Following a bicycle accident, an injured victim may not know what to do. Once your injuries are stabilized, it is always a good idea to contact a bicycle accident lawyer who can help you in the following ways:
Advise you whether you have a viable claim
Not everyone who is injured in a bicycle accident is entitled to compensation for their losses. For example, if the accident was solely the fault of the bicycle rider, there would be no one for the rider to hold accountable. However, if the accident was even partially the fault of another negligent person or party, you likely have a viable claim. An attorney will listen to your account of what happened and may interview witnesses or conduct some investigation in order to determine whether evidence of negligence exists.
Review your legal options
Simply because another party was negligent in causing your bicycle accident injuries does not mean that you should immediately march into court and file a lawsuit. Instead, there may be other methods to pursue compensation that do not involve litigation. An experienced personal injury lawyer will know how to negotiate with insurance companies to try to obtain a settlement for you that would cover all of your losses. This is often possible in cases that involve less serious injuries, however, if your injuries and losses are severe, the insurance company may not offer a favorable amount.
If negotiating with insurance companies does not work, you may file a claim for personal injury in civil court. Filing a claim does not mean that you will automatically go to trial, however. In fact, the large majority of personal injury cases are resolved outside of the courtroom and bicycle accident cases are no different. Alternative dispute resolutions (ADR) methods include mediation and arbitration and your attorney will advise whether these are options in your case. Additionally, you can continue trying to negotiate an adequate settlement agreement up until your date of trial.
Investigate your accident and collect evidence
If you do file a legal claim, you will need to present evidence that the other party was negligent and caused your accident. Collecting this type of evidence can require significant investigation and may involve the following:
- Interviewing witnesses and others involved
- Obtaining any available video surveillance footage of the incident
- Reviewing safety records and similar documents
- Obtaining police reports
- Collecting medical records
- Conducting depositions and other legal discovery methods
- Consulting with accident reconstruction experts
The process of gathering evidence can be extensive and it is vital to have the assistance of an attorney who understands the guidelines and requirements of pretrial procedures.
Determine the appropriate value of your case
In your bicycle accident lawsuit, you will have to specify the amount of damages that you are seeking from the negligent party. This means that you will need to carefully calculate all of the past losses that you have incurred as well as estimate any future losses such as lost earning capabilities or the cost of future medical treatment. Additionally, injured victims can seek damages for non-economic losses such as emotional trauma or physical pain and suffering. A bicycle accident lawyer will understand how to valuate such intangible losses so that you can ask for the full amount of money you deserve.
Represent you in court
If your case is in the minority and you are not able to reach a favorable settlement agreement, you will have to go to trial. Trials involve complicated rules and procedures that must be followed or you may put your case at risk. It is imperative to have a lawyer representing you in court who has litigation experience and who understands how to effectively present evidence of negligence and persuade a jury to believe your claims.
Call the St. Petersburg bicycle accident attorney at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today
If you have suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, do not hesitate to call the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in St. Petersburg to find out all of the ways that our experienced bicycle accident lawyers can help you. Call 727-222-6922 for a free consultation today.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712