Since each bicycle accident claim is unique, it is not possible to estimate exactly when one will settle. However, working with a lawyer can help determine a time frame for your particular case. Filing an insurance claim is often the first step in seeking compensation after a bicycle accident, but there is a chance that your insurer (or that of the liable party) may not offer you fair compensation.
When this happens, you have the option to file a personal injury lawsuit instead. This can delay the process of receiving a bicycle accident settlement even further.
Filing an Insurance Claim
Despite the fact that New York is a no-fault state, the Department of Financial Services (DFS) recommends that you, as a bicyclist, file a claim with the insurance provider of the motorist who hit you. Even if you have your own insurance, you can file a claim with the liable driver’s carrier.
Insurance claims take time to process, and there is no guarantee that an insurer will not deny your claim outright. Additionally, they may offer you a settlement that does not fairly compensate you for your losses.
For a free legal consultation, call (212) 732-2929
Injuries Sustained When a Car Hits a Bicyclist
Obviously, a motorist enjoys far more protection than a bicyclist during an accident. When you are riding a bicycle, you do not have the protective barriers afforded by a passenger vehicle, so your injuries could be quite severe.
Some of the most common injuries that result from a bicycle accident can include:
- Broken bones
- A traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Internal bleeding
- Joint disruption or tears
- Spine injuries including disc herniations or nerve damage
- Dislocated appendages
- Severe sprains
At worst, a bicycle accident can result in death. In addition, bicycle accidents also result in serious economic damages including medical bills and lost wages that can last a lifetime. You may find that your injuries leave you temporarily or permanently disabled, which can also affect the value of your claim.
If you cannot perform the same duties to the same extent you did before your injuries, you may even be facing reduced earning capacity. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that bicycle accidents left victims with 10 billion dollars’ worth of lifetime medical costs and productivity losses in 2010.
It is important for you to take all of these losses into consideration when filing a bicycle accident claim. If you have to wait longer to resolve your claim in order to make sure the insurers account for these losses fairly, it may serve you later on when you continue to face chronic pain, medical expenses and lost wages.
Be wary of any offer to settle your claim immediately after your accident. Consult with a lawyer in order to protect your rights.
Seeking Legal Representation
Regardless of how long it takes a bicycle accident claim to settle, obtaining legal representation can help in a number of ways.
A lawyer can begin by answering your concerns, guiding your actions, preserving and gathering evidence of fault and injuries, filing all claims in a timely manner and signaling to the at fault parties that they will be required to compensate you fairly for your injuries. Some of the actions we may take in your case may include:
- Obtaining all police or incident reports
- Performing an inspection of the site of your injury,
- Retaining experts in accident reconstruction or roadway maintenance
- Interviewing all witnesses
- Taking photographs of the scene, roadway defect or bodily injuries
- Gathering all medical treatment records
- Requesting employment records and other proof of lost wages or benefits
- Consulting medical experts to prove the full extent of your injuries
- Demand sworn statements and records from the at fault parties
- Prepare the claim for trial before a jury if necessary
With our team of dedicated and experienced lawyers by your side, you can focus on your own recovery while we fight for you.
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Call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates for Help
Since 1988, Dansker & Aspromonte Associates has been helping bicycle injury victims recover the fair and reasonable financial compensation they deserve. While there is no way to know for sure how long your claim will take to resolve, we will work diligently to ensure that you obtain maximum compensation for each and every type of injury you sustained as quickly as possible. We only receive a legal fee when you recover compensation.
If we determine that the at-fault party is refusing to pay fair compensation, we will demand a trial on your behalf if you agree. This will delay the ultimate resolution of your case, but is often the only way to fight for the best recovery. In one case, for example, a bicyclist was severely injured by a speeding rental van. When the at fault party made a small settlement offer, our office demanded a trial which led to a delay but ultimately resulted in a $6.25 jury award.
We handle bicycle accident cases throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Our ultimate goal is to get the best possible recovery for you, and if that means taking your case to trial, we will do it.
Call Dansker & Aspromonte Associates for a free consultation by dialing (212) 732-2929. If you have been seriously injured in a bicycle accident, do not delay speaking to our lawyers. Your time to file a claim is limited. If you fail to file your claim by the deadline, you may be forever prevented from recovering what you deserve .