When another person’s negligence or misconduct causes a collision with your bicycle and injures you, you have a right to seek compensation and other legal remedies from the at-fault individual. And if you want the best chance of recovering the most remedies possible in your case, speaking to an experienced Hattiesburg bicycle accident attorney can be vital to your case.
Our accident attorneys at Harris Law Firm bring extensive experience and dedication to each accident victim’s case. No matter how complex or tough your case is, we are ready to handle it for you and get the results you deserve.
Reasons a Driver Could Be Liable for Your Bicycle Accident
When it comes to bicycles and cars, sharing the road is one of the most important rules to follow, and bicycles are at a significant (and sometimes fatal) disadvantage when a motorist does not comply.
A driver could be responsible for an accident that causes death or injury if they fail to do any of the following:
- Give a cyclist room when passing or making other maneuvers,
- Check to the side and behind for the presence of a cyclist before turning right on a red light,
- Obey the speed limit,
- Yield to a cyclist as they would with any other type of vehicle, or
- Check for the presence of a cyclist before opening a car door.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 966 bicyclists died in traffic collisions in 2021. A driver’s compliance with the above list of traffic rules and best practices could have prevented many of these fatalities.
How to Hold a Negligent or Reckless Driver Accountable
You can file an auto insurance claim or a lawsuit against a driver whose wrongful conduct harms you. And from your claim or complaint, you could win the following:
- Medical expenses. You can seek compensation for reasonable, accident-related medical expenses, such as hospital bills, doctor visit expenses, surgery costs, medication expenses, rehabilitation fees, medical device costs, and future medical treatment.
- Lost wages. Some injuries prevent you from working. If this is the case for you, you can claim compensation for the income you lose during your recovery period.
- Lost earning capacity. Many accidents involve permanent injuries that can prevent you from staying or advancing in work situations because of an impairment to your abilities or skills. An at-fault driver might have to pay you for that change.
- Loss of consortium. When your injuries affect your relationship with your spouse, they might be able to claim damages for the loss of companionship, affection, support, and services.
- Pain and suffering. Sometimes, you can obtain compensation for the physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, and life changes caused by the accident and your resulting injuries.
- Property damage. If your bicycle or other personal property was damaged in the accident, you can seek compensation for the cost of repair or replacement.
- Wrongful death damages. If you lose a loved one in a bicycle accident, you and other surviving family members could have the right to recover funeral expenses, medical costs, and other associated damages.
- Punitive damages. When a driver is at fault for your injury because of their gross negligence, willful actions, maliciousness, reckless behavior, or fraudulence, you can win damages that are meant to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.
Consulting with a bicycle accident lawyer in Hattiesburg can help you better understand the specific damages you may be able to recover based on the circumstances of your bicycle accident. A lawyer can evaluate your case, gather evidence, and guide you through the legal process to pursue the compensation you deserve.
Options for Resolving a Bicycle Accident Claim
Whether you begin your case by filing an insurance claim or lawsuit, you have multiple options for resolving accident-related issues.
Many accident victims are able to settle all their claims with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier, but if an at-fault driver has insufficient coverage to address your losses or their carrier refuses to remit just compensation, you might have to file a lawsuit to recoup all damages.
Filing a lawsuit against an at-fault driver might be your best option, but it can also be a stressful and drawn-out process that is taxing on both parties to the suit. After you initiate a lawsuit, you and the at-fault driver might decide to settle your claims before the costs of trial become too high. The outcome of a trial can often be too unpredictable for plaintiffs and defendants, and settlement could be the best option for recovering compensation and closing the case.
A bicycle accident attorney in Hattiesburg can help you determine the best course of action for your accident complaint. And when you have chosen your dispute resolution strategy, your attorney can help you navigate the process in a way that minimizes distress and maximizes your damages.
The Time Limit for Filing an Accident Claim
In general, you have three years to initiate legal action against a party who is at fault for your bicycle accident. This may sound like a long time, but it often passes more quickly than you would expect. Between rehabilitation, coping with the trauma of the incident, and addressing the other demands of your life, three years can be over before you know it. This is why you should speak to a Hattiesburg bicycle accident lawyer immediately. Your attorney can make sure your claims are timely filed and handled in a way that gives you the best outcome.
Contact Us When You Need Help
Harris Law Firm has been in practice since 1981, and we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. When you need a lawyer for bicycle accidents in Hattiesburg, we are here for you. We are knowledgeable, innovative, passionate, and aggressive champions of injury victims’ rights. You can reach out to us online or call us at 662-335-4171 to schedule a consultation.