If you are injured while riding a bicycle or as a pedestrian, you should hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. There are eight good reasons why it’s important to act quickly to hire an experienced attorney in these cases:
- Injuries are more severe. Because, as a cyclist or a pedestrian, you are totally exposed to the vehicle that hit you as well as to the ground, road surface or sidewalk. It’s possible you were “pinned” between them, and this produces greater trauma than if you had the protection of a vehicle around you. As a pedestrian, severe injuries can occur if the car is going as slowly as 10 miles per hour; pedestrian fatalities can occur when the car is traveling just 30 miles per hour
- At first, you may not know how badly you are hurt. If you are injured as a cyclist or pedestrian, and are conscious or even walking after the accident, you are likely to just be glad you survived. In your relief, you may not realize how badly you are injured. An experienced attorney knows that there may be serious injuries and long-term adverse ramifications that you do not grasp at the moment.
- You are not thinking clearly. No matter if your injuries are minor or severe, you will be traumatized by the unexpected impact of a motor vehicle. This trauma will have an immediate effect on your ability to think clearly and act on your own best behalf. A personal injury attorney can take charge in a clear-headed and experienced manner.
- Insurance companies are not your friend. As with any type of accident, you should not have a conversation with an insurance company representative before speaking with your attorney. Good car accident lawyers know that insurance companies are not looking out for your best interest. Insurance companies usually are looking to minimize the amount of compensation they will have to pay. Do not say anything about your injuries, how you are feeling, or what actions you might be taking in the future before consulting with your attorney.
- You must be checked out professionally. The only way to know the extent of your injuries is to be checked thoroughly by medical professionals. This may include medical testing to determine if you have internal injuries or some hidden issue that could impair you in the future. Your attorney will ensure that you are checked-out thoroughly by credentialed medical professionals.
- Who pays for medical bills upfront? This is a good question, and your attorney will know the answer. States have differing laws on this; in some states, the driver’s insurance company is required to pay the medical bills for a cyclist or pedestrian the driver may have hit. As noted earlier, it’s likely for a cyclist or pedestrian to have more severe injuries, and the question of who will pay for immediate medical bills is a very important one.
- Recovering losses: your bike. For a person who is not a cyclist, it’s easy to consider your bicycle to be “just a bike.” Yet any experienced cyclist knows that bikes come in a wide range of price tags. Insurance adjusters usually are not well-versed in bicycle valuations and may drastically downgrade the amount of your loss. It’s even worse if the adjuster recommends repairing your bike, as bicycles involved in a car accident generally cannot be restored to their previous condition. Your attorney will take action to ensure that you receive fair compensation for the loss of your bike.
- Recovering losses for injuries and long-term ramifications. It’s very difficult to calculate a fair compensation for injuries suffered, particularly those with long-term ramifications. An experienced accident lawyer will protect your interests by professionally valuing your claim and by seeking fair compensation for a cyclist or pedestrian.
If you have been injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, contact Perna & Abracht LLC for a thorough evaluation of your case and your best next steps.