September 1, 2021
If you’re a cyclist, few things send more of a shiver down your spine than a traffic collision. The idea of being struck by thousands of pounds of moving steel — while having little more than a helmet and safety gear for protection — is frightening.
Unfortunately, too many drivers fail to give cyclists the respect and courtesy to which they are entitled. Drivers also fail to grasp the danger they place cyclists in when they fail to pay attention to the road, drive carelessly, or operate a vehicle while impaired.
If you find yourself in this scenario, you may be entitled to compensation. Understanding how to best navigate that process can be tricky, however. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the steps you should take if you are in a collision.
Receiving Compensation for Crash-Related Losses
If you are injured in a cycling accident, you may choose to pursue a claim with the insurance company that represents the other party. This is called a “third-party claim.” Because you are not the policyholder, pursuing such claims may present more of a challenge than dealing directly with your own insurer. The insurer for the other party may attempt to claim that you are partially or fully at-fault for the collision or question the extent or validity of your injuries or the damage to your bicycle.
Additionally, most cyclists are not trained negotiators. Insurance companies, on the other hand, employ people who are specially trained to get victims to settle for the lowest dollar amount possible. This experience gap often results in victims receiving a much lower payout, simply because they are unfamiliar with the negotiating process. This may cause serious problems down the line. If an injury proves to be worse than initially thought, the victim will not be able to reopen the claim and seek additional damages. All settlements are final.
How to Level the Playing Field
While insurance companies may exploit the unfamiliarity or inexperience of victims for their own financial gain, there is one solution that allows you to level the playing field: Working with a law firm that specializes in bicycle accident litigation.
These firms have the necessary experience to guide you through the process and help ensure that you are not victimized twice: Once by the collision, and a second time by accepting less than what you are owed. An experienced attorney can help ensure that settlement negotiations are fair. If these negotiations do not bear fruit, an attorney can also help you receive the compensation to which you’re entitled by filing a civil case on your behalf.
Regardless of how the case is resolved, working with an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure that all parties are on equal footing — and that victims are treated fairly.
Finding the Right Bicycle Accident Attorney
Gary Brustin is a lifelong cyclist and a specialist in bicycle accident law. In fact, these are the only types of cases he accepts. If you’ve been injured in a collision, we urge you to contact Gary for a complimentary consultation.