Many busy professionals enjoy bike riding in their free time. According to some studies, nearly one out of three Americans rides a bicycle.
Bicycle accidents, however, are common, and can often be quite serious given the combination of speed, minimal protective clothing and cars that is often involved. Accidents can and do happen, increasingly related to bikes being struck or driven off the road by texting or distracted drivers, or in the context of bike road races.
What if you're one of those busy professionals, who was seriously hurt riding your bike after work, or on a weekend? What happens now?
You may very well be thinking that the last thing you want to deal with is filing a lawsuit against the driver of the car that hit you; or whomever may be at fault for the injury. You have a family, a busy career, and you don't want to spend time investigating the accident, contacting witnesses, obtaining medical records, considering legal arguments and negotiating with the insurance company. But you also view yourself as “not the kind of person who sues.”
Rest assured, when you're injured in a New York bicycle accident, you have options, and you don't have to trade your dignity to pursue them.
The Strategic Approach
Despite what you may see on television, when you've been seriously hurt following a bicycle accident you have multiple legal options available, and these can be customized based upon your needs and desires.
Do you think to yourself, “I want nothing to do with this, I just want to discreetly recover for my injuries, lost income and inability to play with my kids?” If so than you'll want to consider a strategy that includes a focus on building up a strong legal case from the very beginning, with hopes of negotiating a quit and strong settlement from the insurance company for the wrongdoer without filing a lawsuit.
Or, if you were seriously hurt you may you think, “This distracted driving problem has become an epidemic. I want to make an example out of this accident and make this as public as possible.” In that case you may want to consider foregoing the early negotiation process, and move into the filing of a lawsuit to allow you (and your lawyer) to use this as a platform for public awareness.
Or you may have suffered severe injuries which have not yet healed, and which have the potential to cause lifelong problems. Can you work? Take care of your family? Ride a bike again? If the answers to these questions aren't clear you may want to pause and let things develop before taking formal legal action. This does not mean, however, that you should not consult with and hire a lawyer. To the contrary, there are steps in the investigative process that strongly support doing so early on, even if formal action may not be taken for some time. We have many clients in this situation, where we are there, in the background, gathering relevant information, providing any required legal notices, and waiting for the client to get a better idea as to where they stand before taking action.
A serious bicycle injury can be life-changing, but the needs and desires of victims in these situations are often different. Each person brings their own life experience and situation, and for this reason it is very important to know that there is no “one size fits all” approach.
If you have been seriously hurt in a bike accident give us a call today. We'll be happy to sit down and speak with you to discuss your needs and legal options.