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Bicycle Accidents

Kentucky Bicycle Accidents

 

A bicycle accident case is when a bicyclist has been injured in a collision involving a car or other vehicles. Bike accidents cause injuries to 49,000 people and kill over 700 people per year. These accidents are caused by factors that range from the car not seeing the biker to even the biker running a red light. No matter how the accident happened, bike accidents have severe consequences.  If you have been injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, The Schafer Law Office may be able to help you.

 

Here are some common questions and answers you may have about your case.


Do I Have A Case?

What Are the Differences?
 

      How Much Is My Case Worth?

Can I Go To The Doctor?


Who Pays My Medical Bills?

How We Can Help

 

Do I Have A Bicycle Case?

 

There are two basic parts to a bicycle accident case, liability and damages. Liability deals with the cause of the injury. If your injuries were caused by your own actions, you probably do not have a case. If your injuries were caused by someone else, then you may have a case. This depends on whether the other person did anything wrong, or if their actions caused the accident to happen. For example, if a person isn’t paying attention to the road, like reading a text on their phone, and hits you while you’re on your bike, there is liability. If there is a disagreement about whose fault it was, or how the accident happened, you may have a case. However, it will likely go to court.

 

What Are the Differences Between a Bicycle Accident and a Car Accident?

 

How are bicycle accidents the same?

  • The person that caused the accident is responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
  • The injured person can go to the doctor of their choice.
  • The person that caused the accident will pay to fix your bike and any other property damage.
  • The insurance company will evaluate and pay your claim based on a computer program.

 

How are bicycle accidents different?

  • Your medical bills are paid by the insurance company of the car that caused the accident up to $10,000 in most cases.
  • Your injuries are likely to be more severe.
  • The general public believes that bicyclists don’t obey the traffic rules, and that do not belong on the road.

 

How Much Is My Case Worth?

 

A bike case is worth the amount of money you need to be compensated for your injuries. If you’re going to sue, you should only sue for what your case is really worth. What you are able to collect, however, is a different story.

 

If the defendant had insurance on their car at the time of the accident, you can collect up to the liability limits of the defendant’s automobile insurance policy. The minimum amount of car insurance drivers need to be legal in Kentucky is $25,000. If the accident case justifies more money than the policy limits of the defendant, you will need to look at the defendant’s personal assets. If there is enough money, you could sue the at-fault person directly.

 

Damages
Damages are the value of your injuries. This includes: past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of power to work and earn money, property damage and pain and suffering. This is different for every person and every situation because they are subjective. This makes it difficult to place a value on.

 

Your attorney and the at-fault person’s insurance company, or the defense attorney if the case is in litigation, continually try to evaluate how a jury might look at the case, and how much money a jury might award. Based on the evaluation, each side will assign a value or a value range. From there, they will try to negotiate a settlement within each side’s own range. This will be based upon the attorney’s experience, review of the jury verdict reports and the extent and severity of the victim’s injuries. The type, extent and frequency of medical treatment is also an important consideration.

 

How Mike Schafer evaluates a case
When I evaluate a case, I rely on factors such as:

  • The client’s likeability
  • Their credibility
  • Facts from the accident
  • Injuries
  • Age
  • Job status

 

I also consider:

  • The at-fault party’s insurance company and its defense attorney
  • Specific legal issues involved in the case
  • Location of the accident
  • The amount of settlements and verdicts from similar types of cases

 

Can I Go To The Doctor?

 

You should go to the doctor as soon as you can get there. You want to get checked out to make sure that you are okay. If any injuries or problems are found, get treated. Do what your doctor says, and follow your doctor’s treatment plan. This will give you the best chance of a full recovery. It will also eliminate many of the arguments that the insurance company can use against you when evaluating your bodily injury claim.

Why is seeing a doctor so important?
One of the worst things to do after being in a bike accident is to not go see a doctor. If you have any pain, no matter how minor you believe it is, you should get checked out. The wrong thing to do is to think that the pain will go away and do nothing. For many people, the pain does go away. For many others, the pain does not go away. If you do not immediately go to the doctor and your pain doesn’t go away, you will eventually have to see a doctor. This delay or gap in treatment can be detrimental to your personal injury case. You will hear the insurance company argue that if you were hurt you would have gone to the doctor immediately. This is one of the most successful tactics to use to convince the jury that you should not receive any money for your pain and suffering.

 

Which doctor should I choose?
I am often asked by clients about which doctor they should use. Although I don’t pretend to practice medicine, I often direct a client to a doctor that I know does a good job. As an attorney, I work with doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists on an almost daily basis. When you work with doctors as often as I do, you can really see who does a good job and who does not. It’s important to remember that a doctor who documents poorly or has a bad reputation can damage your accident case. So, I think it is beneficial to give a recommendation. This helps you find a doctor that is right for you. However, be cautious of attorneys who refer people to one doctor exclusively. This creates a problem and can damage your case.
 

Who Pays My Medical Bills?

 

The at-fault insurance company will pay for your medical bills through PIP benefits or Basic Reparations Benefits. You will submit your medical bills to the at-fault insurance company, and they will pay the bills up to $10,000. This follows the Kentucky No-Fault Statute or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) laws.

 

PIP and health insurance
The PIP benefits will pay the first $10,000 of medical bills. Once your PIP benefits are exhausted, your secondary insurance, which is your health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, will take over. Your health insurance will pay for any additional medical bills as they occur. You are still responsible for any co-payments or deductibles. These payments can be collected back from the at-fault insurance company at the end of the case.

 

How We Can Help

 

A bicycle accident can turn your life upside down. Once Mike Schafer is your attorney, you don’t have to worry about the headache of dealing with the insurance companies. Instead, you can focus on recovering from the injuries. We will take care of all of the phone calls, paperwork and negotiations.

 

Mike Schafer is personally involved in every case. He will make sure everything is taken care of for you. You are more than just a number, and we want to get you the compensation that you deserve. If you ever have any questions, give us a call at (502) 584-9511.

 

Why The Schafer Law Office?

 

Bicycle accidents do not happen as frequently as car accidents, but they are occurring more and more. It’s a lot more common for people to ride their bike to work, the grocery store or just ride for pleasure. However, riding a bicycle can be dangerous. In fact, riding a bike is more likely to result in death or injury than riding in a car.

 

There are a variety of reasons why riding a bicycle is so dangerous. It is crucial that your attorney is familiar with Kentucky law and understands what it is like to ride a bike on busy roads. Once you are injured, you need to get legal advice as soon as possible. You need a personal injury attorney who understands your case, Kentucky laws and cares about you. You will find all that in Mike Schafer and The Schafer Law Office. Mike knows the law and is an avid cyclist.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky