Bicycle accidents are often serious and lead to catastrophic injuries. In most cases, a bicycle accident settlement is your last hope to pay your medical bills and support your family. Unfortunately, many injured victims settle for much less than they deserve simply because they do not know how much their settlement is worth.
What damages can I recover?
The most common damages awarded to injured bicyclists are called special damages. They are the easiest to quantify and the easiest to obtain. This refers to short-term economic costs that are results of the accident, including:
- Medical bills (current and future)
- Lost wages during recovery
- Lost earning capacity if you needed to take a lesser-paying job or retire completely
- Damaged property
It is important to note that serious injuries often have long-term effects. You might need round-the-clock care for the rest of your life or you might be unable to return to work for months or you might need to retire completely.
Never accept a settlement before your doctor has given you a prognosis. If your injury worsens, you cannot go back later and get more money.
You might also be entitled to general damages, which are also known as non-economic damages. General damages are harder to calculate because they are mostly subjective. These could include:
- Pain and suffering
- Depression and mental anguish
Calculating pain and suffering can be difficult, but a Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyer from the Montero Law Center can help you determine what you might expect by using a multiplier or a per diem method.
When using the multiplier method, your lawyer will add up your compensatory damages and multiply the total by an integer between one and five (one for more minor injuries, five for very serious injuries). For example, let’s say you suffered a moderate traumatic brain injury in your bicycle accident. You suffered a lot of pain and require a nurse to come to your home each day. Your attorney assigns you a three. Your compensatory damages were $100,000. Your noneconomic damages are $300,000.
Your lawyer might also use a per diem method where he assigns a value to each day you were injured. He will likely base this number off your income. For example, you make $300 a day. You suffer pain for six months. Your lawyer will simply multiply 183 (six months) by 300 to get $54,900.
Why do I need a lawyer for a bicycle accident settlement?
The insurer company will do its best to give you as little as possible for your injuries. It will be relying on your desperation, hoping that you will take whatever you can get to pay your medical bills and stay afloat.
But the original offer is usually much lower than you deserve. In many cases, it will only cover your current medical bills and lost wages which means you could leave tens or even hundreds of thousands on the table.
A Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident attorney will make sure your settlement covers everything it should. If it doesn’t, our team will negotiate until the insurer offers what you deserve. If it refuses to offer you a fair settlement, we will take it to court.
If you have been injured in bicycle accident, you have plenty of things on your mind besides the complicated details of a lawsuit. An attorney who knows Florida injury law can collect all the evidence necessary to obtain the settlement you deserve.
An attorney at the Montero Law Center will fight for your rights. Call 954-767-6500 for a free consultation today.