Bicycles are an important and enjoyable mode of transportation. They’re eco-friendly, they keep you in shape, and they’re fun to ride. Unfortunately, they also make you very vulnerable to injury when you ride close to cars and other vehicles. Cars often can’t see bicyclists as well as they see other cars when changing lanes or turning, and devastating accidents ensue.
If this happens to you, what are your options?
How negligence lawsuits work
When you bring a lawsuit against the responsible driver, your attorney’s job will be to demonstrate that the driver was negligent. There are four elements that your attorney must prove in order to win a negligence lawsuit.
First, they must show that the driver had a duty towards you to drive safely and keep you safe. Second, they must show that the driver breached that duty by driving carelessly. Then, they must show that you suffered injuries or property damage. Lastly, they must show that your injuries were the direct result of the driver’s breached duty.
What you can recover
The purpose of damages is to put you in the same position that you were in before the accident – or as close as possible. Thus, if you have had to pay medical expenses associated with your injury, including a hospital stay and medication, you can sue to recover the cost of those things.
You can also sue for injuries that aren’t tangible. For example, you can recover for pain and suffering, and loss of companionship. This is because physical suffering and the inability to enjoy time with your family are real consequences of your accident that you deserve compensation for.
Lastly, you can recover for property damage, such as the price of repairing the damage to your bicycle. You can also recover for lost wages for the time that you cannot work while you recover for your injuries. If the accident results in a permanent disability, you could also sue for loss of earning capacity.
Bicyclists deserve to be able to ride on roads and sidewalks safely. When a car hits a bicyclist, the law allows them to pursue compensation in an attempt to recover what they need to get back on their feet.