According to the NHTSA Traffic Safety Report in 2015, over 45,000 people are injured by motorists every year. That number is staggering, and the offending party should almost expect to be served a complaint in the future.


Motorists hold a required “duty of care” to bicyclists on the roadway. Bicyclists also hold a reasonable “duty of care” to motorists, In the next section we are going to examine the 4 main stages of a bicycle accident lawsuit as it applies to a cyclist being struck by a motorist.

What to Expect from A Bicycle Accident Lawsuit

Each case is unique; yours might go through 2 or all four of the following stages. Keep in mind that only a licensed attorney can determine the most ideal course of action for your unique situation.


Stage 1) The Initial Accident & Medical Treatment

The circumstance regarding how you handle the minutes, hours, and days following a bicycle accident largely depend upon how serious your injuries are. If you do not appear to be injured, at first glance, then you will want to take the following actions:


  1. Call the police and wait for them to arrive;
  2. Document motorist, car, and witness information;
  • Take several evidentiary photos for later use;
  1. Provide a truthful and accurate statement to the police; and finally
  2. Go see a doctor immediately


Just because you can’t see an injury, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Some injuries do not present for years to come in certain cases.


If you had to be transported to the ER immediately and couldn’t document the scene of the accident, then you will be able to provide your details after your health has been stabilized.


Stage 2) Initiating the Personal Injury Lawsuit Process

It’s usually after the initial follow-up appointment that a doctor will privy you to the prognosis regarding your injuries. The extent and cost of which can become insurmountable. This is the point that the injured person realizes that they may need to speak with a personal injury lawyer that handles bicycle accident cases.


After all, why should you be held responsible for injuries you didn’t cause?

If you do have a viable case, then your lawyer may send “demand letter” that requests reparations on your behalf. Should your offer be rejected, then a bicycle accident lawsuit will be filed on your behalf.


Stage 3) Litigating Your Case and Discovery

As if the injured person has been through enough, the time-consuming litigation process begins. This stage of your claim is consumed by lots of waiting, attending hearings, exchanging evidence, providing depositions, and filing Motions. It can be an emotionally taxing time.

Arguably, the most overwhelming part is known as “discovery.” Usually, medical specialists review your medical records and determine the extent of your injury and what the future holds for you. Some examples of the review process include:


  • discussing your future capability to work;
  • whether, you will need any job retraining; and/or,
  • hire financial consultants to assess the degree of your economic loss, both present and future.


The best thing you can do during this time is try to stay calm (if you are able) and keep your personal file well-organized. It’s also a good idea to focus on your treatment program if you are actively engaged in one.


Stage 4) Settlement or Trial

When discovery is complete, the insurer will likely make a settlement offer or your lawyer will open settlement negotiations. If a reasonable settlement can be agreed to, the terms will be put in writing and submitted with the court for approval and for the terms to be converted to a court judgment.


Sometimes parties cannot agree to a settlement, and this is when the matter usually enters trial mode. Your attorney will defend your case rigorously before a judge and jury.


Final Thoughts and Considerations

It’s important to note that you must file your accident claim within a specific period of time after the accident. Therefore, it’s important that you contact a lawyer for an assessment as quickly as possible. If you miss the statute of limitations, you will lose your right to submit a personal injury claim no matter the circumstances.


Author's Bio: 

Guest blogger