Bicycles offer cyclists very little protection in the event of a crash. Because of this, bicycle accidents often result in serious injuries to the rider. When faced with expensive medical bills after an accident, recovering compensation from the liable party can be crucial toward getting your life back on track.
At Pacific West Injury Law, we are committed to providing all accident victims with the resources and legal representation they need to recover fair compensation after a collision. Our team of Winchester bicycle accident attorneys is available to answer all your questions and help you after a crash.
Figuring Out Who Is at Fault for Your Bicycle Accident
The first step in pursuing compensation after a bicycle accident is to determine who is at fault for your damages. Fault is sometimes straightforward. However, quite often it can be difficult to determine who is actually responsible for an accident. Fortunately, an experienced bicycle accident lawyer will be able to help you sort out liability after a crash.
Steps in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
After hiring a bicycle accident lawyer in Winchester, they will immediately get to work on your case. The first thing they will do will be to begin investigating your case with the dual intent of determining who is liable and gathering evidence to support your claim. Next, your attorney will evaluate your damages and calculate the full value of your claim.
Your lawyer will then begin drawing up the appropriate paperwork and file your lawsuit with the court. After notice of the lawsuit has been served to the other party, the pretrial process will begin. Steps in the pretrial process include:
During the discovery stage, the two parties will exchange the evidence they have accumulated about the case. Discovery is essential in ensuring a fair trial. Lawyers from both sides receiving access to all evidence that will be used in court gives them the ability to craft their best case on behalf of their respective clients.
At the end of the discovery stage, depositions are given. A deposition consists of a witness or party involved in the accident giving testimony outside the courtroom. This testimony is recorded by a court stenographer. During proceedings, both sides will have the chance to ask questions of the deponent. Deposition testimony can be used at trial.
The final step in the pretrial process is mediation. Before a case proceeds to trial, the two sides will meet in a neutral location. An independent third party will be there to mediate the proceedings with the aim of finding a resolution that is acceptable to both parties. A successful mediation will result in the end of your case without the need for a trial.
Throughout the time your attorney is working on your case, they will be in contact with legal counsel from the other side. The aim will be to reach a settlement agreement and avoid a trial. However, if a deal can not be struck by the end of mediation, your case will move to court, where your attorney will represent your interests.
Damages You Can Seek After a Bicycle Accident
After getting injured in a bicycle accident, there are a wide array of damages for which you may qualify. These damages can all be sorted into three primary categories.
Any losses resulting from your bicycle accident that directly affect your finances are considered economic damages. Common economic damages include:
- Property damage
- Modifications to your home or vehicle needed for accommodating a disability
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost income
- Lowered earning ability
The rest of the losses resulting from your accident fall into the broad category of non-economic damages. Common non-economic damages include:
- Permanent disability
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and other disfigurements
- Loss of consortium
In a small percentage of bicycle accident cases, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are different from the damages listed above in that the focus of these damages is on the liable party rather than the victim.
Punitive damages are meant as a punishment for the at-fault party rather than as a way of replacing the losses of the victim. They are only awarded in extreme cases where the liable party is guilty of criminal negligence.
Bicycle Accident Lawyers Get Paid on a Contingency Fee Basis
People frequently shy away from hiring an attorney because they worry about the cost of doing so. While this can be a legitimate concern with many lawyers who charge high hourly rates, it should not interfere with hiring a personal injury lawyer. These types of attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means they collect a single fee based on the outcome of the case.
Your Winchester bicycle accident lawyer’s fee will be assessed as a fixed percentage of the compensation you recover from the liable party. That means if you don’t receive compensation, your lawyer doesn’t get paid. This motivator can give you the confidence that your attorney will do everything they can to ensure a favorable outcome.
How Long Do I Have to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in Nevada?
According to Nevada law, bicycle accident victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit to recover compensation from the liable party. Failure to file a bicycle accident lawsuit before the two years have passed could mean the loss of your right to compensation.
However, it is essential to note that there are many exceptions to this rule. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could find that you can still file a lawsuit even after two years have passed. Alternatively, you could discover that you actually have far less than two years to file.
By hiring a bicycle accident lawyer shortly after your crash, you can ensure that all deadlines are met and that your right to collect compensation is protected.
Talk to a Winchester Bicycle Accident Attorney About Your Case Today
At Pacific West Injury Law, we are committed to providing bicycle accident victims with the experienced legal representation they need. Our team of bicycle accident lawyers in Winchester has a long track record of recovering significant compensation for our clients. Contact us today by phone or through our online contact form to schedule a free case review.