Virginia has miles of roads perfect for bicycling, as well as urban areas in which cycling has increasingly become a more popular means of commuting. Unfortunately, as more bicyclists occupy the roads, accidents may occur on both country and city streets. Individuals who sustain injuries in bike crashes should strongly consider hiring a Hanover County bicycle accident lawyer.
People hurt in these accidents sometimes suffer catastrophic injuries that can become fatal. Still, even if they are wearing safety gear, their bodies have little protection against much heavier and faster motor vehicles. Fortunately, a skilled personal injury attorney could advise you on how to recover damages for any injuries you suffered in a collision.
Negligence, or the careless disregard for the safety of others, is the foundation of many personal injury claims. When someone acts in a way that deviates from their duty of care, this person may be negligent and face liability for any injuries that they cause. For example, drivers have a duty to follow all traffic laws and avoid behaviors that may put others on the road, including bicyclists, at risk of harm. If a motorist were to violate this responsibility and hurt a bike rider in the process, they may be legally negligent.
Bicyclists also have a duty to follow traffic rules, as well as local ordinances that impact their ride. As such, bicyclists can be partially at fault for the accidents that lead to their injuries. If an injured party is negligent, however, principles of contributory negligence prohibit them from seeking damages from any other party. As a result, if bicyclists are even one percent at fault for their injuries, they may not obtain any compensation for their injuries.
Since the potential for injuries to bicyclists is relatively high, insurance companies for the at-fault drivers often contact the injured parties quickly and offer a settlement. With looming medical bills and the possibility of being unable to work for some time, claimants often need the money that a settlement can immediately bring to help them recover from their injuries.
It is not the goal of these insurance companies to do what is in the best interests of the injured party. Instead, their objective is to pay as little as possible to resolve a claim in exchange for a signed waiver of liability. This waiver ensures that the injured bicyclist gives up all rights to sue the insured for any losses related to the accident, even if they later suffer complications or incur additional medical treatment. As a result, claimants may be vulnerable to agreeing to a lower settlement than they may be entitled to.
By enlisting the help of a lawyer in Hanover County, claimants could put themselves in a stronger position to get the compensation they need following a bicycle accident. Legal advocates can negotiate claims on behalf of their clients and seek maximum compensation for their losses.
The statute of limitations is the timeframe in which individuals who are seeking damages must file their claims in court. Individuals must file their claims within the applicable statute of limitations or risk losing their opportunity to recover compensation. Under Virginia Code §8.01-243, individuals injured in bicycle accidents typically have two years from the date of the incident in which to file their claims, although there are some notable exceptions. A local attorney can help someone injured in a bicycle accident file their claim within the appropriate timeframe.
If you or a member of your family has suffered severe injuries in a bike accident, you might have a claim for damages against the negligent parties. A Hanover County bicycle accident lawyer can evaluate your situation and assess whether you have a valid legal claim.
With legal counsel, you can work to get the settlement or court judgment that meets your need and truly compensates you for your losses. Call today to learn more about the options available to you.