What Happens During Settlement of a Pedestrian or Bike Injury Claim?

We may begin to see an increase in pedestrian and bicycle accidents thanks to Coronavirus. There have never been more people quarantined at home during our lifetime than there are right now. We’re also experiencing unprecedented times with regard to our kids being home schooled with many parents pulling double duty as they also work from home.

The isolation and stress can be just a bit much for many who seek just a few minutes of solace. Whether it be for mental or physical health, more people are taking the time to get out and exercise. Additionally, there have been movements in many communities to provide some sense of togetherness by implementing stuffed animal “bear hunts” or “safaris” for families, or putting holiday light displays back up to give people something to do. These activities put cars on a collision course to cause injuries to cyclists and pedestrians.

When cars hit pedestrians or cyclists

In Oklahoma City, pedestrians have the right of way when they’re in crosswalks at intersections and must walk facing traffic when they’re in the roadway while cyclists are required to abide by the same rules of the road as automobiles. This does not exempt drivers from behaving responsibly while operating a motor vehicle.

Careless drivers who cause pedestrians or bicyclists to become injured may be liable for their negligence. If your injury was the result of a traffic law violation or distracted driving, holding the driver liable both financially and legally sends a message that he or she needs to be more responsible when behind the wheel.

How does an accident settlement work?

A personal injury attorney who is well versed in pedestrian and bicycle accidents can be immensely beneficial in pursuing a claim for your injuries. Settlement begins with an investigation of the accident. Failing to discover vital clues and information that prove fault can hinder your case, and the negotiation process. The most basic evidence that should be considered includes:

  • Photos of the accident scene, vehicle or bicycle damage, and physical injuries
  • The accident report
  • Medical records and bills for treatment you received
  • A written medical opinion as to your anticipated recovery or permanent injury
  • Witness statements from anyone present at the scene
  • Estimates for property damage

When driver fault has been established through the investigation, a claim will be filed with the insurance company to first attempt to settle out of court, if possible. Settlements negotiations can include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses for your accident-related injuries
  • Lost wages for any time missed from work due to the accident or your treatment
  • Property damage, such as bicycle destruction.
  • Possible pain and suffering

There may be other damages that we can recover for you based on your individual case. Because of the very nature of a heavy vehicle colliding with an unprotected pedestrian or bicyclist, it doesn’t take much force to cause significant personal injury or even wrongful death.

Because insurance companies are in the business of making money, they have systems in place designed to frustrate the average claimant to limit payouts. Having an attorney on your side who is knowledgeable about the insurance carrier’s settlement process will help you go further with obtaining fair compensation for your claim.

Will it be necessary to go to trial?

While the settlement negotiation process works for many accident injury claims, there is always the chance that the insurance company just won’t meet you in the middle, or will refuse to settle and choose to fight the claim in court. Should that happen, you’ll need a qualified litigation attorney who can confidently craft a solid persuasive argument that will anticipate the insurance company’s defenses.

If you were hit and injured by a car and the driver was to blame, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. Talking with the experienced Oklahoma City pedestrian and bicycle injury attorneys at Cunningham & Mears can give you a solid understanding of your rights and guide your decision of whether to file a claim. To schedule your free case evaluation with a member from our team, call 405.451.4029 today or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact form.