Bicycle accidents can occur at any time, and the results can be devastating. If you or your loved one has been involved in such an accident, you qualify to demand financial recovery from the liable party. You may wonder if filing a lawsuit is the only way to get the compensation you seek and resolve the matter quickly so you can focus on recovering.
You do not always have to go to court for a bicycle accident to get the results you want. More often than not, personal injury cases settle outside of court. This cuts down on the time and money spent on a case, as trials can be lengthy and expensive. When you hire a law firm to represent you, a bicycle accident attorney can let you know the best path forward based on your case’s details.
Why You Might Have to Go to Court for a Bicycle Accident
Once you’ve received medical treatment and hired a bicycle accident lawyer, the next step is to prepare and file an auto accident claim with the other party’s insurance company. The attorney will help collect evidence and identify the liable party.
While reaching a settlement is often mutually beneficial for both parties, it’s not always possible. Some instances where you might have to go to court to solve your bicycle accident case include:
The Liable Party Is Uninsured
It is a basic requirement for drivers to carry auto insurance in Georgia and South Carolina. The minimum auto insurance of bodily injury liability is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. For property damage liability, the minimum auto insurance required is $25,000.
With Georgia and South Carolina being fault states, an at-fault driver must pay the victims through their insurance company. If you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver while riding your bicycle, you may have to sue the liable party to recover your compensation.
Failure to Reach an Agreement to Settle Outside Court
It is up to the liable party’s insurance company to respond to your filed claim. Usually, the insurance company will respond with an initially low settlement, which your lawyer will counter. If successful in negotiations, your bicycle accident claim will be settled out of court, and there will be no need for trial.
However, if your lawyer and the insurance company fail to agree on a reasonable settlement amount to cover your damages, the case can move to court. A jury will listen to both sides of the story and determine how much compensation you can receive.
The Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
In some cases, you may not even reach the negotiation stage. The insurer may deny their policyholder’s liability for the accident outright, suggesting that something or someone else—even you—are responsible.
You Suffered Damages Beyond the Liable Party’s Policy Limits
Cyclists do not have as much bodily protection as motorists. If a car or truck crashes into a cyclist, the injuries can be catastrophic. If you have been involved in such an accident, your damages could be more than what the liable driver’s insurance company can cover. In this case, you might have to go to court to recover your settlement.
Is It Common for Bicycle Accident Claims to Go to Court?
Some bicycle accident claims go to court, but it’s not common. Usually, the involved parties prefer to close the matter out of court because of the high costs of court trials and the amount of time needed to reach a judgment. However, if you feel like going to court is the best option to recover your rightful compensation, you can discuss this with your attorney.
How to Avoid Going to Court After a Bicycle Accident
Going to court is not something most people look forward to. To decrease the chances of your bicycle accident claim ending up in court, consider:
- Reporting the accident to the police as soon as it happens
- Getting medical treatment for your injuries and keeping records of your medical bills
- Collecting as much evidence about your bicycle accident and the involved parties
In addition, do not apologize or admit to a fault to the other driver or the insurance company.
Where to Find Bicycle Accident Lawyers in South Carolina and Georgia
Whether your bicycle accident case settles or goes to court, you could benefit from hiring a reputable and reliable bicycle accident attorney to fight on your behalf. At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we are committed to helping accident victims recover their money quickly, including bicycle accident victims.
With over 40 years of experience and more than 50,000 resolved cases, we believe we have all it takes to handle your case. Contact us today for a free case consultation, and be sure to go through our testimonials to find out what our past clients have to say about our services.