All bicycle accidents are scary, especially if a motor vehicle driver caused them. In many cases, however, the victim can file a claim with their insurance company to get the money necessary to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
If the victim's bicycle accident injury was caused by someone else, they can also file claims with the other person's insurance.
There are many variables when it comes to filing a case for a bicycle accident and insurance coverage. Those who want to get proper financial compensation should always work with bicycle accident attorneys in Houston TX in an effort to build a better case.
Not filing an insurance claim properly will result in lowball settlements, which then lead to out-of-pocket expenses to deal with medical treatments.
This page will cover how to file bicycle accident insurance claims the right way and why hiring an attorney is the best thing victims can do to ensure their success.
The Importance of Hiring a Professional Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Even if the bike accident was minor, representing oneself in an insurance claim isn't a great decision to make. Insurance companies often have a huge team behind them, and they will do everything in their power to save money.
If the victim files a claim without the help of a bicycle accident attorney, they may not be able to negotiate a better deal.
Generally speaking, a lawyer can help with:
Reviewing the case and estimating how much it's worth.
Negotiating with the insurance company.
Filing a lawsuit against the insurance company and representing the victim.
Answering any questions the victim may have about the case or the law.
Why Should Victims File a Bike Accident Claim?
Filing an insurance claim will be the victim's best shot at getting compensated for their damages. Even though not all bike accidents are severe, the victim shouldn't have to pay out of pocket for their medical bills.
Getting legal help will maximize the victim's chances of winning against their insurance company, as professional lawyers have all the knowledge necessary to go past these companies' tricks and build the strongest case possible.
How to File a Bicycle Accident Claim in Texas
First, it's important to consider the statute of limitations in Texas. This statute outlines how much time the victim has to file a claim. Filing a claim after this period will result in a lost case.
According to Texas law, victims have two years from the date of the accident to start the insurance claims process.
Preparing to File the Claim
The rule of thumb in all bicycle and motor vehicle accidents is to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can answer questions like, "Can you get whiplash from a bike accident?" This will give the victim certain documents they'll be able to use to build their case later.
Victims must also do their best to gather as much evidence as possible to support their case, including:
Photos and videos of minor and serious injuries
Photos and videos of the accident scene
Contact and insurance information of the other driver
Contact information of any potential witnesses
Evaluating Insurance Coverage
Now, the victim must evaluate how insurance coverage works in their state to come up with a realistic estimate of how much they can win from the case.
Texas is an at-fault state, meaning that if the accident wasn't the victim's fault, the other driver (or their own insurance company) will be responsible for covering damages.
On the other hand, if the accident was both parties' fault, they will have to cover their own damages, whether it's out-of-pocket or through their insurance policies.
Texas also works under a particular form of "comparative negligence" called "proportionate responsibility." Here, if the victim is partially at fault for the accident, they can still file a claim and recover damages.
However, for this statute to apply, the victim can't be over 50% at fault for the accident. If the victim meets these requirements, they will get their settlement adjusted according to their percentage of fault.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that even though all drivers in Texas are required to have liability insurance, not all of them do. Some at-fault drivers may even flee the scene after causing the accident.
In those cases, the victim has different options. If they know the other driver's identity, they can sue them directly, although that doesn't guarantee they will pay since not everyone has insurance. Moreover, they may not have enough money to pay out-of-pocket either.
The alternative to that option is to get uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection, as that will cover some medical bills and other damages.
Filing the Claim with the Help of a Lawyer
Victims of a bike accident should never try to negotiate with their insurance company directly, as it can use any argument against them later. Moreover, these companies will always try to settle for less to save money.
To get a better chance of getting more money, the victim should talk to a professional lawyer first. These legal experts will help the victim navigate their case and come up with the best strategy to get compensated properly, especially if the accident wasn't their fault.
Evaluating the case with a lawyer can also lead to the discovery of other factors that can help when negotiating. Some people, for example, could file a lawsuit for physical and mental damages and also for property damage.
Lawyers will also take the burden of filing a claim so that the victim can focus on their recovery. This process includes gathering more evidence, talking to witnesses, and negotiating with the insurance company. They can also help explain what causes the most cycling accidents in Texas.
If the case goes to trial, the lawyer will represent the victim.
Bottom Line - Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Today
The process to file a bike accident claim can be overwhelming, but victims don't have to go through that by themselves.
Legal experts, such as the ones in Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, will go to war for their clients and ensure they get justice for their cases.
As long as the victim follows all of the tips mentioned on this page and works with a professional attorney, they will gain the upper hand when negotiating, which will lead to a positive case outcome.