Washington, DC, Bicycle Accident Lawyer
In the first half of 2018, Washington, D.C., experienced 20 traffic-related fatalities. Half of those killed were cyclists and pedestrians. Of course, there’s no way to count the number of injuries, because many go unreported.
Imagine you or a member of your family were involved in a bicycle accident, causing significant injury leading to lost wages or the expense of high deductibles and out-of-pocket medical bills. Your first priority is your recovery or caring for your loved one’s physical well-being. What’s the next step?
You might be entitled to compensation if the accident was the result of negligence on the part of another party. While you might not want to entangle yourself in litigation, the assistance of a skilled personal injury lawyer from The Abelson Law Firm can help you in the event of current or unforeseen complications associated with the accident. Your decision to let us fight for you is a step toward protecting your future.
Our Firm’s Proven Results
Our firm has successfully advocated for roadway-related accident victims in the past in which motorists, obstacles, and infrastructure design flaws have caused harm to drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. We understand laws and ordinances specific to the Washington, D.C. area, and precedents that have cleared the path to successful results. Our firm has set many of those precedents, and our past clients attest to the financial relief we’ve helped them obtain.
What Do Bicycle-Related Injuries Include?
You might be fortunate enough to brush yourself off and walk away after a bicycle injury, but even then, it’s important to see your doctor as quickly as possible. Your injuries might not be obvious, and symptoms may take a few days to appear.
Serious injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Spine misalignment
- Broken (or loss of) limbs and extremities
- Serious skin lacerations
- Nerve damage
- Psychological and emotional damage, including PTSD
Complications from bicycle injuries, especially those involving vehicles, may last for months or even a lifetime. You want to be certain that you and your loved ones aren’t burdened with long-term costs and loss of wages.
Whom Might Victims Hold Liable?
Accidents rarely just happen. They’re usually the result of a mistake, and there’s a difference between the two. Even if you think you might be at fault—you didn’t see that car, or you feel you failed to avoid the pothole on the road—you might have suffered from the oversight of another party.
- At-fault driver/operator. If you were hit by another vehicle or cyclist and liability is a so-called “clear-cut” issue, their insurance company is likely to resist a timely payout, or shift the blame on you. You might be unaware of the other party’s liability coverage, and it’s up to you to obtain the compensation to which you’re entitled. We prevailed in a case against a large insurance company for just this reason.
- Property owner, municipality, or transportation department. If your accident occurred on property open to public use, it’s possible that the ground surface wasn’t properly maintained, or landscape and structural obstacles prevented your line of sight or that of the other party. Bicycle parks might be negligent in restricting trail or ramp capacity, or in their facility construction and design. Poorly designed track crossings can trap bicycle wheels, which resulted in the death of a young man here in Washington, D.C. in July 2018.
- Bicycle or vehicle manufacturer. It’s not uncommon for an equipment malfunction to affect the safe operation of bicycles and motor vehicles. Faulty or defective brakes, weak bicycle tires or tubes, or low-quality assembly hardware can cause your bicycle or the other party’s vehicle to fail. Your pedals and cleats might not release, preventing you from supporting yourself at a stop. Your helmet should crack as it absorbs impact shock, but if it was defective or made from inferior materials, a minor bump could escalate into a major traumatic brain injury.
What Compensation for Damages Can You Recover For Me?
If you’re the victim of an accident, you might not consider the financial toll your injuries will take on you and your family. If your own insurance and that of the other party covers medical expenses, are there caps? How are they paid out? Will they cover everything? What’s more, you might not receive insurance compensation for months, especially if they’re contested by the other party’s policy or your own.
And most insurance payouts don’t cover some of the most important expenses associated with accidents:
- Lost wages during the recovery period
- Decreased or the loss of future earnings resulting from permanent disability
- Pain, suffering, and psychological damage
- Secondary expenses incurred during recovery, including childcare, domestic help, and transportation
- Out-of-pocket medical costs, including projected future costs and out-of-network care
- Replacement of damaged or destroyed equipment
- Incurred legal fees
- Increased insurance premiums
Our job is to help you envision the big picture when you’re faced with the high costs of bicycle accidents and to help you protect yourself and your loved ones from the financial burden of unexpected expenses.
Will I Face Pushback From Liable Parties and Insurers?
We mentioned how insurance companies might contest your claim. Your own provider might issue only a partial payout, insisting they need to investigate your claim or work with the other party’s insurer in order to make good on your coverage.
If you signed a waiver when renting a bicycle, using private, paid-access bike trails, or riding on bike obstacle facilities, you might think you have no recourse at all. You do, and a skilled attorney can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Were your cycling activities part of your job? Whether you’re an urban police officer or a bicycle messenger, you might be up against workers’ compensation—at the least—or attorneys used to dealing with employee or municipality-related lawsuits.
We’re used to them, too, and we’re adept at prevailing against the big guys.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost Me?
While there are no “airtight” cases, we’ll provide you with a free consultation in which we’ll assess the circumstances of your accident. Should we agree to move forward together, we usually operate on a contingency basis. This means our fees are included in and paid out from any settlement or award should we prevail, and there is no up-front cost to secure an attorney.
What Do I Do Now?
The first thing you need to do is see a doctor to identify and address all of your injuries. Next, contact us at (202) 331-0600 or through our online contact form to set up a free consultation. Be sure to keep all receipts related to your accident, document any conversations you have with your insurance company and any public safety responders, and find your bicycle and safety equipment’s receipts, warranties, serial numbers, and owner’s manuals.
The Abelson Law Firm can do the rest for you.