You love riding your bike around town and do everything right to avoid a road bike accident. You always make sure to wear a helmet, obey traffic laws, and turn on your reflectors and lights at night.
Recently, however, you went over uneven pavement, flipped, and hurt yourself. Now you’re injured and your bike needs repairs. You assume there’s not much you can do about it. It’s not like a driver or another biker hit into you and you could possibly sue them for damages.
Though you may believe you don’t have any recourse in this situation, you couldn’t be further from the truth. All you need to do is contact a bicycle accident lawyer in DC at Regan Zambri Long. They will help get you the compensation you deserve.
Is your road bike accident a DC bicycle accident case?
You may be wondering how you have a case if no other person was involved in your accident. Who would the defendant be?
Let’s say you got injured because of one of the following issues:
- A pothole
- Uneven payment
- A removed drainage screen
- A lack of proper drainage
- An unfinished shoulder
- Unclear lane markings
- A lack of signage or bad signage
- Trash and debris
You may have gotten a minor injury like a bruise or a scrape, or something much worse. Common bike accident injuries include:
- Dental fractures
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Eye, head, and neck injuries
Typically, the city or municipality where you were biking is responsible for maintaining the roads and sidewalks. If you were on private property, then this would fall under premises liability, and the property owner would be responsible. If the city, municipality, or property owner failed to put up adequate signage about unsafe road conditions and you subsequently got hurt, they could be held liable for your crash.
With your case, you have to prove that the defendant (city, municipality, or property owner) had a reasonable duty of care to uphold. They failed to uphold it, and you got injured because of it.
It can be difficult to prove this, especially if you’re making an unreasonable claim. For example, if a child dropped a large toy outside of a store and that toy caused your accident, that’s not necessarily the property owner’s fault.
However, if the city failed to fix a pothole for months on end, and there was no signage around it warning drivers and bikers, then you may have a case on your hands.
Another thing you’ll have to keep in mind with your road bike accident case is that there is a short window of time to put DC on notice of such a claim. DC law requires that a victim provide written notice to the District of Columbia within six (6) months after an accident. This is required by DC Code 12-309. You will still have three years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit, provided that you initially put the DC Government properly on notice within 6 months of the incident. These deadlines vary from state to state. This is complicated which means that you need an experienced lawyer working for you as soon as possible after the incident.
What To Do When You Get Into a Road Bike Accident
If you get into an accident while biking, assess your condition to see if you’re able to get up. If you have a cellphone on you, take photographs of your injuries, your bike and other damaged belongings, and the scene of your crash. Make sure you get a few photos of whatever caused your crash.
If anyone witnessed your accident, you could collect their statement, name, and phone number. Write down the locations of any security or traffic cameras you see just in case they caught your accident on tape.
Then, you’ll need to go to the nearest hospital. If there isn’t one nearby and you’re far from home, use a rideshare service to get there. Let the doctor know about any pain you’re experiencing and ask them to take X-rays. A road bike accident can lead to many different injuries, and having X-ray results will show you exactly what’s wrong.
Once your doctor gives you a treatment plan, make sure you follow it. If you don’t get treatment or follow the doctor’s advice, the defendant could say that your injury was caused by something else, or isn’t as serious as you claim.
For more information on what to do when you get into an accident, it’s best to call a lawyer for advice.
Contacting a DC Bicycle Accident Lawyer
When you work with a lawyer, they will be able to help you recover damages for things like:
- Permanent injuries
- Medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Future medical care
They will bring about the lawsuit against the municipality, city, or property owner and attempt to negotiate a settlement so that you don’t have to go to court. If it does go to court, your lawyer will represent you.
With a free consultation, there’s nothing to lose. Even if you don’t know if you have a case, you should contact a bicycle accident lawyer to find out.
If you’ve just been in a road bike accident, then call Regan Zambri Long today for your free case review.