After a bicycle accident, you will typically file an insurance claim with the liable motorist’s insurer. However, in some cases, you may use your own insurance coverage to pay for accident expenses and losses. An attorney can advise you on the best path after your bicycle accident.
In either case, you will typically provide details about the accident to the appropriate insurance company. They may ask for evidence that supports their liability for your losses. After they have any idea of how much they owe you, they will issue a settlement offer. For many, these early offers are not enough to cover the scope of their losses and expenses.
Why File a Claim for a Bicycle Accident in Texas
Bicycle accident victims should file a claim to get the money they need for accident-related damages. The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) explains that motorists in Texas must prove that they can pay for damages they cause during an accident. For most motorists, that means purchasing auto insurance.
The at-fault motorist’s auto insurance policy may cover all your accident-related damages. Liability insurance coverage may be particularly useful, as this coverage becomes effective when a motorist injures another party—like a bicyclist.
You should file a claim to:
- Document the accident
- Provide your version of events before your memory fades
- Avoid missed deadlines for pursuing compensation
If you have yet to file your claim or provide a recorded statement to insurance companies, contact a Texas bicycle accident attorney first. They will protect you from potential threats to your financial recovery, including from insurance companies themselves.
When Should I File a Claim After a Bicycle Accident in Texas?
It would be beneficial to secure an attorney right after the accident in order to get started on your claim or lawsuit. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner insurance companies may resolve the claims process. Some insurers have their own deadlines, as well.
It’s also possible that your attorney will have to file a lawsuit. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003 generally allows two years to file a personal injury lawsuit starting from the date of the accident. This timeframe may expire more quickly than you realize, and once it passes, your opportunity to pursue compensation may be completely lost.
Even if we are able to secure an insurance settlement, we want to keep the statute of limitations for a potential lawsuit open. This will allow us to hold insurers accountable during settlement negotiations.
If Insurance Covers My Accident-Related Damages, Why Hire an Attorney?
The fact that liable insurers should cover your accident-related damages does not mean insurers will cover your damages. Insurance companies make profits by withholding as much compensation as possible. Insurance companies do not typically hand over any more money than they have to.
If you try to handle your own bicycle accident claim, you may:
- Be intimidated by insurance companies: Auto insurers serving Texas typically have substantial resources and extensive experience handling bicycle accident claims. If you handle your claim and you are not a lawyer, you may be at a significant disadvantage negotiating against insurance companies.
- Compromise your health: Even at full strength, you may not be well-positioned to negotiate with insurers. If you’re severely injured, you may be even less equipped to negotiate effectively. If you try to handle your own claim, you may also worsen your accident-related injuries or put your mental health at risk.
- Miss out on the money you deserve: Filing a bicycle accident claim means seeking fair compensation for your losses. If your injuries, inexperience, or both prevent you from negotiating effectively, you may not get the money you deserve.
Insurance Companies Use Several Tactics to Deny and Underpay Claims
Insurance companies may try to deprive you of fair compensation by:
- Presenting a lowball settlement offer, enticing you with a quick cash settlement
- Delaying the processing of your claim, hoping you will become desperate and accept their settlement offer
- Delaying so the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit expires, which may give the insurer an advantage in settlement negotiations
- Misrepresenting the details of your policy
- Blaming you for your bicycle accident
- Denying specific damages
- Challenging the nature or severity of your injuries
Nothing is out of the realm of possibility when insurers decide they’re not going to pay a bike accident victim fairly. Having an accident attorney on your side can help to push back against these unfair tactics.
What does a Texas Bicycle Accident Attorney Do?
Your attorney will lead every step of the claims process for you. If they pursue a lawsuit against liable parties, they’ll manage that legal process, too.
A lawyer’s duties in Texas bicycle accident cases generally include:
- Gathering evidence of liable parties’ negligence (in your case, likely a motorist)
- Documenting your damages with medical records, employment records, and other relevant documentation
- Leading settlement negotiations with insurers or other liable parties
- Taking your case to court, if necessary
They will also secure and submit all claim-related paperwork, manage communications with insurers, and oversee every other detail of your case.
What Damages Will an Attorney Seek Compensation for?
Your personal injury team will demand fair compensation for every loss and expense resulting from your bicycle accident, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Lost earning power
- Pain and suffering
- Replacement of your damaged bike and any other damaged property
- Any other damages you have suffered
If your loved one has passed away because of a fatal bicycle accident, a lawyer can help you pursue the value of their lost financial contributions, the cost of their funeral and burial, and the loss of a valued relationship.
Call Domingo Garcia Today for a Free Consultation
Bicycle accidents demand justice. A bike accident lawyer from Domingo Garcia will fight for your full financial recovery. We have won millions of dollars in settlements and court awards for our clients over more than 35 years. We’ll work hard to win for you.
Call Domingo Garcia today for your free consultation.