Common Bicycle Injuries
If you are a bicyclist who has been involved in an accident with a car, you may have suffered physical injuries, psychological disturbances, inability to work, loss of wages, and medical expenses. All of these elements of your claim should be properly addressed if you are dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Common injuries: Commons injuries from people hit on a bicycle include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
Many injuries require surgery to repair. If you have been injured severely in an accident, these injuries likely will not just heal themselves magically. Seeing the right specialist can make a world of difference. The best specialists for a serious injury are doctors, such as osteopaths, physiatrists, orthopedic doctors, but chiropractors and physical therapists can also be very beneficial.Recent Successful Bicycle Accident Case
Recently, the Jackman Law Firm obtained a $100,000 settlement for a man who was riding his bicycle to work in Seattle and was struck by a car. He was badly bruised and his tailbone was fractured. He required extensive care and treated with a physical therapist and a chiropractor for his injuries. $100,000 was the most amount of insurance that was available on his case.Who Will Pay My Medical Bills After a Bicycle Accident?
If you are struck by a car while on your bicycle, you are going to have to make a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will not likely have your best interests at heart and will not likely make a fair offer to settle your case. If the driver who struck you did not have car insurance, which is the case with almost a quarter of all drivers on the road in Washington State, then you will have to make a claim with your own insurance company.
In terms of who will pay your medical bills, that depends, like a lot of things in law, on the situation of your case. Most of the time the driver who hit you will have PIP, which stands for Personal Injury Protection. This is a form of health insurance purchased through your car insurance. Policies usually range from $10,000 to $30,000. If the driver who hit you had this policy, then that will pay the bills. If the driver did not have this policy, then your health insurance, through work or through the state, will pay these bills.
If, however, the driver did have a $10,000 PIP policy, but your bills exceed this amount, then PIP will pay the first $10,000 and your health insurance will pick up the remainder. If there is no insurance available at all, then unfortunately your only hope is to ask for the insurance company to hold the bills pending the outcome of your case and hope that the driver who hit you had some kind of liability insurance, even if it is only the Washington State minimum of $25,000.
One thing to be aware of is something called subrogation. This means that if the at-fault driver’s PIP paid $10,000 of your medical bills, at the time you reach a settlement for your bodily injury claim, they are allowed to have what they paid in PIP be offset for your damages. So if it is determined your case is worth, in total, $20,000, and PIP paid $10,000, then they get a $6,700 credit. This is because that the insurance company has to take a 33% reduction, which is called a Mahler fee reduction.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help After a Bicycle Accident
If you’ve been hurt while riding a bicycle, you may need help handling your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This could include proving the extent of your injuries, working with the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) carrier, and presenting documents to substantiate a wage loss claim and the monetary amount of what you should receive in pain and suffering. Under the law in Washington State, an injured bicyclist is allowed to recover:
- Payment of reasonable, necessary, and accident-related medical bills.
- Pain and suffering.
- Lost wages.
- If applicable, future lost wages.
- Out of pocket expenses, such as repayment for a cane, brace, or wheelchair, if applicable.
The insurance company, whether that is yours or the at-fault driver’s insurance company,
will likely not just write you a check for the full damages that you are owed. Rather, you are likely going to have to fight to do this. Why go through it alone? The Jackman Law Firm has had tremendous success negotiating with insurance companies to get you the money you deserve. If negotiations fall apart, then you need an attorney with the experience and know-how and track record to go to court and try the case in front of a jury to ensure you get the verdict you deserve.
Finally, another consideration to keep in mind is that sometimes the insurance company will allege that you were somehow at fault. We have the ability to prove otherwise by interviewing key witnesses, obtaining documents, and even obtaining surveillance footage that might have captured the accident.
Feel free to contact The Jackman Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your options.