A cyclist faces innumerable dangers on a day-to-day basis during even short trips to the grocery store or the routine commute to work. Poor infrastructure plus a split second distraction spells disaster. Undesirable weather conditions such as wind, rain, or snow, turn braking into a gamble. Then, of course, there are the drivers, arguably the biggest threat to a bicycle owner, who unfortunately do not always see the two-wheeled travellers. However, the dreaded collision between a bike and an automobile marks only the beginning of the cyclist’s troubles. Do you want to learn more? Visit Chicago Car Accident Lawyer
Who’s At Fault?
It just happened. The car makes a legal left turn through a green light, without an arrow, having waited for all other vehicles to pass. Only they didn’t see the biker making a legal pass through the intersection, and the two collide. The biker’s leg breaks in two places, and the bicycle itself gets twisted beyond use. Anyone could see that the biker is the victim. But this particular biker thinks their case is an easy win, and as such doesn’t think they should waste their time and money on a car accidents lawyer. The unfortunate just happened, but this is where it gets worse.
The at-fault party’s insurance will typically cover the expenses, but both people benefit from not taking the fall. This run-of-the-mill scenario often ends up in a “he said, she said” case with one person’s word against the other. The advised know that in this moment the best interaction with the other party is no interaction at all. In fact, beyond exchanging contact information, the only person either one should be talking to is a car accidents lawyer. The ill-advised, however, may try to contest the events that just unfolded right on the side of the street. Even an obvious victim can blow an easy case by confusing the matter with arguments at the scene.
Game of Drones
The criteria for determining fault in cases include credibility, neutral witness accounts, physical evidence, and official police reports. But the insurance companies handle this, not the driver and rider. Most insurance claims like this hypothetical collision are determined by the state’s definition of negligence, a matter that the layman may not be familiar with. In fact, the victim may not even get the chance to defend themselves without a car accidents lawyer, who understands how to communicate with insurance matters, to speak on their behalf. Before issues like going to court even come up, losing rightful compensation can easily happen to even the clearest victims.
On the other hand, the insurance company could find the driver at fault. But, because they know the cyclist didn’t “lawyer up,” they low-ball the deal to minimize the financial burden. This is where the specifics matter most. Depending on the state where the accident took place or the history of the two people involved, a court date or an easy settlement could be ahead.
The cyclist later receives just enough to cover medical expenses and repairs on the bike. The driver, now out of the picture, has paid for the accident and the matter is dealt with. Only the biker still has a broken leg and cannot conceivably work for the next three months, and must now face paying bills without income. In this scenario there would be no legal recourse once the accident claim is already settled. If, however, the cyclist had sought legal representation, they could have increased their settlement or gone to court to fight for enough money to cover the time out of work.
Every Time and Immediately
The moral of the story of the cyclist is that even in the best-case scenario of post-accident resolution without legal advice, a victim can be short changed or even blamed for an incident. A car accidents lawyer has a job that entails running the gauntlet of insurance, fault, state laws, and out of court settlements for you. For cyclists, defense on the road goes well beyond the helmet and reflectors.