Did you get injured while riding a bike? Here’s what you need to do: read this article for guidance, then contact our Buffalo lawyers now.
Were You Partially At Fault?
In New York state, it’s a comparative negligence state, so either person in an accident, whether it be with a car or a bicycle, may have a claim even if it’s shared liability. In fact, it’s not uncommon for there to be some shared liability unless the accident is so clear cut like a rear-end accident. Both sides will tend to argue some percent of fault on both operators. The answer is absolutely, but your damages in the end will be diminished by whatever percent of fault you may share.
Compensation & Benefits
Those benefits are the same as if you were a passenger in that vehicle, in that you get the no-fault benefit, but it comes through the insurance carrier for the vehicle that struck you. Those benefits are the basic no-fault benefit of your lost wages for three years, medical mileage for one year, and medical treatment potentially forever until you either exhaust that vehicle’s no-fault benefit limit, or the insurance carrier attempts to cut you off by way of one of their medical exams. That’s the first layer of coverage. Then there are additional benefits possible available through your own personal policy or from your parent’s household policy as well.
Understand the Settlement Timeline
For example, the extent of your injuries compared to the policy limits available are often one factor. If negligence is clear or if they’re disputing it, that’s another major factor. How long it takes you to recover from your injuries matters. What kind of procedures you have to endure and then how you recover from those matters because the insurance company won’t be able to fully value a claim until you are recovered from or plateaued from any treatment or procedures and we know what your permanency level might be.
Choose the Right Attorney For You
Clients should ask the attorney of the law firm their familiarity with bicycle accident cases, how many they’ve handled, when was the last case like this they’ve handled, and what their approach is. Then you can feel comfortable with knowing what that attorney’s experience is, how they handle cases, and also what kind of results they’ve gotten in the past. Although that does not really guarantee any future results, it gives you an idea of their track record and maybe why and how they’ve gotten those results.
Do NOT Speak to the Insurance Company
There’s no reason for you to ever speak to them on your own or without your attorney present or handling that phone call or letter or information for you. That’s why we’re there. Because the insurance carriers often frame questions in a way to benefit them. It might not seem apparent to you initially, but because we only handle cases of negligence, we deal with insurance carriers all day, every day. They treat people who are unrepresented sometimes differently than people that have an attorney. We’re there to protect them.
Even if you’re not at fault, they still will frame questions in a way to benefit them, protect them, and to help limit their liability down the road. Therefore, the answer is always no. Just don’t take the call, or take the call, get their name, phone number, and claim number, and then that is it. Don’t discuss injuries, treatment, or how it happened without having your attorney present or handle it for you.
Never Accept the Insurance Company’s First Offer
That’s for a good reason because the insurance carrier will deal with you differently than if you have an attorney. With us, they understand that if they don’t deal fairly, we can escalate it to the next level of litigation, and push them in that way, and get the courts involved. When it’s you on your own, I’ve never seen an initial offer be one that’s fair compensation. We’ve never been able to not get a better result for our clients than what they were attempting to initially get themselves. It’s for good reason. If you are a specialist, or you learn your job trade, or your career, and if you’re operating outside of that trying your own claim, you’re doing so maybe to your own detriment. Turn that down and talk to an attorney about it. Let them help you and represent you to get the best result that you can.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured while riding a bike? Here’s what you need to do. Contact a Buffalo bicycle accident lawyer at Andrews, Bernstein & Maranto, PLLC today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.
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