How Long Does a Bicycle Accident Claim Take?

You were riding your bicycle when a car hit you from behind. You hit the ground, and your back, arm, and knee flare with pain. You must file a bicycle accident claim to receive compensation for your injuries. How long will it take?

The best way to know what to expect with your claim is to talk to a bicycle accident lawyer in your area who can evaluate your situation and options.

Typical Timeline To Settle A Bicycle Accident Claim

Saying how long your bicycle accident claim will take is difficult. Every accident and injury is unique, and your case can take more or less time than another person’s. Settling some bicycle accident claims can take six months, while others might take two years.

It’s understandable if you want money faster; you have bills and need medical treatment. However, it is never a good idea to settle too quickly. You probably don’t know the full extent of your injuries. You may need more compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering than you think.

Never accept a fast settlement without trusted legal advice from a bicycle accident lawyer.

What Compensation Can You Receive In A Bicycle Accident?

A judge's gavel and a dollar bill on a wooden table, symbolizing compensation in a bicycle accidentFiling a bicycle accident claim usually involves reporting a claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company. If a car hits you while biking, you will likely obtain the driver’s insurance information and report it to their insurer. You may want a bicycle accident attorney to handle this; you can be seriously injured and need an attorney to maximize your compensation.

In a personal injury claim, you must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the other party is liable for your injuries. If you are successful, you can receive some or all of these damages:

  • Medical bills, including current and future medical expenses.
  • Lost past and current earnings, plus potential loss of future income with severe injuries
  • Pain and suffering from the injuries and treatments
  • Mental pain and anguish
  • Property damages

The at-fault party’s insurance company may offer a small settlement initially if it’s clear that the other party was at fault. However, you should always have a bicycle accident attorney review your case. Most bike accidents cause injuries, and your damages can be more than you think. Bicycle accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay legal fees out of pocket and only pay if you win your case.

What Affects The Bike Accident Settlement Timeline?

Several key factors affect what your ultimate bicycle accident settlement will be:

Severity Of Injuries

When a vehicle hits a bicycle, there are usually serious injuries that may include:

  • Broken bones
  • Spine injuries or paralysis
  • Head injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Dislocated joints
  • Facial injuries
  • Internal bleeding and injuries

A bicycle injury victim can take several months or longer to heal or reach maximum medical recovery (MMI). MMI means that you have recovered to the maximum extent. Your final medical needs and expenses may not be known for months or years after the accident. An experienced bicycle accident attorney knows to wait until you have reached MMI to begin settlement negotiations. This delay may extend the time it takes to settle the claim.

For example, if you have a severe concussion and memory loss from the bicycle accident, your recovery can take at least six months or a year. Only after an extensive recovery will it be known if you have permanent injuries. On the other hand, if you break your wrist and scrape your knee, you may only take two or three months to heal. The latter case will settle faster than the former.

Whether You Sought Immediate Medical Care

It’s always wise to seek immediate medical care after any accident. Your health is at stake, and you may not know that you are initially injured. You should also go to the doctor immediately when someone else causes the accident. You can hold them liable for your injuries, and it’s essential to document them promptly. Getting fast medical attention means your injuries will be treated and connected to the accident. This is crucial for establishing liability and ensuring you receive compensation.

If you don’t go to the doctor immediately and wait a week or two until the pain starts, the insurance company will ask questions. It will make you wonder why you didn’t go to the doctor immediately. Also, the adjuster can argue that your injuries are a preexisting condition.

You can help your case and bicycle accident lawyer by getting immediate medical treatment after the accident. If you received immediate treatment, it prevented the insurance company from arguing that the injuries were unrelated to the accident and were accidentally not as severe as you claimed.

Strength Of Evidence

Another major factor in the bicycle accident settlement timeline is how strong your evidence is. Bicycle accidents can be a matter of he-said-she-said between you and the driver. Without enough evidence, the defendant can drag out the legal battle longer than you want to get you to back off or reduce your demands.

Your evidence of liability must establish the following points for you to receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care, such as driving their vehicle safely and not injuring others.
  • The defendant violated their duty of care by, for example, running a red light and striking you on your bike in a crosswalk.
  • You suffered injuries from the breach of duty of care, such as a broken arm and lost income.
  • Monetary compensation can cover your injuries and damages.

You can speed up the case if you have convincing evidence of liability. For example, the defendant’s insurance company will have difficulty denying liability if you are in the crosswalk with the right of way when a car runs a red light and hits you. There are probably eyewitnesses who will back up your story, and surveillance video may be available. The stronger your evidence, the less likely the defendant will contest the claim.

