The amount of compensation that you can get to settle your bike accident claim will depend on many factors, so we cannot throw out one number that will apply to any given case. Every case is unique. We will have to investigate your situations and gather the evidence to determine the range of a fair settlement for a bike accident.
Factors That Can Affect the Amount of Money You Can Get for a Bike Accident
The elements that play a role in the amount of financial damages you can get will be different in every case. Here are some of the issues that are often relevant in these claims:
- Medical expenses. You can recover the reasonable medical expenses for treatment of your injuries from the bike accident. These items can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, doctors, x-rays and other imaging services, blood tests, prescription drugs, surgery, and physical therapy. A bike accident with higher medical expenses will tend to result in a higher settlement amount.
- Missed paychecks. You can seek compensation for the time that you missed from work without pay because of your injuries and recuperation time. This category can include wages, salary, self-employment, and other forms of income.
- Pain and suffering. Your settlement for a bike accident can include a monetary amount for the physical discomfort and emotional distress you suffered because of the bike accident.
- Other intangible losses. People often have additional noneconomic losses as part of their damages claims. An intangible loss is one that does not usually have a receipt or invoice but is a legitimate item for compensation. Examples of intangible losses include disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Decreased earning capacity. Sometimes a severe injury limits a person’s ability to make a living. If your bike accident injuries leave you unable to make as much income as before, you can go after compensation for the difference.
- Rehabilitation facility. Bike accidents often involve significant injuries that require weeks or months of care at a specialized rehabilitation center. The costs can add up quickly. These expenses are compensable.
- Long-term care. When a person sustains a catastrophic injury, like spinal cord damage, he might need ongoing daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care. We can include these expenses in your damages claim.
These are a few examples of the types of compensation people pursue in bike accident claims. Depending on the facts of your case, some of these categories might not apply to your situation, but you might have other losses that you can add to your claim.
What We Have to Prove to Establish Liability
We have to prove all four of these elements to hold someone responsible for your losses from a bike accident:
- Duty. The defendant must have owed the injured person a legal duty of care. Let’s say that the distracted driver of a car veered into the bike lane, striking a bicycle rider. Everyone who operates motor vehicles on public roads has a responsibility to keep a careful lookout.
- Breach. It is negligence to fail to live up to the standards of a legal duty of care. The driver was not giving his full attention to the street, which means that he violated the obligation to keep a careful lookout.
- Causation. The carelessness must be the thing that caused the accident and injury. In this scenario, the driver’s failure to pay attention to the road caused him to veer into the bike lane, where he struck and injured the bike rider. The negligence caused the accident and injury.
- Measurable damages. The plaintiff must have quantifiable losses to hold the defendant liable. Physical injury satisfies this requirement.
When we can establish these factors with credible evidence, we can go after compensation for your injuries.
Getting Legal Help for Your Bike Accident
Although Georgia law does not force you to work with a lawyer on your bike accident claim, it can be a smart decision to do so. The insurance company of the person who caused your bicycle accident makes a profit by paying as little as possible to injured people. We can help you navigate through the claims process and avoid the traps and pitfalls that can sabotage your claim for money damages.
Be sure to finish your medical treatment before entering into a settlement of your injury claim. You will not know if you will have a residual disability from the harm you sustained until your doctor releases you from treatment. If you settle your case before that point, you cannot go back to the insurer to get more money for the impairments that you will have to live with for the rest of your life.
At S. Burke Law, we treat our clients like family. When you have experienced a significant injury, you need to be able to focus on getting better while we take care of the rest. We provide compassionate, responsive legal services. Call us today at (404) 842-7838 for a free consultation.