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Bicycle Accidents

UTAH’S BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAW FIRM

Gosdis Law is Utah’s top bicycle accident law firm. It is the exclusive Utah partner firm in BikeLegal, one of the country’s preeminent bicycle law firms with deep roots in the cycling community. BikeLegal attorneys have collected millions and millions of dollars for cyclists across the country, including in Utah. If you get hurt in a cycling accident in Utah, call or text us for help at (385) 429-9960. We are uniquely positioned to help you get your life back on track.

CYCLIST RIGHTS IN UTAH 

Avid cyclists know the rules of the road as they pertain to cyclists. But many do not know the full scope of their cyclist right in Utah. Click here to read about cyclist rights in Utah.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT?

What happens after a bicycle accident often determines whether an accident claim will be successful, including gathering evidence, seeking appropriate medical treatment, and hiring the right legal team, among other things. Here are a few tips for what to do after a bicycle accident to protect your case.

  1. Check for Injuries and Call 911

Utah requires that those involved in an accident call 911 immediately if they can. You must remain on the scene until first responders arrive. Tell the 911 operator some crucial details, including the location of the accident, details about the vehicles involved, the types of injuries sustained, and any hazards that the emergency vehicles need to be aware of, including fuel leaks or overturned trucks.

  1. Do Not Give Statements to Insurance Companies

After a bicycle accident, insurance companies will call you to get a recorded statement. Do not give it to them. They will ask deceptive questions and later use your answers against you to prohibit or limit your claim. Tell them that you will have your attorney call them to discuss the statement.

  1. Begin Collecting Evidence 

Once you are safe, begin collecting evidence or ask someone to do it for you. Photograph the scene first. Snap a picture of your bike. Take a video if you see anything that should be recorded.

  1. Notify Your Insurance Company 

Even if you are not at fault, you must notify your insurance company after an accident. When you’re involved in an accident, your insurance company requires you to inform them and cooperate with their investigation. If you fail to notify your insurance provider, you may be required to pay higher premiums, have your policy canceled, or face other consequences.

  1. Call Gosdis Law

Gosdis Law is uniquely positioned to help after a Utah bicycle accident. As Utah’s premier bicycle law firm, Gosdis Law is committed to helping you get back on your feet after a bicycle accident and maximize your recovery. We get results for our clients. BikeLegal attorney have recovered millions and millions of dollars for bicycle clients across the country. Call or text Gosdis Law at (385) 429-9960 to for a free consultation regarding your bicycle case.

POLICE INVESTIGATION OF UTAH BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

If you are involved in a bicycle accident that causes injury or property damage, you must call the police and an ambulance. You are required to cooperate with the police and other investigators until the investigation is completed. During the investigation, you may receive phone calls and letters from the insurance company that require your response.

UTAH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

You may have never thought about insurance coverage for your bicycle, but your auto insurance policy may include coverage if you are involved in a Utah bicycle accident. Under Utah law, every driver must carry at least $25,000 per person and $65,000 per accident of liability insurance. If you are on a bicycle and a driver hits you, you can make a claim against his or her liability insurance policy.

But what if you are hit on your bicycle by a motorist who does not have insurance or who is underinsured?

If you have an accident and the driver is not insured, you may be able to make a claim on your insurance policy’s uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist insurance is required in Utah unless the policyholder waives coverage in writing. Cyclists should always carry uninsured motorist coverage to protect themselves if they are hit by a driver who does not have insurance.

If you are involved in an accident with a driver who has the minimum amount of insurance required by law—but your injuries cost more than the policy limits—then will be required to rely on your own insurance policy, namely your underinsured motorist insurance. Utah law requires underinsured motorist insurance unless you waive the coverage in writing. Cyclists should always carry underinsured motorist coverage to protect themselves if they are hit by a driver who does not have insurance.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage both supplement an at-fault driver’s policy and protect you if you are involved in a hit-and-run or hit by a motorist with minimal or no insurance coverage. Cyclists should always purchase underinsured and uninsured policies with highest possible policy limits to cover potentially substantial medical and property expenses from a bicycle accident.

Your insurance policy will also have Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP). PIP coverage covers your medical expenses if you are in an accident. It is known as no-fault insurance. Utah requires every vehicle to have at least $3,000 in PIP coverage. You can use your PIP coverage to help cover expenses that exceed the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits and your uninsured and underinsured motorist policy limits.

HOW TO COLLECT EVIDENCE FOR A BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWSUIT

It is crucial to get as much proof for your bicycle lawsuit as you can. In some cases, evidence can begin to degrade while you are still at the scene of the accident. You should start collecting evidence at the scene for a potential bicycle lawsuit if you are able.

First, talk to the driver. You need his or her name and insurance information. Keep your ears open for anything that the driver or his passengers say. You should note their demeanors and if they apologize to you after impact. These details may become necessary during the lawsuit.

Second, get as many details as possible about the vehicle that hit you. Write down the license plate number, VIN, make, model, and color of the vehicle and note which part of the vehicle contacted you.

