If you are a cyclist in Washington DC, you know that cycling can be a great way to get around the city. However, it is important to be aware of the risks involved in cycling and know what to do if you are involved in an accident.
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, it’s important to know your rights and how to seek compensation for your injuries. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we have years of experience helping cyclists get the compensation they need and deserve. We understand the complex laws that apply to bike accidents, and we are here to help you get the justice you deserve.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Many different factors can contribute to a bicycle accident. Some of the most common causes of bike accidents include:
- Distracted driving: Drivers who are not paying attention to the road are more likely to hit cyclists. This can be due to texting, talking on the phone, or simply not being aware of their surroundings.
- Speeding: When drivers are speeding, they have less time to react to obstacles on the road. This can be dangerous for cyclists who may not be visible to the driver.
- Poor road conditions: Potholes, cracked pavement, and debris on the road can all cause a cyclist to lose control and crash.
- Driver error: A driver may fail to see a cyclist, make an unsafe turn, or open their car door without looking for cyclists.
What to Do After a Bike Accident?
If you are involved in a bike accident, you should first call the police and, if necessary, seek medical attention. Even if you do not think you are injured, it is important to get checked out by a doctor. Then, get the following information from everyone involved:
- Driver’s name
- Phone number
- driver’s license number and license plate number
- make of car
- insurance company and policy number
File a Police Report and Collect Evidence
After contacting the police, it is important to gather evidence at the accident scene. This includes taking pictures of the accident scene, your bike, and any injuries that you may have. You should also get contact information from any witnesses to the accident.
If possible, try to keep the bicycle in its original condition until an insurance adjuster has had a chance to inspect it.
Are Bicycle Accidents Covered Under Insurance Claims?
Your car insurance will typically cover cyclists injured in an accident through uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection in no-fault states. It is important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident to find out what is covered and what is not. You may need to hire an attorney to help you with your claim in some cases.
Insurance Policy Coverage for Bicycle Accident Damages
A few different types of insurance may cover damages caused by a bicycle accident. These include:
- Car Insurance: If you are injured by a negligent driver in a bicycle accident you may pursue damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the negligent party’s insurance company. (liability coverage) In addition, you may be able to claim for medical expenses and lost wages under your own PIP coverage, under certain circumstances. However, DC law requires that you make an election between liability coverage, and PIP coverage, within 60 days. This is a complicated issue, and should be discussed with an experienced personal injury lawyer, promptly because of the 60 day deadline. There are exceptions that allow you to make claims against the liability coverage and the PIP coverage.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If you are involved in a bike accident and the driver does not have enough insurance, you may file a claim against your own insurance company. To file a UM or UIM claim, you will need to have purchased UM or UIM coverage. UM, and UIM coverage is optional in some states, but it is recommended that you purchase this coverage, especially if you do not have health insurance.
- Homeowners or Renters Insurance: This may cover property damage, the loss of a bike, or damage to a car if the cyclist was at fault. In addition, homeowners, or renters insurance may cover the at-fault bicyclist if there was a collision between two bicyclists.
- Specialist Bicycle Insurance: Some companies offer specialist bicycle insurance that covers damage to the bike and liability. This type of policy may cover medical expenses, property damage, and loss of income if you cannot work after the accident.
How Do I Calculate the Value of My Bicycle Accident Claim?
The value of your bicycle accident claim will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the amount of damage to your bike, and whether you can work. You may be entitled to recover damages for:
- Medical expenses: This includes the cost of hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and any other medical treatment that you may need as a result of your injuries.
- Lost wages: If you cannot work because of your injuries, you may be able to recover lost wages.
- Property damage: This includes the cost of repairing or replacing your bike, as well as any other property that was damaged in the accident.
- Pain and suffering: You may be able to recover damages for the pain and suffering that you have endured as a result of the accident.
Remember, if you are involved in a bike accident, it is important to take action right away to ensure that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Filing an Insurance Claim for a Bicycle Accident in Washington DC
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to contact an attorney right away. The attorneys at the law firm of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., can help you file an insurance claim and get the compensation you deserve.
What If My Claim is Denied?
Like a car accident claim, if your insurance company denies your bike accident claim, you can file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you. This should be discussed with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your options, and determine the best way forward.
File a Personal Injury Claim for Bicycle Accidents
If you are a bicycle accident victim, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover damages. These damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Filing a personal injury claim can be complex, so it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our team of experienced personal injury lawyers can help you every step of the way. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What We Can Do For You
The Washington, D.C. bicycle accident lawyers with Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served. We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a bicycle accident, gathering the evidence needed to establish liability and negligence.
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. has achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Recovering Damages in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
Many factors go into determining the value of your bike accident claim. These include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys have experience evaluating cases just like yours to determine what they may be worth and will work hard to get you fair compensation for your injuries.
We Get You Results
For more than 50 years, the Washington DC lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones as the result of someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
We Get You Results
- $3.5 million for a man who suffered a brain injury when a District of Columbia police officer opened his door into traffic and “doored” him.
- $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury as a result of a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a doctor’s inappropriate use of a chemical product.
- $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
- $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.
See additional examples of our case victories and settlements on our “Case Results” page.
Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level representation available for your bicycle accident claim, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.