Bicycling has been on the rise in the US over the past decade, according to the US Census Bureau. While some people are dusting off the bike to get in shape, the wealth of this boom in bicycling is caused by more and more people choosing the bike over their car to commute to work. […]
Being in a car accident or a bicycle accident in Philadelphia can be a challenge.
Many bicyclists can get seriously injured when they are on their bikes riding around and it is hard to know what steps to take next. While getting those cycling injuries taken care of as soon as possible is a positive start, you may also need to work with an auto accident injury attorney to help you out with your case.
Whether you need help with your pain and suffering or some compensation for the mounting medical bills after your cycling injuries, our auto accident lawyers can step in and help you with all of your needs. Contact us today to see how we can serve you.
Bicycle vs. Car Accidents
Many studies suggest that most of the car accidents in the country occur within 5 miles from where you live or from your work. However, it is important to recognize there isn’t really a prediction system or formula that will tell you exactly where an accident will happen. It is possible for these to happen in any form and at any time when you are on the road.
Most car accidents will occur because one or both of the driver’s were not following the rules of the road. For example, it could happen because of mixed intersections, trouble with traffic, reckless driving, speeding, or negligence on the part of the driver. As a result, there are several types of car accidents that can happen including:
If you have been hit on a bicycle by a passing car, you need to know your rights as well. Keep in mind that all states have rules known as side of the road rules. These require all people on bicycles to ride either in a designated bike lane or on the far right side of the road, if they can’t ride as fast as the traffic. Bicyclists who do not follow these rules are the biggest contributor to traffic accidents that involve a bicycle.
What are the Side-of-Road Laws?
These laws are meant to help keep drivers and bicyclists as safe as possible. If, at any time, the cyclist is not able to ride as fast as the motor traffic around them, they need to be as far over to the right of the road as possible. If they are on a one-way street, they can choose to be in the far left instead. In some areas, like in cities, there is a special bike lane available to make this easier and the bicyclist needs to stay in it.
There are times when the bicyclist may leave the right side of the road or the bike lane and these include:
- If they are able to keep up with the traffic around them.
- When they need to make a left turn.
- If the lane is not wide enough to share with other traffic
- To avoid road hazards.
Even if you are following these rules when you get into an accident, there are cases the other side can make to limit their liability about hitting you. For example, they may suggest that you were not in the proper bike lane or not over as far to the right as you should have. Do not despair, there are several options that you can use to make sure you can still win your case and not let the insurance get away with not paying you the compensation that you deserve. The right legal defense will help you win your case.
Right Turn Right-of-Way
While there are a lot of ways that a car can hit a bicyclist, one of the most common causes of these accidents is when a car turns right. While they are making a right turn, the car will end up passing right to the path of the cyclist. This is true whether the cyclist has to travel in the traditional traffic lane or in the designated bike lane.
Sometimes these accidents will occur when the car passes the cyclist and then when it is time to turn, they will slow down to turn right. This puts them right into the path of the bicyclist, who then has no place where they can turn. In some instances, the motorist will simply turn into the cyclist directly, without looking or seeing the bike in the first place.
No matter which of these situations occur, the motorist is the one liable for the accident. Since the motorist is only allowed to make a turn when it is safe to do so, it is up to them to make sure that the road is safe and no other car or bicyclist is in their way at all.
Enough Space for the Motor Vehicle
As a bicyclist, you need to make sure that you are either able to keep up with traffic while on the road, use the bike lane that is around if possible, or stay as far over to the right side of the road as possible. If you are able to do these things, then you are generally protected while on the road and should be able to receive compensation when you get hurt.
When you follow these rules, it is up to the driver of the motor vehicle to follow the rules of the road and not cause an accident. This includes when they are driving to watch out for you and give you plenty of space, and when they open their doors on the road or sidewalk, to make sure they do not hit you when they open their door.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is something that you can add to your compensation amount, as long as certain factors of the accident are found to be true. It will encompass some of the physical and emotional damages that happen from an accident including:
- Excessive discomfort
- Any inconvenience
- Emotional distressInsomnia
- Physical pain
The victim of this personal injury may be able to receive some compensation for these damages. However, since this is not a monetary loss like medical expenses or not earning money because you can’t go to work, it is hard to come up with a set number to give to the victim. Most insurance adjusters will need objective proof that this pain and suffering has occurred. Our personal injury lawyers can work with you to find the right proof that the attorneys are looking for.
