Denver Bike Accident Settlement Amounts
Although some personal injury claims settle in court, most settle outside of court. Taking this route can save the parties involved a significant amount of time and money. It also helps victims avoid multiple court appearances and contentious proceedings. This is important for bicycle accident victims injured by motorists. These individuals often sustain serious injuries.
An attorney is still necessary even if the other party is amenable to settlement. The at-fault driver’s insurer will attempt to offer the lowest award possible. If you sustained injuries in a bicycle accident you should consider speaking with an experienced attorney. We can ensure that your bike accident settlement amount is fair and stress-free.
Settling a Claim
Before going to trial, most accident victims attempt to settle a claim with the at-fault party. They send a settlement demand to the insurance adjuster. This step should not begin until the injured party has a good idea of his or her injuries.
Accident victims sometimes accept low initial settlements. Then later discover that their injuries are more extensive than they realized. These people won’t be able to go back to the insurer and request more. Yet, it’s also important to note that waiting too long to file a claim is dangerous. Colorado law requires injured parties to file claims within two years of their accident.
Once the injured party has compiled evidence of their losses, then he or she can request a settlement. The settlement should cover the following costs:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Loss of income;
- Loss of future income if the injured party becomes disabled as a result of his or her injuries;
- Property damage;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Inconvenience; and
- Emotional distress.
If the injured party becomes disabled, they could demand compensation for rehabilitation expenses. In the tragic event of the cyclist’s death, their loved ones could collect compensation for wrongful death.
Determining The Value of a Personal Injury Claim
The value of an injured cyclist’s settlement award depends on many factors, including:
- The severity of his or her injury;
- The injured party’s estimated recovery time;
- The impact of the injuries on the victim’s ability to complete daily activities;
- The amount of monetary loss suffered by the injured party; and
- Whether the accident can attribute to one party or if both parties share fault.
Evaluating the Claim
Evaluating these factors can be difficult in cases where the cyclist is partly at blame. It is necessary to estimate each party’s percentage of fault. Colorado is a modified comparative fault state. This means that injured parties who contribute to their own accidents are not barred from recovery. This holds unless they are more than 50 percent at fault for their accident.
The amount they are able to collect reduces in proportion to their own percentage of fault. Injured cyclists contribute to their accident by failing to use the bike lane or ignoring traffic signals. They can expect to receive a lower settlement award than if the motorist alone was the cause of the crash.
The severity of a cyclist’s injuries is important in determining a settlement amount. The injured party should provide evidence of an exact amount of monetary losses. This could include medical bills, doctor’s notes, and x-rays and other scans.
Injured parties can also seek compensation for job absence during recovery. They must provide evidence of their daily income. The insurance adjuster will have to compensate to cover these known costs.
Calculating intangible losses is more difficult. Intangible losses are pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Injured cyclists usually have a harder time convincing an insurer to pay for these costs. In these situations it becomes important to have the advice of an attorney. They can provide examples of jury verdicts in similar cases to the other party.
This evidence helps convince the at-fault party to settle for an appropriate amount. Injured parties should not expect to recover more than $250,000 for pain and suffering. This is the statutory cap for non-economic damages in most personal injury claims.
Call an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today
One of the best ways to estimate the value of a claim is to speak with an attorney. Avoiding a court trial the injured parties may need to settle for a lower amount. Yet, taking this route saves them time, money, and from a possible negative verdict. For more information on the settlement process and compensation collection for your bicycle accident, please contact us at the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC by calling (720) 515-7058. Initial consultations are free of charge.