The experienced bike accident attorneys of Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers represent clients who’ve been hurt while riding in Valparaiso and the surrounding areas. We understand the horrific injuries and specific challenges that cyclists face in the aftermath of a crash. We are committed to getting you the full and fair compensation you’re owed and holding the responsible party accountable for their negligence.
No matter how hard bicyclists try to stay safe on the road, a bike is ultimately no match for a vehicle that outweighs it by several thousand pounds. As biking becomes more popular in Indiana, bike accidents are becoming more common, whether they’re caused by a distracted driver, an intoxicated driver, or a driver who failed to yield to a bicyclist.
Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can receive compensation to help you pay for any medical bills, bike repairs, and lost wages if your accident-related injuries have left you unable to work. Experienced bicycle accident attorneys, such as those as Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, have the skills and resources necessary to help you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
We understand the challenges you may face after a bike accident, and we’re here to help. Give our Valparaiso attorneys a call today at (219) 286-7361 to ask any questions or set up a free consultation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
An experienced bike accident lawyer, like those at Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, will ensure that you get the highest compensation package possible. After a bike accident in which you were not at fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be responsible for paying your medical bills, lost wages, and the cost of your bike repair. However, insurance companies want to give you the least amount of compensation possible — they will find ways to reduce or deny your claim.
A bike accident lawyer will have a good idea of the compensation you can expect to receive based on your accident and will be able to negotiate with insurance companies until that amount is agreed upon. If insurance companies are unwilling to fully compensate you, it may be necessary to take legal action against them.
You also may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who hit you. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient liability insurance to fully cover your damages, a personal injury lawsuit can help you recover further compensation. Personal injury lawsuits can also result in compensation for pain and suffering, whereas insurance policies often do not cover this type of damage.
Why Should I Choose Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers?
At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, we treat our clients like family and use every tool at our disposal to win your case. We will take as much time as needed to listen to our clients and personally answer any questions you may have about your case. We understand that bike accidents can be life-altering events, and we are passionate about helping our clients shoulder that burden in their time of difficulty.
Because of our compassionate approach to stellar legal representation, our clients consistently give us outstanding reviews. We have won many settlements for our clients worth hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars.
Many of our clients come to us worried about how they will pay for a lawyer. At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, you don’t have to worry, because we operate on a contingency fee basis. That means that we take a percentage of your overall settlement at the end of your case, and we don’t charge you a single bill or fee along the way. If we don’t win your case, then you don’t owe us any money. This means that our clients are able to hire our firm’s lawyers without any financial risk.
Common Bicycle Accidents
Both bikers and car drivers have a responsibility to safely share the road. While bikers sometimes make mistakes that put them in harm’s way, it is often car drivers who cause accidents. Furthermore, when a car and a bike get into an accident, the biker is nearly always going to be more severely injured than the car driver. Car drivers often suffer minimal to no injury or vehicle damage after hitting a bike.
These are some common car-bike accident scenarios:
- Turning across a bike path without checking to see if there are oncoming bikes. When making turns, drivers tend to focus on checking if other cars are coming or if pedestrians are crossing the road. Since bikes travel faster than pedestrians but slower than cars, drivers who do not specifically check for bikers can be caught off guard by bikes on a bike path.
- Running a red light or stop sign; making a rolling stop; failing to properly yield.
- Speeding. If a car driver is driving too fast, their ability to stop is impeded, and the accident is likely to be much more severe than if they were driving at a safe speed.
- Opening a car door without checking if there is an oncoming bicyclist. Bike lanes are usually on either side of a street’s parallel parking zone — often between the parked cars and the street, and sometimes between the parked cars and the sidewalk. If a car door opens suddenly, bikers may swerve into traffic to avoid it, or crash directly into the door. In the latter situation, the biker may be flung headfirst off of their bike, crashing into the door itself or flying over it.
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What Are My Legal Options?
You have a few options to get compensation following a bike accident.
Insurance: If the driver caused your accident, you can file a claim against their insurance company to get them to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. However, drivers sometimes have limited liability coverage on their policies, meaning the compensation you receive from their insurance company might be insufficient to pay for your bills. For example, if a driver chooses an insurance policy that covers $25,000 in liability insurance, but your medical bills are $30,000, then you have to find another way to come up with the remaining $5,000.
To deal with the rest of the bills that the motorist’s liability insurance didn’t cover, you may be able to turn to your personal uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UMI) on your car insurance plan. Of course, this will only work if you own a car, have car insurance, and have UMI. If you do not have this kind of insurance, you may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit, which we discuss below.
Evaluating your insurance options is a good place to start after a bike accident. However, it’s important to keep in mind that insurance companies are incentivized to give you as little compensation as possible. The insurance adjusters who investigate claims work hard to find any reason to reduce your claim or deny it altogether.
Never agree to take any money from an insurance company before consulting with a lawyer. When you accept a settlement from an insurance company, you will be required to sign an agreement releasing both the insurance company and the at-fault individual from any further liability. This means that you cannot take legal action against the insurance company or the individual, even if your injuries become worse, and you require additional medical care. In this case, you would be on your own to pay for medical bills.
Personal injury lawsuit: For a variety of reasons, an insurance settlement may not fully meet your needs. As mentioned, you are limited by the amount of coverage the at-fault driver has on their policy in addition to any UM coverage you may or may not have.
Even if an insurance settlement seems to cover your needs at the moment, it’s still a good idea to consult with an attorney about a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury compensation can include money for future medical bills if you prove that your condition will require continued medical care. With a personal injury lawsuit, you can also make an argument that you deserve compensation for non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages are those for which money is an approximate, rather than a direct substitution. You may have heard of people getting compensation for “pain and suffering” — these are non-economic damages. You can receive non-economic damage compensation for things like pain, suffering, and mental trauma. While money cannot reduce your pain or erase the trauma of an accident, it can be used to make you more comfortable and mitigate the stress of unexpected financial issues.
In order to make the case that you deserve compensation for these kinds of damages, we recommend documenting every time you notice that your injuries are preventing you from living your life the way you did before the accident. Perhaps your injuries make it impossible for you to ride your bike or complete household chores, for example.
If you are experiencing mental trauma, depression, or PTSD symptoms, we may hire a mental health professional to examine you and then testify about your mental state before a judge or jury.
At Custy Law Firm | Accident & Injury Lawyers, we understand how terrifying bike accidents can be. Most bikers do everything they can to stay safe on the roads, but unfortunately, bikes are simply no match for a 4,000-pound passenger vehicle. Our Valparaiso attorneys are proud to advocate for accident victims and will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.