How to Determine Pain and Suffering Damages
After a bicycle or car accident in Philadelphia, you may be able to get compensation for the injuries that you sustain. Any medical bills, car damage, or even bicycle damage, along with the time you miss from work are often easy enough to understand when you file a claim against the other party. But what about pain and suffering?
It is possible to receive compensation for pain and suffering along with some of the other compensation. But you do need to have valid proof that pain and suffering did occur.
One way to do this is to be open and communicate with your health care professional. Report the discomfort and pain that you feel through this to make sure that you have documentation of everything. It is not enough to just tell people during your hearing that you are in pain; it is more believable if you state the pain to the doctor and have them write it done in. your medical records.
The amount of money that you can get for pain and suffering will be more subjective. This means that it will look at a lot of different factors to determine whether you have a case or not. For example, there may be an investigation into your lost wages, future medical bills, and what you currently own to help determine this amount as well. There are three methods used to help determine pain and suffering including:
The Multiplier Method
This method will multiply a variable by the amount of economic damages. This will include things like lost wages, damage to property, and medical expenses. The variable can be anywhere between 1.5 to 5. So, if someone had economic damages of $100,000 and the variable was 1.5, then the pain and damages would come out to $50,000. If the variable were 5 then the pain and suffering is $500,000.
There are several things that will determine the variable including:
- The type of injury incurred
- The percentage of fault for the liable party.
- How serious the injury was
- Whether the victim will have a full recovery.
- How much the injuries impacted the daily life of the victim.
The Per Diem Method
The second method is known as the per diem method. This one will pick a rate and apply it for each day of suffering for the plaintiff. So, the daily rate could be $500 and the suffering time may be 30 days. In this case, the claim for pain and suffering would be $15,000. Most insurance companies will avoid this method because long-term injuries will cause this claim to get pretty high in the process.
The Hybrid Method
In most situations your lawyer will want to work with the hybrid method. This option will combine the two methods together before making adjustments for all of the specifics that happen in the accident. So, you may get a daily rate for the suffering that you have during that time along with a small multiplier for any economic damages.
With modern technology, some insurance providers are relying more on software programs online to help them provide the best settlement value based on the economic damages that you receive, the medical treatment, and other court decisions in the process.
No matter what method the insurance company uses, it is important that you get a fair settlement for the pain and suffering you go through. Contact our team of personal injury attorneys to help handle your case and make sure you get the settlement you deserve and not just the one the insurance companies hope you will take.
Should I Handle My Car Accident Case Alone?
It is usually best to not work on your car accident case by yourself. While many individuals assume they can handle the car insurance company on their own, they are disappointed with the results. In fact, most insurance companies will not deal with individuals for the claim and if they do, the amount they offer is often much less than the victim needs.
Even if you have tried to handle the insurance company on your own and received an insulting payoff amount for the case, it is still a good idea to contact an auto accident attorney to help you out. They will ensure that you have the right team negotiating on your behalf. We can start with the number they provided you with, but keep in mind that this is often way below what your case would net you with the right representation. It is beneficial to the insurance company, not you, to take that money.
With the right bicycle or auto accident attorney by your side, you can get the compensation that you deserve, not the compensation that the insurance company hopes you will take to strengthen their bottom line. We can help gather evidence of the case and work directly with the insurance company to provide you with the very best. The insurance companies have legal teams helping them out and you deserve to have that too.
When you are in an accident, it is important to find the right auto accident injury attorney in your area. This will help make sure that you can get the right care and attorney that you need for any pain and suffering while getting all of your cycling injuries taken care of right off the bat. Bicycle accidents in Philadelphia are common and the right bike accident lawyer can help make the process a little easier. Whether you need help with pain and suffering or you have trauma from a car accident, make sure to contact our road accident attorneys right away to help you with your case. We Win or It's Free!