How do You Know if You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
If you have been in a bicycle accident, you may feel like you need help obtaining the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable picking up a phone and dialing a personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle Law are not the average personal injury attorneys (although we do think most personal injury attorneys are nice, caring people!). We are people who commute around the Bay Area by bicycle, or have had family members and friends injured in crashes. We genuinely care about our clients and are passionate about advocating for injured cyclists — so much so that all we do is handle bicycle crash cases.
However, if you are on the fence and are not sure if you need to contact a bicycle accident attorney, we have put together a list to help you decide if you need to reach out for help or not.
- You have been hurt in an accident because of the actions of someone else, and you have medical expenses. If this sounds like you, you probably need a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies will often ask if your injuries are due to an accident. This is because they want to find out if someone else is at fault who should be responsible for your bills. Medical expenses can add up quickly, and it isn’t fair for you to have to pay bills that were caused by someone else causing you to be in a crash. This may also be a problem if you have already submitted your medical bills to the responsible party’s insurance company, but they are refusing the pay the bill claiming that you were at fault. What do you do now? Contact a bicycle accident attorney.
- If your injury caused you to miss work and lose out on your regular income, you need to speak to a personal injury attorney. Although you may eligible for State Disability Insurance, this program only pays 60-70% of wages earned 5-18 months before the claim starts. For many people, surviving on their full wage is hard enough, and paying the bills with 60-70% of their wage is impossible. If you miss too much work, your employer may also dismiss you from your job completely. This could result in not only loss of income, but also benefits such as health insurance. Again, the law says that you should not suffer loss of income because of someone else’s actions.
- There is a dispute over liability or the extent of your injuries. When a bicycle accident occurs, the bicyclist will often say things not realizing that what they say can affect insurance coverage of the claim. Sometimes when a cyclist is in shock immediately following a crash, they will say that they are not injured. We have seen cyclists with serious brain injuries who are in shock try to get back on their bicycle and ride away. Bicyclists may also apologize after a crash, just to be polite or to console a distressed rider, even if they didn’t do anything wrong. The driver’s insurance company will then use the apology to say that the bicyclist was at fault for the collision. (Use our post-crash checklist to try to avoid getting yourself in this situation!) When there is a fight over your injuries or who is at fault for an accident, especially if an insurance company has already found you to be at fault, getting a lawyer on your side is essential.
Contact an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Contacting an attorney is not over-reacting. You are simply ensuring that your rights are protected and making sure that an insurance company does not take advantage of you. Contact the attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle Law and let us handle your case so you can focus on your recovery.