Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Michael A. Schafer, Attorney at Law. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.
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How Soon After My Bicycle Accident Should I Contact An Attorney?
Call an attorney immediately! Do not talk with the other person’s insurance company until you have had a chance to consult with an attorney. It is very important that you understand the process before you begin answering questions. You should always tell the truth, but you should be prepared and understand the process before you do.
How Do I Pay For Legal Fees For A Bicycle Accident?
Most accident attorneys handle cases on what is called a contingency fee basis. I also handle bicycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay a legal fee unless money is recovered for you. There is nothing to pay up front. A fee is paid from the recovery that is made.
If I'm Injured On A Bike, How Do My Medical Bills Get Paid?
Bike accidents are a little different than other motor vehicle accident cases. The no fault insurance (also called PIP or Basic Reparation Benefits) of the vehicle that you were in would normally pay for your medical bills. In the situation of a bicycle accident, the first responsibility for medical bills is with the insurance company of the car that hit you. Your no fault application will be presented to them. If, for some reason, the car that hit you was not insured, you would proceed under the car insurance of your own vehicle.
Can I Recover If The Car Never Hit Me But I Had A Bike Accident?
Yes, many people are under the impression that there has to be physical contact between the bicyclist and vehicle for the motorist to be liable. This is not true. There are many situations were a cyclist can be injured because they had to take evasive action to avoid being hit and crashed as a result. The motorist can still be held liable if negligence can be proved. This is much more difficult than if there was contact, however. It can be accomplished if there are witnesses and if evidence can be preserved.
Can I Recover If I'm Hit By A Car And The Car Wasn't Insured?
Yes, if you had uninsured motorist coverage on your own vehicle. You can recover money for your pain and suffering from your insurance company. You may also sue the driver of the car that caused the accident. Any medical bills you have would be paid by your PIP insurance.
Does My Car Insurance Cover Me When I'm On My Bicycle?
In most instances the answer is yes. However, your insurance policy contract will tell you for sure. Most insurance policies will cover you if you are on a bicycle and are hit by a car.
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Bicycle Accident Case?
This depends on the facts and circumstances of your specific case. Every case is different, and it depends on how seriously you were injured. Generally, negotiations do not begin until you have been released by your doctor and have recovered. This can take as little as three months or as long as several years.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Bicycle Accident?
In most bicycle accident cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. The statute of limitations could also be two years from the date of the last medical no fault payment not to exceed four years. It is best to contact an attorney to determine the exact statute of limitations in your case.