Bicycle accidents happen more commonly than you may think. In 2020, the number of deaths related to bicycle accidents increased by 16%, with the number also growing significantly in the last 10 years by 44%. These incidents are more common in warmer months, but they can happen at any time.
Oregon is one of the states that welcomes numerous bicycle lovers, so the risk of accidents is also quite high. For this reason, law firms such as D’Amore Law Group have specialized attorneys that can help people who are victims of bicycle accidents. But should you really hire a lawyer for a bicycle accident? Let’s find out!
When Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident?
Ideally, you should hire a bicycle accident injury lawyer as soon as possible. You’re vulnerable following the incident, both physically and mentally, so without an attorney by your side, the insurance company can take advantage of you. For instance, insurers will do their best to decrease the amount they have to pay you.
When you hire a lawyer, the case can be discussed professionally by someone who knows the law. If you respected the laws and someone else caused the accident, they will be the ones having to offer compensation.
So, you can hire a lawyer for a bicycle accident when:
- You have various questions about your compensation or claim
- You need to determine who’s at fault for the accident
- Your claim is denied by your insurance company
- The insurance company wants to decrease your compensation amount
- The accident caused major injuries to you
Why Is It Beneficial to Hire a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Having a lawyer by your side will be much better than representing yourself. Cyclists have to go through a legal process that would otherwise be very complicated. If this is your first time dealing with anything of the sort, you may be confused and have no idea how to proceed.
Luckily, a lawyer will bring you benefits such as:
- Establishing communications with the insurance company for you
- Fighting to make sure you get fully compensated for your damages or injuries
- Calculating how much you deserve for damage from the accident
- Showing how the other party was careless and led to your accident
- Creating a strong personal injury claim
Although you have the right to represent yourself after a bicycle accident, hiring a lawyer is better, as it can protect you against the insurer, who will try to take advantage of your vulnerability. Insurance companies will attempt to give you a lower settlement, disguising it as the best deal possible. Because you are eager to get this case over with, you may be tempted to accept it, which can be a mistake.
With a personal injury attorney’s help, you can get more compensation. Your lawyer will consider all economic and non-economic damages, and will know how to negotiate for a higher compensation and how to create a better injury claim.
How Can You Find the Best Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident?
It may take some time to choose a lawyer. Every attorney has a different amount of experience in the field and different skills, and choosing the right one is key to a successful case.
Here are some tips to help you end up with the best bicycle accident lawyer:
Search for Experienced Lawyers
You should always look at how experienced the lawyer is. Ideally, the attorney should have taken care of many bicycle accident cases in the past. Just like motorcycle or car accidents, bicycle accidents are their own law area and must be treated accordingly. Only someone with experience will be able to do this.
If you want things to work in your favor, you may also want to consider hiring a lawyer who is an active cyclist. If you do this, then you will be working with an individual who is just as passionate about cycling as you are, and someone who understands the potential severity of bicycle-related injuries.
On top of that, you may also want to hire a lawyer with a deep understanding of the cost of bike repairs and replacements. If an attorney knows a thing or two about bike repairs, then this can help your case a lot – this way, they can prove the damages in court and claim a higher compensation.
Check Online Reviews
Some law firms will have reviews and testimonials from previous customers. This makes your search easier because you can learn more about the law experts directly from someone who’s had an experience with the firm.
Make sure to check both positive and negative reviews and compare the feedback. Sometimes, you’ll be able to find common praises or complaints that can paint you a picture of the law firm/lawyer.
Seek Referrals and Recommendations
A great way to find a good bicycle accident attorney is through recommendations and referrals. For instance, you can ask people in your friend group or family for recommendations if they’ve worked with attorneys before.
Moreover, if you were ever involved with other types of lawyers, such as car accidents, child custody, or divorce ones, you can ask them for referrals and maybe they can recommend a bike accident attorney. This way, you know the referral is reliable.
Ask Questions About Success Rates
Every lawyer has a certain success rate. This tells you how successful the attorney can be in handling your particular case.
So, when looking for bicycle accident attorneys, ask about their case success rate and the usual settlements they’ve obtained for previous clients. Have they obtained numerous awards and settlements? Furthermore, how many cases have they won recently? Ask more questions about the success rates and you’ll know whether a lawyer is suitable for you or not.
Seek a Contingency Contract
A good personal injury attorney will take cases on a contingency basis. This means you should not settle for a lawyer who asks you to pay him or her. When the case is won, one third of the award will be given to the attorney, although the amount can vary from one expert to another.
Hiring a lawyer for a bicycle accident is something to consider if you want things to go smoothly when you fight for compensation. Make sure to find a good and experienced lawyer before proceeding with the case.