Determining the Value of Your Bicycle Accident Case
Bicycling is a great way to get some exercise. You can join a cycling group you find on social media, gather some friends, or head off on a solo ride. Cities like Forth Worth are even encouraging the sport by creating dedicated bike lanes.
Unfortunately, the sport’s growing popularity is also leading to an increase in bicycle accidents. Being involved in a bike wreck can result in significant injuries. However, before you file an injury claim, it’s a good idea to know the factors affecting the value of bicycle accident cases.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Rider inattention is a common cause; however, motor vehicles can pose an even bigger threat than cyclists not looking where they’re going. Some common causes of bike accidents on Fort Worth streets include:
- Speeding and aggressive driving
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Failure to yield
- Unsafe lane changes and turns
Road conditions can also lead to accidents. For example, have you ever tried to pedal safely down a street covered in potholes? Don’t forget about road construction and not all construction zones are clearly marked.
If you’re injured in a bicycle accident, you need to know the underlying cause. This way, if you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, you know who to name as the responsible party.
Factors That Can Affect the Value of Your Bicycle Accident Case
Several factors can affect your compensation amount after a bicycle accident, and this applies whether another cyclist is responsible for the accident or a motor vehicle driver.
If you caused the accident by, for example, not looking where you’re going, you may not have a case for a personal injury claim. If this applies to your bike accident, your insurance provider should cover your medical and property damage expenses.
So, what factors help determine the value of your bicycle accident?
The severity of your injuries plays a large role in determining the value of your bicycle accident case, so a broken bone is going to be valued higher than a road rash. Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries can also increase the value of your case. However, this doesn’t mean hoping your bike accident results in significant injuries. Instead, more serious injuries typically require more extensive medical care.
Part of your personal injury claim includes medical expenses, and significant injuries typically mean higher costs. You may also be claiming long-term treatment, and this can also up your case’s financial value.
Along with economic damages (medical expenses), significant injuries may also entitle you to non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Since you can’t place a set price on your mental anguish, you often see the value of your case increase.
Basically, you add up all of your medical expenses, including those for long-term care when applicable. You’ll have a higher total cost for significant injuries than if you’re only treating road rash.
Extent of Your Property Damage
When you think of property, your bicycle probably pops into mind. Your personal injury claim can include property damage costs, whether it’s a repair or a replacement. If your front wheel is bent, you can add the repair cost to your claim. If your bike is totaled, then you can add in the replacement cost.
A quick tip about replacement costs and personal injury claims. Most insurance companies aren’t going to want to pay replacement costs that are higher than the value of your bicycle. In other words, don’t try to use the accident to upgrade to the latest model. Instead, get several estimates and submit these to the insurance company. Chances are, they’ll be willing to settle on a mid-priced bicycle.
As with injury severity, the amount and extent of damage to your bicycle can affect the value of your accident case.
Did you know your property damage claim doesn’t need to be limited to only your bicycle? You can also claim damaged gear, cell phones, etc. Basically, almost any property that’s damaged in a biking accident may be eligible for compensation.
Don’t go overboard listing the damaged property. For example, if your cycling shoes are destroyed, simply list the replacement costs for a new pair. Don’t break it down to shoelaces, socks, shoes, etc. All this does is slow down the time it takes to process your injury claim.
Has the Accident Affected Your Lifestyle
The injuries you experience in a bicycle crash can impact your life. Your injuries may prevent you from returning to work for a few weeks or even permanently. As part of your economic damages claim, you can include lost current and future earnings.
If your ability to enjoy activities you love, like cycling, is affected, you can also add this to your claim. The dollar amount you place on a loss of life enjoyment claim can be difficult to calculate.
Unlike lost wages which have a set amount, just look at a pay stub, it’s difficult to place a value on loss of enjoyment. Your personal injury attorney can help you calculate this non-economic damage to help ensure your case’s value results in fair compensation.
Emotional Impact of the Accident
Determining the emotional impact the accident has on your life is rarely easy since you’re being asked to place a value on your mental anguish.
If your emotional distress stemming from the accident results in therapy, you can use this cost as a starting point. However, don’t forget about the impact your emotional distress is having on your life.
Your mental anguish may also be affecting your friends and family, and this can add to the value of your case. A good way to start calculating this no-economic damage is by writing down how your life has changed since the accident.
Your Bicycle Accident May Be Worth More Than You Think
Indeed, bicycle accidents are often unforeseen events, and dealing with the aftermath can be challenging, especially if you’re injured. It’s important not to underestimate the potential value of your claim by trying to calculate damages on your own.
Personal injury law can be complex, and various factors may contribute to the total value of your case, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and potential long-term effects of your injuries. However, seeking legal advice from a qualified personal injury attorney can provide a more accurate assessment of your claim’s worth.