As a bicyclist, you do not have much protection against collisions with vehicles, even if you are wearing a helmet. Crashes with a car or truck at very low speeds can still result in serious injuries. That being the case, what damages can you recover in a bike accident lawsuit? Let’s discuss your rights after a bike accident.
Who is potentially liable for my damages after a DC bicycle accident?
Every bicycle accident will have different liable parties. Generally, it will involve one or more of the following people, depending on the specifics of your case:
- An automobile, truck, or bus driver.
- Your bicycle manufacturer, retailer, or intermediary (if a defective bicycle was the cause of your accident).
- A bicycle mechanic who failed to repair or perform maintenance properly on the bicycle either knowingly or unknowingly.
- A property owner or even your state or local government (whenever your accident is due to neglected property like roadways).
What damages can I recover in a bike accident lawsuit?
There are several categories of compensation you can receive after a bicycle accident, including tangible and intangible losses.
Additionally, a civil lawsuit can determine whether you deserve punitive damages.
What are tangible losses?
If you are in a bike accident, you will most likely suffer tangible damages. You can refer to tangible losses as economic damages. When you consider what damages you can recover, these are the first that come to mind. Tangible losses include:
- Costs for your past and future medical care. If you need to visit an emergency room, require multiple visits, or pay for medication, then these expenses are tangible losses after your accident.
- Expenses of repairing or replacing your bike gear, safety equipment, and other property is also a tangible loss.
- Lost past income and future lost income. After all, you could be earning income instead of recovering from an injury. Thus, you should be able to recover damages that guarantee you can sustain yourself after your injury.
- Compensation for your permanent injuries.
Can I recover intangible losses as well?
In some accidents, you might experience long-lasting or even permanent health consequences. When a loss does not include a physical item such as money, health coverage, or bike equipment, then they are considered intangible items.
For example, if you have constant back pain after your injury, then you should receive damages for your pain and suffering. Consult your attorney to discuss which intangible losses you might be entitled to.
Will I receive punitive damages?
Punitive damages are additional awards that a judge or jury provides to a victim when the defendant’s actions are extremely careless. Punitive damages act as a deterrent for future behavior by both the defendant and the public. Although punitive damages are rare to receive in bike accidents, you may get a punitive award if:
- The other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Your accident occurred in a school zone, construction zone, or another area with strict traffic laws.
- The defendant was endangering you or others with excessive speeding when they hit and injured you.
Am I liable for damages that occur during my bike accident?
In some instances, you may be responsible for a bike accident with an automobile. As a bicyclist, you have state and local laws to follow. If a judge or jury determines that you were not following the law and that your negligence caused an accident, you may be responsible for damages to a driver and their vehicle.
I was involved in a bike accident. Can you help me file a bike accident lawsuit?
Which damages you can recover in a bike accident lawsuit depends on several factors that are not always easy to determine. Fortunately, there is someone you can call if you are the victim during a bike accident and suffer injuries.
The Regan Zambri Long PLLC law firm provides bike accident attorneys in Washington DC to help you or a family member recover damages for your incident. To register for your free consultation and decide whether legal proceedings are the correct option in your case, call us at (202) 463-3030.
Do not let someone convince you that you don’t need a lawyer. Receive the compensation and justice you deserve by contacting our DC bicycle accident attorneys today.