Some Nebraskans take up cycling for the health benefits, while others ride for fun or as a low-cost form of transportation. But no one expects to be injured in an accident. Even wearing a helmet may do little to prevent the kind of injuries that result from a devastating collision between a cyclist and a distracted driver.
Unfortunately, insurance companies will do everything in their power to avoid fully compensating you, and an inadequate settlement can leave you with thousands in unpaid medical bills, not to mention lost income and pain and suffering. If you or your child were injured in a bike accident, one of our Nebraska bicycle accident lawyers could evaluate your case.
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Nebraska
In a bike accident, the defense might use strategies like claiming that the cyclist broke a traffic law or was not paying attention. Regardless of the circumstances, our attorneys will anticipate these kinds of defenses and fight to hold negligent parties accountable.
Nebraska applies a modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to awarding damages to a plaintiff in a personal injury case. This means the court assesses how much the injured plaintiff contributed to their own injuries and reduces any award based on their percentage of fault.
For example, if the court deems a motorist 75% at fault and a bicyclist 25% at fault, the court will reduce a $600,000 award by 25% to $450,000. Had the cyclist been more than 50% at fault, the plaintiff would not be eligible for any damages. Because of this, modified comparative negligence motivates the defense to shift most of the blame onto the plaintiff.
Insurance Coverage in a Bike Accident
While an insurance coverage settlement would be helpful in the wake of an expensive bike accident, insurance companies typically try to pay out as little as possible. An insurance adjuster may seem like they want to help you, but their ultimate goal is to compile evidence that can be used to reduce your settlement.
After a bike accident, you should avoid discussing the details of the accident with an insurance adjuster. An offhand remark could be used against you to reduce your compensation. Ideally, your first call after attending to your injuries should be to one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, who can guide you through the claims process and negotiate with the insurance company.
One possibility is that your uninsured and underinsured motorist UM/UIM coverage could apply if someone hits you without enough coverage or even a hit-and-run driver. If another bicyclist caused your accident, their homeowner’s insurance might compensate you for your injury. An experienced bicycle lawyer can examine your accident and pinpoint liability.
Liability in a Bike Accident
Bicycle accidents have a variety of causes; however, motor vehicle drivers are at fault in many cases. Although traffic laws apply to bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers alike, those in cars must be especially careful around vulnerable cyclists. This is particularly important when drivers are in areas where children ride bikes, including residential neighborhoods and near schools.
Bicycle manufacturers and retailers may be liable if a defective bike or bike part causes an accident. The plaintiff, in that case, would have to prove that the bike was defective when the accident happened, that the defect made riding dangerous, and that it actually caused the accident.
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Damages in a Bike Accident
Filing a personal injury claim as soon as possible after an accident can be vitally important to your financial future. Prompt filing can ensure that valuable evidence is preserved and that you don’t miss the deadline for taking legal action. Pursuing an insurance claim or injury lawsuit with the help of a bicycle accident attorney in Nebraska could help you recover losses, including the following.
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages and future earning potential
- Bicycle repairs or replacement
- Court costs
Scheduling a free consultation with an experienced attorney is the best way to determine the value of your bike accident claim. Our legal team can review your case, estimate your damages, and help you decide how much compensation to demand from the defendant. We can then help you negotiate your insurance claim or pursue a lawsuit.
Nebraska Statute of Limitations for Personal Injuries
Lawsuits are subject to statutes of limitations, and each state has its own time limits. Under Nebraska Revised Statutes §25-207, an injured party has four years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. There are certain exceptions to this general time limit, however, so it is important to consult an attorney to determine whether this or a shorter statute applies to your situation.
Failure to take legal action within the window allowed by the applicable statute can result in forfeiting your right to ever file a claim, leaving the plaintiff stuck with medical bills and other expenses stemming from the accident. Consulting a bicycle accident lawyer in Nebraska can help ensure the claim and any lawsuit are filed in a timely manner.
Contact a Nebraska Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Help
If you were injured in a bike accident, you would need to prove that the driver of the vehicle was more than 50% at fault to recover any damages. The insurance company may try to minimize the severity of your injuries, claim some of your treatments were unnecessary, or deny liability completely.
Getting the settlement you need may not be easy, which is why working with an experienced Nebraska bicycle accident attorney from Berry Law could be instrumental in helping you recover the compensation you need. Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Nebraska bicycle accident lawyers.