When you ride your bike, you have the right to a safe and secure roadway and commute. Unfortunately, our roads are often not as safe for cyclists as they should be. Your health and future should not be put in danger due to the careless and negligent actions of a car or truck driver. A bicycle accident is a traumatic and painful experience that can result in serious injury, including the possibility of death. Motorists are required to share the roadway with cyclists. This is not just a courtesy, but also the law.
If you sustained an injury as the result of a bicycle accident, you don’t have to suffer alone. You should contact an experienced Kankakee bicycle accident attorney immediately in order to get the compensation you deserve. At Spiros Law, P.C., our compassionate lawyers understand the pain you are going through and will do everything in our power to fight against people who endanger our roads.
How Can a Bicycle Accident Attorney Help Me?
Hiring an experienced bicycle accident attorney maximizes your chances of getting fair compensation. After a bike accident, the insurance company of the at-fault driver should be responsible for paying any medical bills or other losses you incurred as a result of the accident. In reality, insurance companies look for any reason to reduce or deny claims.
An attorney will have a good idea of how much compensation you can expect based on the circumstances of your accident and will negotiate with the insurance company if they try to reduce or deny your claim. If the insurance company is not willing to give you the compensation you deserve, you may need to consider filing a lawsuit against either the insurance company or against the driver who hit you. A bicycle accident attorney will help you through every step of this process, ensuring that you’re on the right track to receive compensation.
You should never accept money from an insurance company or individual without first reviewing the offer with an attorney. Either of these parties may offer you a settlement in exchange for you dropping your insurance claim or lawsuit. A settlement may ultimately be the right choice for you, but it’s critical that an attorney looks over any paperwork to ensure that you’re getting what you deserve. An attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement higher.
Importantly, when you accept a settlement, you will have to sign an agreement that releases the other party from any further liability. This means that you will not be able to take any future action against that party, even if your circumstances change or injuries worsen. You should not sign any legal documents without first consulting an attorney.
Why Should I Choose Spiros Law, P.C.?
Spiros Law, P.C. is a team of highly experienced bicycle injury attorneys who are ready to fight for you. We understand the devastating effects that bike accidents can have on an individual’s physical, mental, and financial well-being. At Spiros Law, P.C., we are committed to developing honest, respectful, and personal relationships with each of our clients. Our compassionate approach, coupled with our decades of combined experience and expertise, allows us to consistently win high-value settlements and verdicts for our clients. We have recovered over $100 million for our clients in the last ten years.
You may be worried that paying for an attorney will be too expensive. At Spiros Law, P.C., we work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means that you only pay us if you win your case. If you don’t win, then you don’t owe us any money at all. We charge no bills or fees along the way. This approach allows you to hire high-quality legal representation without any financial risk to you.
We also offer a 100% free initial consultation. You can explain your situation, ask any questions, and we’ll give you an idea of your legal options.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
As distracted driving is becoming an increasingly serious problem, vehicular accidents are all too common. When you are riding your bike, you are far more exposed to injury and serious harm than the driver of a car is. Car drivers often suffer minimal to no injury following an accident with a bicycle. Drivers should be held especially accountable for their actions when they hurt a cyclist who was obeying the law. Negligent actions by a driver can include:
- Failure to yield to cyclists when merging at junctions
- Turning into a cyclist at an intersection
- Rear-ending a cyclist
- Failing to check for a cyclist when switching lanes
- Turning in front of an oncoming cyclist
- Opening vehicle doors in the path of a cyclist
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Drivers need to be held accountable for their dangerous actions. An experienced bicycle accident attorney at Spiros Law, P.C. can help you get the full compensation you deserve for your suffering.
What Are My Options?
There are different ways in which you can receive compensation following a bicycle accident. In general, you will either make an insurance claim or file a personal injury lawsuit.
Making an Insurance Claim
Your first step will likely be to explore your insurance options. Theoretically, the insurance company that covers the at-fault driver should be responsible for paying your medical bills/car repairs. Once you make a claim with their insurance company, a representative called a claims adjuster will investigate the accident. The adjuster may review police reports, interview witnesses, and examine your medical documents. An experienced bicycle accident attorney will have the resources to conduct an independent investigation into your accident, ensuring that no evidence is left out.
Insurance companies try to find any reason possible to reduce or deny your claim. There are a number of justifications they may give, including:
- You were at fault for the accident
- You made a mistake or missed a deadline when making your claim
- Your injuries were not caused by the car accident
Even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company agrees to compensate you, it’s possible that the at-fault driver will not have enough liability insurance to fully pay for your medical bills. In Illinois, drivers are required to have a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. However, if you have $60,000 in medical bills, you will be left to pay the remaining $35,000.
To handle the remaining medical bills, you may be able to turn to your own uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UMI). However, you will only have such insurance if you drive a car. Even if you have UMI, you still may have to pay out of pocket for some amount of your bills. In Illinois, all car drivers are required to have at least $25,000 of UMI. If you have this minimum UMI, you would still have $10,000 in medical bills.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Filing an insurance claim may be insufficient to meet your needs for a variety of reasons. Even if it seems like an insurance claim will pay all your bills, it’s still a good idea to consult with an attorney about filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are eligible to seek compensation for two kinds of damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are your actual expenses, such as medical bills and any lost wages if your injuries have made you unable to work. You can also seek compensation for future medical bills if you prove that your injuries will require continued care.
Non-economic damages are any pain, suffering, and emotional trauma you have as a result of your accident. If you have ongoing pain that makes it difficult to complete daily tasks or have mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, or PTSD, you may be eligible for compensation for non-economic damages. Non-economic damages can be more difficult to prove since one cannot assign an exact dollar figure on pain and suffering. To prove that you have incurred these damages, we recommend keeping a journal in which you document whenever your injuries, pain, or mental distress affect you. We may also hire a mental health professional to interview you and then testify about your mental state.
In rare situations, the state of Illinois allows punitive damages. These are damages designed to punish the driver for exceptionally reckless behavior. For example, impaired driving can sometimes be grounds for punitive damages.
Contact a Kankakee Bicycle Accident Attorney
At Spiros Law, P.C., our experienced bicycle accident attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve if you’ve been hurt by a negligent motorist. We will sit down with you to discuss your rights and legal options during a FREE consultation when you call (815) 929-9292 to schedule your case evaluation. We will be ready to fight for what you’re owed, so call us today.