Bicycles provide a popular mode of transportation due to their eco-friendly nature and health benefits. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to treat cyclists with the same respect as other vehicles on the road. In many cases, a negligent driver’s failure to operate their vehicle safely leads to an accident that can be particularly dangerous for the bike rider.
Bicyclists involved in collisions with motor vehicles often experience more serious injuries than those inside the vehicle due to the exposed nature of bicycles. If the biker requires physical rehabilitation or suffers another form of debilitating injury, they may not be physically capable of returning to work immediately and facing devastating medical bills.
Fortunately, with help from a seasoned personal injury attorney based in South Bend, an injured cyclist may be able to recover financial compensation from the driver responsible for their harm. A South Bend bicycle lawyer could represent your best interests during settlement negotiations and court to ensure you recover the damages you are owed.
Cyclists Are Protected Under the Law
It is easy for people not to consider bicycles to be the same as standard cars and trucks. However, under Indiana Code §9-21-11-2, bicycles and their operators are treated identically to other standard motor vehicles under the law and are afforded the same rights and obligations.
The rights of cyclists must be observed by other motorists who owe them the same duty of care as any other vehicle or driver. If a negligent driver injures a cyclist, Indiana’s laws allow the injured party to recover damages.
What Damages Could an Injured Bicyclist Recover?
A cyclist injured in a collision with a motor vehicle could seek compensation from the negligent driver for their economic and non-economic losses. For a successful plaintiff, this means they can obtain compensation for directly calculable expenses related to their medical treatment and recovery, as well as compensation for personal property damage.
Because a person injured in a bicycle wreck may require time to recover, compensation for lost wages are also recoverable. Future loss wages may also be included where appropriate.
Importantly, compensation is also available for their pain, suffering, emotional distress, the relative loss of consortium, and enjoyment of life. However, accurately calculating the extent of a person’s non-economic damages could be challenging. Obtaining the counsel of a bike wreck attorney in South Bend is often necessary.
Filing Deadline in South Bend
Injured cyclists need to understand that there is a strict filing limit attached to their claim. In the interests of fairness, Indiana has enacted a statute of limitations on all personal injury claims, which prevents recovery after expiration.
Under state law, an injured cyclist has exactly two years to file a claim. The clock begins on the date of the accident. As such, it is essential for someone injured in a bike accident in South Bend to reach out to an accomplished attorney as soon as possible after the wreck to ensure they file their claim in a timely manner.
Consult with a South Bend Bicycle Wreck Attorney
Hiring a South Bend bicycle accident lawyer shows the at-fault party that you are serious and ready to litigate if necessary. In many cases, negligent parties do not want a claim to go to trial and attempt to settle. Without representation, however, insurance companies may attempt to pay far less than your claim is worth.
Having a skillful attorney who understands your claim and its value can go a long way towards obtaining fair compensation. A consultation is the simplest way to assess the merits of your case and potentially obtain legal representation. Call our office today, and we will be happy to schedule a consultation.