In the event of a serious cycling accident, personal injuries are generally the first concern. Yet today’s high-end bicycles can run well into the thousands of dollars, making property damage another important issue.
Let’s take a closer look at how to handle both property and injury claims following a bike accident.
Property Claim Procedures
If your bike was damaged or destroyed as the result of another’s negligence, you have several options. First, if the damage isn’t too substantial, you can choose to negotiate with the other party’s insurer directly for repair or replacement. If you choose to go this route, it’s important to proceed with caution; insurance companies employ skilled negotiators. While they may seem friendly over the phone, and even in your corner, the truth is that they have one task: To get you to settle your claim for the lowest amount possible.
Your statements made to the insurance carrier may also be later used (against you) in any litigation arising from the accident.
Negotiations for a claim may not be fruitful, as the insurer may attempt to offer less than the bike is worth and refuse to give ground. In such cases, you may elect to pursue a claim in small claims court, which typically handle cases with monetary damages of $10,000 or less. In such cases, within the City if New York, if the claim is from $1,000 to $10,000 there is a filing fee of $20.00. This may be a viable alternative for instances where the insurer won’t give ground, but the damages don’t rise to the level of a conventional lawsuit and where you cannot find a lawyer to represent you. You can obtain more instructions and guidance by reviewing the following court site: https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/smallclaims/startingcase.shtml
Another option is to include a bike damage claim with your personal injury claim.
You can also choose to negotiate with an insurer or go to small claims court in such instances as well. But this may be fraught with issues as there are many complex legal issues which can arise and using a lawyer is advisable in all instances – and wherever possible.
Certainly, for a serious bike accident related injury, it is important to retain competent counsel to represent your interests.
Regardless of how you proceed, there are some common steps you should take in the aftermath of any bike accident.
How to React Following a Bicycle Collision
After ensuring that you are OK and calling an ambulance if needed, it’s important to write down the details of the other party or vehicle involved in the accident. You’ll also want to contact the police and get the number of the accident report — this can be a critical document later in the case. If any witnesses saw the collision, ask for their names and contact information.
You’ll also want to document all bike damage with photos and video and seek out an estimate for repair. If you have injuries, keep track of any expenses associated with that injury, including lost wages, transportation costs, and medical bills.
Finally, it is prudent and always advisable to contact an attorney with experience with bicycle accident litigation.
Why Frankel Law Has the Experience to Win
At The Frankel Law Firm, we’ve been representing accident victims for more than 40 years. If you’ve been injured in a collision, call us for a free consultation at (212) 888-5100 or at www.frankellawfirm.com.
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