Thomas E. Scifres PC - Attorney At Law.
Thomas E. Scifres PC - Attorney At Law.
  • 43 Public Square,
    Suite 103,
    Salem, IN 47167
  • Schedule Your Free Personal Injury Consultation.

    (812) 359-8007

    Call For An Appointment To Discuss Your Needs.

FAQ: Bicycle Accident Claim Settlements in Indiana

In this article, you can find answers to questions like:

  • Why do cyclists suffer such severe injuries in a collision?
  • How can an accident claim help me get the treatment I need?
  • What do I need to get the most out of my cycling accident claim?

If I Have Only Soft Tissue Injuries, Will It Be Harder To Settle My Bicycle Accident Claim?

In Southern Indiana, it’s typically more difficult to get respectable settlements out of wounds that are limited to soft tissue damage than other, more severe injuries. However, due to the nature of a bicycle crash, it would be unusual for the cyclist to only have soft tissue injuries.

In a car crash, the people are surrounded by a shield of metal and held in their cushioned seat by a safety harness (the seatbelt). Because of this, the injured party may not have any impact with any part of the car other than the seat and headrest – even in a fairly serious collision. However, the sudden acceleration and deceleration of the spine and neck caused by the combination of the outside force and the restraining safety harness often results in a serious whipping action that causes damage to muscles and ligaments.

On a bicycle, there is nowhere near the protective surroundings and bodily restraints that are available in a motor vehicle. Therefore, you are much more likely to have physical impact with the other vehicle and the roadway, resulting in objective, severe injuries. These injuries almost always include cuts and abrasions, bruises, and broken bones. What’s more, it’s not uncommon for cyclists to sustain more serious injuries such as head traumas that result in varying degrees of brain injury.

Because of this, if a cyclist is in a crash and claims only soft-tissue injuries, it is unlikely that the impact was very serious. It’s even more unlikely that a jury will find that the cyclist was truly injured at all.

So while there may be special circumstances that explain the lack of more objective injuries, the credibility of the soft tissue claims is often more suspect in a bicycle crash than in a car crash. Therefore, it can be much more difficult to obtain a settlement.

Will Future Medical Costs Be Taken Into Account In A Bicycle Accident Injury Claim Settlement?

Future medical costs should always be taken into account when settling your case. However, those future expenses are never as certain as the medical expenses you have already incurred – simply because the treatment has not yet been given.

Therefore, proving future medical treatment and expenses for that treatment is likely to involve the use of expert testimony. Obtaining that testimony may come from the physicians treating you for your injuries or from hired experts.

Are There Potential Factors That Might Limit Or Minimize A Settlement In my Bike Accident Injury Case?

The factors that limit or minimize settlements in bicycle crash cases are similar to the factors that may limit recovery in any injury case. First and foremost is comparative fault, or contributory negligence. This is defined as the percentage of fault that is allocated to the injured bicyclist based on their own negligence in contributing to the crash.

Under Indiana law, contributory negligence can also include post-accident behavior. If the injured party takes action that causes their physical condition to worsen, they may be held partially liable for the severity of their injuries.

This could include something as simple as not following doctor’s orders or failing to seek treatment for minor injuries that could have been cured but grew into more serious problems because of the delay.

To illustrate this how comparative negligence may affect your case outcome, consider the following example:

You are injured in a bicycle accident and have a claim that is worth $10,000. You are found to be partially responsible for the accident, and your liability is 20%. Therefore, you are not entitled to recover 20% of your overall claim. This means that $2,000 (20%) will be subtracted from your total claim value of $10,000, and you will receive $8,000 (the remaining 80%).

What Can I Do To Assist My Attorney In Getting The Best Possible Settlement Outcome In My Bicycle Accident Injury Case?

If you are injured, it’s essential that you seek a medical examination immediately. Not only is it important to ensure that you get the care you need – it’s crucial to identify any problems that might get worse if left untreated. Additionally, seeking treatment first will neutralize any argument by the insurance company that you weren’t “really hurt” because you didn’t seek immediate medical care.

After getting medical attention, you should consult with a bike accident attorney as soon as possible. Contacting legal counsel doesn’t mean that you have to retain and pay for an attorney – most attorneys will offer a complimentary consultation. What’s more, an early legal consultation will arm you with information similar to the information in this article and may prevent you from doing something that diminishes your claim.

For more information on Settling A Bicycle Accident Claim In Indiana, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (812) 359-8007 today.

Thomas E. Scifres

Schedule Your Free Personal Injury Consultation.
(812) 359-8007
Call For An Appointment To Discuss Your Needs.

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