Regardless of the era, bicycles have always been a popular mode of transportation. Their slim build and light weight make it easy to move through traffic, allowing faster travel than regular cars. They are also environment-friendly as they leave minimal to zero carbon footprint.
Unfortunately, cyclists are not spared from the dangers of the road. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that an average of 130,000 bicycle-related accidents happen in the U.S. each year.
While no one wants to get involved in an accident, it pays to know when it’s time to get a personal injury lawyer in case of a bicycle accident.
The Increasing Popularity of Electric Bicycles
The past few years have seen a marked increase in the number of electric bicycles or e-bikes in the U.S. In 2021, over 368,000 e-bike units were sold, a quarter more than the previous year.
The federal law defines an e-bike as a low-speed, two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of 750 watts or lower. The Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates the use of e-bikes in the country.
An e-bike is different from a traditional one because it has an electric drive system. Here, the battery powers the motor, which helps propel the e-bike forward as you pedal. Other units also include a display screen usually installed in the middle of the handlebars that shows important information such as the bike’s current speed, distance covered, and remaining battery.
The convenience has prompted many Americans to adopt e-bike riding as an alternative mode of transportation. In particular, the lesser physical effort and ability to extend one’s range between transit hubs continue to attract American consumers.
When to Call a Lawyer After a Bicycle Accident
Whether you’re using a traditional bike or an e-bike, knowing when to call a lawyer in case of a bicycle accident can help protect your health and claim. Here are some things that indicate it’s time to talk to a bicycle accident lawyer.
1. You sustained major injuries from the accident
Medical bills could quickly pile up if you sustained severe injuries from the accident, such as bone fractures, concussions, or wounds that require surgery. This can put you in a tough financial situation, which may delay the treatments you need for a full recovery.
In this instance, working with a bicycle accident attorney can help you better negotiate with the insurance company for the maximum coverage possible. If you decide to file a personal injury case, your lawyer can also help build a solid case to secure reasonable compensation for your injuries.
2. The insurance company wants to reduce your compensation
Bicycle accident victims often have trouble getting coverage from their insurance providers due to the complexities of a lengthy processing time. Most insurance companies will also look for any excuse to reduce the claim and avoid giving the full amount. As a result, some victims forgo the claim process.
With an experienced lawyer by your side, you have more chances of securing sufficient coverage amount for your medical expenses. Your attorney will fight for your claim to ensure your injuries are reasonably compensated.
3. The insurance company denied your claim
Insurance companies deny claims for different reasons. Among the most common ones include:
- You were partially at fault for the accident
- You didn’t immediately seek medical treatment
- There is a liability dispute
- You didn’t immediately notify the insurance company of the accident
If your insurance provider denied your claim for any of these grounds or other reasons, consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help prove your case and secure the compensation you are legally entitled to.
Your lawyer can also conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and gather evidence on your behalf, such as police reports, witnesses’ statements, and medical records, among others, to support your claim.
4. You need help determining fault
Identifying who is at fault in a bicycle accident can be difficult, especially if it involves multiple parties. As mentioned, your insurance provider may deny coverage by claiming you were partially liable for the accident. In this instance, your remedy is to dispute their claim and establish your right to compensation.
To do this successfully, you need to work with a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will look into all the angles to determine the best course of action to strengthen your claim.
5. You have questions regarding your insurance claim
You may not be fully familiar with the insurance claim filing process, especially if it’s your first time. Insurance coverage may also vary depending on the severity of the injuries sustained. As such, you may have some questions about your claim.
To increase your chances of getting coverage, work with a personal injury lawyer as early in the insurance claim process as possible. Your attorney will advise you on what and what not to say to the insurance adjuster. They can also help you understand how a claim is calculated, including the factors that affect the coverage amount.
Moreover, they can explain the legal aspect of the procedure. This way, you can be guided accordingly and better understand each step.
6. The other party denied liability for the accident
If the other party denied liability for the accident, working with a lawyer is a strategic way to fight back. Your attorney can help build a strong case by analyzing police reports, medical records, and other vital documents and information related to the incident. Lawyers are trained in this legal task, and having one by your side can help increase your chances of winning the dispute.
Know Your Rights Before You Roll Out
Using a bicycle or e-bike is a convenient way to travel. However, just like other types of vehicles, it comes with a risk. As such, it’s important to know when to call a lawyer in case of an accident to protect your claim.
If you need a personal injury lawyer for a bicycle accident-related claim or case, reach out to us immediately at RMD Law. Our attorneys are ready for the tireless representation you deserve. Contact us for a free case evaluation!