To win an injury claim against a negligent driver, you need a bicycle accident lawyer in Bridgeport, CT. Learn about bicycle accidents and compensation options.
Cycling has several health benefits like increased cardiovascular system, improved coordination, and posture. So, it's not surprising that residents of Bridgeport, Connecticut, love cycling. However, the more bicycle riders there are on the road, the greater their chance of an accident. A bicycle accident could be due to the carelessness of motor vehicle drivers or bicyclists.
When a careless driver causes an auto accident that injures a bicycle rider, the person can commence an accident claim to recover financial compensation. This legal matter requires expert legal representation from personal injury attorneys in Bridgeport, Connecticut. In addition, our lawyers at Jacobs & Wallace have experience handling legal issues of this nature. So, contact us if you wish to pursue a personal injury claim against a negligent driver.
What Causes Bicycle Accidents in Bridgeport, Connecticut?
The factors that contribute to traffic accidents like a truck, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents also play a role in bike crashes. In 2019, 843 bicyclists died in collisions with motor vehicles. However, this number was a 3 percent decrease from the 868 bicyclist deaths in 2018.
Common causes of bicycle crashes are:
- Distracted driving/riding
- Drunk driving/riding
- Reckless driving
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Open car doors
- Bad roads
Under Connecticut laws, cyclists must adhere to bike laws and traffic safety laws. One of such rules is using a designated bike lane or trail. In addition, riders should check their air, brake, and chain before setting out. The preceding is known as the ABC check. Finally, Connecticut bicycle riders must also wear safety gear like a bicycle helmet when on the road. All these are to avoid injuries in the event of a bicycle accident.
Connecticut Rules of the Road
The Department of Motor Vehicles created the Connecticut Rules of the Road to help vehicle drivers and bicyclists know their expectations. The rules also help to prove fault when auto-bicycle accidents happen. For example, one common law is that motorists must leave a three feet distance from a cyclist, and they cannot honk if there is no reason to warn the bicyclist of danger.
Furthermore, drivers must always assume that a bicycle rider is traveling across the intersection when making a right or left turn. Therefore, a driver who violates any of these rules would be deemed negligent. As such, the cyclist can recover compensation from the negligent driver once they prove fault.
What Are the Common Injuries Sustained in Bicycle Accidents?
Like motorcycle accidents, bike accidents often result in severe or catastrophic injuries. Common examples of this type of injury are:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Road rash
Catastrophic injuries can sometimes result in death or leave the injury victim in a state where they require special care. When the accident victim dies, their legal beneficiaries can commence a wrongful death claim. A successful wrongful death action means compensation for the victim's survivors. However, you need legal counsel from compensation attorneys with decades of experience to win such an action.
What Compensation Will You Get as a Bicycle Accident Victim?
Aside from physical injuries, accident victims often suffer emotional and property damage. Connecticut law recognizes this and allows victims to recover maximum compensation from the fault driver. The compensation is broadly categorized as economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to quantifiable losses, while non-economic damages refer to unquantifiable losses. Common examples of the two are:
- Medical bills
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Funeral and burial expenses (for wrongful death claims), etc.
In addition, a victim can request punitive damages. However, punitive damages are only recoverable in personal injury lawsuits, not insurance claims. Courts only award it after seeing proof of gross negligence or malicious intentions by the defendant. Most injury accident victims don't know when to request punitive damages, hence the reason to always work with a personal injury law firm with experienced trial lawyers.
When Should You File a Bicycle Accident Claim?
Under the Connecticut Statute of Limitations, accident victims have two years to file a claim against an at-fault party. The time starts counting from the accident date. Once the two-year period elapses, your case becomes statute-barred. Insurance adjusters are aware of this, so they delay investigations and negotiations. They aim to get you to miss the deadline and take a meager settlement. Working with a personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure you file your claim within the limitation.
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident?
Winning a compensation claim starts from the accident scene. You need to take several steps after the crash if you want a chance at fair compensation. So, after a bike crash, do the following:
- Call 911: Call 911 to request an ambulance and get the police to the scene. When law enforcement officers arrive, make an official police report. The accident report will serve as evidence when you commence the legal process.
- Get Medical Attention: You need medical care to treat your accident injuries. In addition, the medical record is another crucial piece of evidence necessary to prove your claim to an insurance company or jury.
- Gather Evidence: You need pictures of the crash site, video footage, and witness statements to prove your claim. After the accident investigation, you can obtain an accident reconstruction specialist's report. If your injury keeps you hospitalized, your personal injury lawyer can help you gather the proof you need.
- Hire a legal team
Why Should I Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Bridgeport, Connecticut?
The fault party's insurance carrier has a legal team on retainer to help them find legal loopholes to avoid paying victims of auto accidents. Therefore, the only way to level the playing field is by having an experienced injury attorney by your side. You should hire experienced lawyers for the following reasons:
- Negotiation Skills: Accomplished accident lawyers spent years honing their negotiations skills. This helps them negotiate aggressively with insurance companies to get you the best accident settlement.
- Knowledge of the Law: Lawyers know the applicable personal injury laws and civil litigation procedures. In addition, they will handle all the paperwork and explain legal terms, jargon, and gray areas to you.
- Accurately Assess Your Damage: Most injury victims can't accurately calculate the worth of their damages, especially non-economic damages. But a lawyer has the skills to assess a claim and arrive at a sum that covers all your losses.
- Establishing Evidence: Gathering evidence is one thing; establishing them is another. Personal injury attorneys know how to prove your case with the gathered evidence best and get you a win. In addition, your attorney will disprove the other party's claims, especially when they try to make you partly at fault.
Book a Consultation With Injury Attorneys at Jacobs & Wallace
At Jacobs & Wallace, we understand how an accident affects a victim's life. This is why our lawyers dedicate their time to giving you the best representation and securing the maximum settlement. We offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. So contact us today to speak with one of our attorneys.