From mountain roads to bustling city streets, riding bikes is a fun and healthy way to get around the state. However, bicyclists must be aware of their vulnerability when sharing the road with motorists—especially careless ones.
If a reckless motorist hit you while you were riding your bike, a Hamilton County bicycle accident lawyer may be able to get you financial compensation. A skilled injury attorney could help you fight for damages to cover hospital and doctor bills, wages you lose while recovering, and the pain associated with this type of accident.
State law treats bicycles like motor vehicles when using the roadways. Bicyclists sometimes question why the law requires them to ride in the same direction as motor vehicles, arguing that it might be better to see what is coming at them rather than not see what is coming up from the rear.
However, the law considers the closing speed, which is the sum of the speed the bicyclist and motorist are traveling when they crash into each other. If a bicyclist travels 20 miles per hour and a motorist 50, the speed at impact is 70 miles per hour, which is more deadly than if the bicyclist is hit from behind. An experienced lawyer in Hamilton County could further explain the laws relating to a cyclist’s accident and determine next steps in filing a claim for damages.
When a motorist collides with a bicyclist, the damage to the cyclist is much more extensive, often even resulting in death. Bicyclists who survive this severe trauma face a long road to recovery, which is made more complicated if the bicyclist was following all safety rules and the motorist was not. In these cases, an attorney in Hamilton County could file a bike wreck lawsuit against the reckless motorist on the cyclist’s behalf to get the injured party the most compensation possible.
A lawsuit will specify economic and non-economic damages to which the injured party may be entitled. Economic damages are based on the plaintiff’s monetary losses, such as medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages compensate the plaintiff for pain, suffering, disfigurement, lost future wages, and loss of the enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages may be sought in some cases, but the claimant must prove the defendant acted maliciously, intentionally, or recklessly to cause the bicycle crash. For example, a drunk driver who purposely hit the cyclist might face punitive damages. Rarely granted by the courts, punitive damages are meant to stop a defendant and others from such egregious acts. These damages are capped at twice the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is more.
Someone should be held accountable if you are involved in a bike accident because of another party. You may not be able to work while you recover, and what you have endured should count for something.
Our compassionate Hamilton County bicycle accident lawyers want to help secure your future by fighting to get you the compensation you need after a devastating collision. Call our office today to schedule your initial consultation.