Can I Sue For My Bicycle Accident?

Yes – If you  or a family member have been injured because of the negligence or fault of another you can bring a lawsuit against them to recover damages.

Do I Need a Bicycle Lawyer?

The short answer is no. If you want to deal with all the paperwork and hoops it requires to file a case, front the money to hire the appripiate experts, interview all parties involved including witnesses and the person who hit you, research an appropriate settlement amount, and finally negotiate with professionals in the insurance industry who are paid to widdle down your claim then you don’t need an attorney.

If you want to focus on your recovery, getting your life back in order and allow a professional to take care of these issues then you want an experienced bicycle attorney. You will get the best settlement possible and the insurance company will know that you are serious about recovering for all your damages.

How Much is My Case Worth?

Each case is unique and it is hard to give even a ball park estimate without knowing the facts of a case, however a guideline is that the more serious the injury the more a claim is worth. Cases that involve concussions, broken bones, joint or cartilage damage are worth more than ones with only soft tissue injuries. This is not to say that a claim is not worth perusing if you don’t have these injuries. Many factors including loss of income, present and future medical expenses and loss of quality of life can increase the value of a claim.

The best way to find out what your claim is worth is to schedule a free consultation. It will only take about an hour and can be done over the phone. No pressure, no obligation.

Will I Get to Talk to a Lawyer if I Call?

Yes, in fact Tom himself often answers calls directly. He also gives his cell number out and is committed to listening to his clients.

How Long Will My Case Take to Settle?

A majority of cases (80%-90%) are settled within six (6) months to one (1) year from the time our office begins working on the case.

What About My Bike?

The property damage portion of the case is usually resolved within 30-60 days from the time the file is opened. Also, Mr. Forsyth does not take an attorney’s fee from your property damage settlement. He handles this portion of the case as a courtesy to his clients. Therefore, any and all property damage settlement awarded by the insurance company belongs to the client only. Property damage also includes any personal items.

What Are Your Fees and How Are You Paid?

Our office works an a “Contingency Fee” basis which means we take a percentage of what we able to recover for you.

If there is no recovery, there is no fee and you owe us nothing for the case.

If we do recover money from the responsible party, our fee is a third 33.3% of the gross recovery. If the case goes to litigation the fee becomes 40% of the gross recovery.

We do not take a fee from the property damage portion of the case. We handle this portion of the claim as a courtesy to our client. This means all the money recovered for your bike and other personal items damaged in the accident go back to you.

The Insurance Company Offered Me a Settlement. Should I take it?

No. Most likely the insurance company knows that you have a case and they are trying to get you to settle before you contact an attorney and realize how much your case is really worth. It is the adjusters job to get you to take as little as possible. Here are a few examples of actual cases I have worked on:

Cyclist injured when driver cut in front of client. Client swerved to avoid impact and hit the pavement. Client tried to handle the case himself and was offered $700.00 to settle the case. After he retained our office, the case settled for policy limits of $15,000.00

Cyclist injured when motorist made an unsafe left hand turn in front of him. Cyclist attempted to negotiate himself with the insurance carrier. He was offered $5,000.00 to settle the case. The insurance company refused to increase their offer. After retaining our office, the case settled for $40,000.00.

Read more here about why you shouldn’t try and negotiate with the insurance company yourself.

If you want to protect your rights and be sure you are fairly compensated for your injuries you need a bicycle attorney. Contact us for a free consultation.

What If I Wasn’t Actually Hit by the Car?

You still may have a claim. Many times a cyclist may be injured while taking evasive action to avoid being hit. If the driver of the vehicle caused you, by their actions, to become injured then they can be held liable. This type of case is more difficult to navigate and will require some investigation of the scene and accident report. If you were injured in this way, without being physically touched by the motorist it is imperative that you have an aggressive bicycle attorney on your side. (See our post on what you need to do if this happens to you.)

Who Could Be Liable for My Injuries?

If the accident was with a vehicle:

Negligent truck, bus or automobile drivers will be responsible. We will actually file the lawsuit against them, but their insurance company will be the one to pay.

This can also include Motor Vehicle Harassment: Some states have passed laws specifically prohibiting harassment of cyclists and making certain harassing behavior criminal. Harassment can be shouting to cursing, passing too closely, or throwing objects at the cyclist. If this behavior caused  your injury you may have a case against them.

If you were hurt because of a defective or recalled product, or negligent repair of your bike:

Retailers and or manufactures of bad parts, accessories or vehicles. This could include helmets, petals, brakes, wheels etc.

Repair shops that performed faulty repairs.

If the accident was caused by unsafe conditions:

Potentially the City, County or State that is responsible for maintaing the roads and bike paths. Check out our post on some common unsafe road conditions. These governmental bodies could also be responsible if your accident was a result of improper upkeep of public property such a tree trimming, construction etc.

Owner of private property if the accident was caused by the negligent maintenance or upkeep of private property. This would also include dog attacks and dog bites. In these cases the owners home insurance would be the one to pay the claim.

What If I want to handle my claim myself?

You should still contact us. With a brief phone conversation I can give you an estimate of what your claim is worth so you don’t get taken by the insurance company.

What if the Other Driver Had No Insurance?

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can recover money for your medical bills and pain and suffering. See our post for more details on this.

In addition, many auto policies will cover you if you are injured in a bicycle accident or while on foot under the PIP riders.

How Much Time Will I Spend On My Case?

We are a full service firm that handles all the details of your case. From filing to interviews to hiring the appropriate witnesses, our goal is to let you get your life back in order while we handle your case. Your time is valuable and we understand that. Many cases just require an initial short meeting to get the details of your case. This is done in our office, at the scene, or in your home if you are unable to leave your house. After that many cases can be handled over the phone and with minimal interruption to your life.