lost life enjoyment
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Proving Your Bike Accident Case
It does not matter whether you are filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit in court—you will have to prove your bicycle accident case in order to win compensation. Proving your case means three things: proving fault, proving your injuries, and proving your damages. Evidence must be gathered and used to prove your case.
Evidence that could be used to prove a bicycle accident case:
- Medical evidence
- Photo evidence
- Video footage of the accident or accident scene
- Expert witness testimony
- Eyewitness testimony
- Physical evidence
- Police reports or accident reports
You do not have to gather this evidence all by yourself. You do not have to file a claim or lawsuit by yourself. A lawyer can take on your case and help you get through the entire process.
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A Lawyer Can Help You File an Injury Claim in New York
You do not always have to go to court for a bicycle accident. You may be able to win a settlement through an insurance claims procedure, which can speed up the process, can be less stressful for many injury victims, and could be more convenient for you.
If you are worried about the injury claims process or about going to court, reach out to Dansker & Aspromonte Associates LLP to discuss your case with a legal team member in a free case evaluation. We won $6.25 million for a bicycle injury victim who suffered serious injuries when the insurance company failed to offer a fair amount of compensation during negotiations. Our New York bicycle accident lawyers want to help you too.
Call (646) 692-0204 today. Our law firm serves Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. If you have been seriously hurt in a bicycle accident, call us without delay. There are deadlines that limit your rights. Failure to bring your claim by these deadlines may prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve.
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