On the other hand, if the bicyclist didn’t stop at a red light and another car hit them, the defendant would likely contest the claim. This underscores the importance of bicyclists obeying all traffic laws; in an accident where the fault is unclear, you may not receive the compensation necessary for recovery.

Some of the other evidence that you will need to speed up your claim includes:

  • Full documentation of your medical bills and prognosis. You need to prove that the accident happened and that the defendant caused it. You have to show your injuries and current and future medical treatments. Obtaining compensation will be difficult if you did not sustain physical injuries in the accident.
  • Documentation of your current income or salary. This information is needed for your attorney to calculate the amount of lost earnings you are entitled to. You can also receive lost future income if you have a long-term or permanent injury.
  • Pain and suffering evidence. Pain and suffering are subjective, and your attorney will argue for the best they can. They will rely on previous settlements and verdicts in your area with similarly injured victims. You can assist your attorney by keeping a written or video journal of your pain. Talk about how the injuries and treatments are negatively affecting your life.

Your attorney will gather much important information about your bicycle accident claim. But you can help by obtaining as much of it as you can.

Insurance Company Cooperation

Your state laws will determine how long the insurance company responds to a personal injury claim. However, it is common for the liable insurance company to take their time investigating and settling a claim. The settlement timeline extends if the insurance company questions liability or delays. Your bicycle accident attorney is accustomed to insurance company delay tactics and will work hard to get the best settlement in a reasonable amount of time.

Your Cooperation

Your degree of cooperation during the bicycle claim process also affects the timeline. You should get prompt medical treatment after the accident and attend every appointment. Not following your doctor’s instructions harms your case. The insurance company will wonder why you want compensation if you aren’t following up on your treatment plan. You need to show that you are trying your best to get better and resolve the claim. Also, when your attorney asks for something from you, respond quickly.

Also, you can help your claim by not posting about the accident on social media or talking to anyone about it. The insurance company might monitor your social media accounts while processing the claim. It will look for any evidence that you aren’t injured. You aren’t, for shouldn’t, a video of you running when you saw you hurt your back or sprained your knee? Any evidence that suggests you aren’t seriously informed can delay or derail your claim.

Whether The Case Goes To Court

The last factor that affects the claim timeline is whether the case goes to trial. If you and the insurance company cannot agree to a fair settlement, your attorney may recommend filing a lawsuit and going to court. Taking the case to trial is a big step, automatically adding at least several months to the timeline. Going to trial will also cost attorney fees for both sides. This is why most personal injury claims settle out of court.

Your attorney will advise if going to court is wise in your case. If the insurance company isn’t offering insurance for your serious injuries and the fault is clear, going to court can be worth the wait. You risk the jury ruling against you, but juries are known to sympathize with injury victims. The jury can rule in your favor and award you more than a settlement, but it’s a risk that your attorney must weigh.

Do You Need A Bicycle Accident Attorney?

Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Most bicyclists have never dealt with the personal injury claim process. After a car hits you, it’s hard to know where to begin. You also must deal with the at-fault party’s insurance party, which is never easy. A bicycle accident attorney is almost always a good idea because these accidents can leave you with head injuries, spine injuries, broken bones, internal injuries, road rash, and more. Your attorney will do the following:

  • Build the strongest personal injury claim based on the evidence
  • Show how the driver’s negligence the accident
  • Handle communications with the insurance company so you can focus on recovery
  • Calculate your full accident damages, including medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and property damages
  • Fight for the most compensation possible
  • Take the case to court if there isn’t a fair settlement isn’t the offer

Speak To A Bicycle Accident Attorney Today

Far too many serious injury victims make the critical error of accepting the first or second settlement offer made by the liable insurance company. They often do so for several reasons. First, they simply don’t know what the don’tse is worth or their legal rights. They may also need money desperately to pay medical and regular bills and may be willing to accept whatever offer they receive.

Taking the initial offer will get money in your hands faster, but you may settle for far too little. What if you are out of work for six months? What if you need a year of rehabilitation? That small $5,000 check the insurance company offered is a drop in the bucket. What if the insurance company says it will pay for your medical bills? You may be entitled to more lost earnings and pain and suffering.

Any experienced bicycle accident lawyer will politely advise you to refuse to start settlement discussions right after the accident. You should always have a licensed attorney handle the matter. Hiring an attorney and going through the claims process with representation may take longer, but it’s well worth it. If you want the most compensation for your bicycle accident injuries quickly, speak to a qualified injury attorney in Tupelo today.