Frequently Asked Questions
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What evidence do you need to preserve if you have been in a bike accident?
If your bike is damaged and you take it to a repair shop, make sure to take photographs of the damage before the repairs are made. You also want to save and preserve all the clothing you were wearing, as well as any equipment and gear you had on when you were hit. This can include your helmet, gloves, boots, glasses, jacket, and backpack. Do not wash any of these items. Instead, place them in a large plastic bag.
What do I need to document a bike accident?
If you have been injured in a bike accident, make to take photos of the following details:
- The location and extent of damage to your bike
- The position of the vehicles after the crash occurred
- The license plate and driver of the vehicle
- Any marks and debris caused by the accident
- Any injuries you have sustained
If you are unable to take the photos yourself because of an injury, get help from a witness or call a family member or friend to come to the scene.
What are steps victims of bike accidents should take?
Bicyclists who are involved in vehicle accidents need to treat the accidents just as if they would if they were driving a car. It is essential to get proper documentation in order to prevail in any legal actions or claims if you are injured in the crash.
One step to take is to report the accident to the police so they will come to the scene. This is especially important if you have been injured and need medical attention. You will also want to get the name and insurance information of the driver of the vehicle involved in the crash. If there were witnesses to the crash, make sure to get their contact information, as well.
What about if my spouse helped around the home?Your personal injury attorney will review your family and household services to determine the level of contribution the victim made. If the victim stayed home with the children, she may have been responsible for the children, cooking, cleaning, shopping etc. If the family needs to pay to have someone handle those things now, the cost can be included in a loss of consortium claim.
Will the insurance company make a payout on uninsured motorist and medpay claims?Yes but they will dig for evidence that the accident was the pedestrian's fault, such as you stepped in front of the biker. Working with a skilled personal injury attorney can make the claims process easier.
Can I sue a biker to recover my medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering?Yes, but you could find it easier to file a claim under the uninsured motorist and medpay parts of your own auto insurance policy. You must carry UIM coverage in Virginia.
Why should I wait to file until I am fully healed from my bike accident injuries?When you settle your claim, the case is over. You cannot go back and have a do-over if your injuries worsen. So you want to wait until you have fully healed so you can get the maximum amount of money, and be certain that your injuries do not worsen after settlement.
How long will it take to settle my bike accident claim?Generally, we find that settling a typical bicycle accident claim, such as a crosswalk accident where you were hit by a car, can take a year from start to finish. But the timeline will vary depending upon the extent of your injuries and accident details. Timelines can run from months to years.
How many biking injuries are there in auto crashes each year in Virginia?
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reports there were 712 biking injuries due to auto crashes in 2014, and 12 were killed.
When it comes to filing insurance claims, does it matter where a driver hit and injured me while I was riding my bike?
Yes. Virginia state law and various local ordinances make it illegal to ride your bicycle on an interstate or in other places where cars and trucks are allowed to operate. Violating a bike use law and then getting hit and injured by a driver constitutes contributory negligence.
Virginia courts consider any evidence of contributory negligence as an absolute bar to recovery for personal injuries. In plainer English, you cannot file an insurance claim if you got hurt while breaking the law.