Third, talk with witnesses. Start with the passengers in the driver’s vehicle. Although the driver’s passengers are not obligated to talk to you, they may choose to, and you do not want to miss the opportunity to get their sides of the story. After you speak to the passengers, talk to anyone around and not involved in the accident. If another driver stops to help, ask them what they saw. If there are available pedestrians, speak to them as well. Remember to get their names and contact information because these details will be necessary as the lawsuit progresses.

Fourth, take pictures and videos of the scene and your injuries. You will want as much physical evidence as you can get. Photos and videos help tell a compelling story to a jury. A visual representation of your testimony can help persuade a jury to find in your favor. You may also want to write down what the pictures depict while it is fresh in your mind. You may also want to consider drawing a diagram of the scene and describing it in writing as soon as possible. The sooner you write things down after the accident, the better. Details fade over time. Details provide proof and proof wins lawsuits.

Fifth, if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you obviously cannot speak to the driver or passengers. However, you can still take pictures of the scene, make a diagram, take photographs and videos of the damage to your bike, talk to any witnesses at the scene, take photos of your injuries, make a police report, and go to the hospital.

TYPICAL DAMAGES IN UTAH BICYCLE ACCIDENT CASES.

The following are some of the damages suffered by bike accident victims. There are numerous categories of harm, but these are some of the most common. 

How Do Economic Damages Arise? 

A damage that can be quantified is economic. These are monetary losses. Examples of economic damages include:

  • Lost wages 
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Medical bills 
  • Funeral expenses 
What Are Non-Economic Damages? 

A non-economic loss is not easily quantifiable. They can be considered personal losses. Examples include:

  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
What Are Punitive Damages? 

Punitive damages are imposed on a defendant to punish and deter them from doing something in the future. Punitive damages may be awarded for outrageous behavior. Punitive damages are in addition to economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are uncommon.

Wrongful Death Damages 

Accidents sometimes result in death. When that happens, the victim’s surviving family members have the right to sue in a wrongful death suit. Wrongful death damages include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pre-death medical expenses
  • Survivors’ emotional distress
  • The financial loss of the deceased
  • Loss of services and support
  • Loss of companionship and support

GETTING PROPERTY DAMAGES ASSOCIATED WITH UTAH A BICYCLE ACCIDENT

Under Utah law, you are entitled to be compensated for your property damage associated with your bike accident. Gosdis Law is uniquely qualified to maximize your property damage settlement, including maximizing the value your claim as it relates to replacing your bicycle. Avid cyclists know that bicycles can cost more than many cars. You need an attorney who is experienced in getting top dollar for your damage bicycle. You are also entitled to be compensated for any other items damages in your accident, including: kits, phones, helmets, sunglasses, shoes, and other property damaged in your accident.

HOW DO I PAY MY MEDICAL BILLS AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT?

Concerns about the medical expenses keep a lot of accident victims away from the doctor. Avoiding the doctor, however, can hurt your case. You need to seek medical treatment after your bicycle accident to get better, but also to establish the severity of your injuries for insurance companies and to prove how the accident has affected your life.

You have options when seeking care after a bicycle accident. The vehicle who hit you may cover some of your medical bills through its PIP insurance. In addition, your PIP insurance may cover medical bills related to your bicycle accident. The minimum amount of PIP insurance coverage that Utah requires is $3,000. If you are able, you may want to increase the amount of PIP coverage you carry in case of an emergency so that you are not financially overwhelmed with medical bills caused by an accident.

 Your health insurance may also cover your medical expenses. Even with health insurance, your medical costs can add up quickly. Keep a record of all your medical bills. Your total medical expenses will be considered in your final settlement amount.

Another choice you may want to discuss with your attorney is a medical lien. A medical lien is an agreement among you, the provider, and the attorney where the medical provider agrees to defer payment until after a settlement is achieved. The medical lien option is a more complicated choice because of the rights that medical providers have when entering into these types of agreements. Your attorney can give you the best advice on whether you should enter into a medical lien agreement.

HOW DO I COLLECT ON MY JUDGMENT?

If you obtain a judgment in your bicycle accident case, the defendant’s insurance company will typically pay a valid damages award or settlement without any hassle if it is within the liability limits. If there is no insurance, however, you may have to collect on that judgment directly against the defendant(s). To do so, your attorney can start the collection process by searching for assets to seize or garnishing wages, among many other options.  

WHAT IS COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE? 

In Utah, there is a comparative negligence law. In civil litigation, comparative negligence is used when the plaintiff and defendant share fault. Whether the plaintiff or defendant is partially responsible will be decided by the court or jury. An accident might be attributed 40% to the plaintiff and 60% to the defendant in certain circumstances. A plaintiff who sues in a comparative negligence jurisdiction can only recover 60% of their claim. A plaintiff’s recovery is reduced by 40% if they contributed to the accident.

You may need to hire an attorney depending on the outcome of the insurance claim. As a personal injury law firm only focused on personal injury cases, we are familiar with making the correct arguments, presenting your claim persuasively, and dealing with intimidating insurance companies to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients. When you have a legal representative on your side, you can recover from your injury in peace.

HOW DOES THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WORK FOR BICYCLE ACCIDENTS IN UTAH?

To successfully file a claim for a bicycle accident, you must first determine your statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is when a claim or lawsuit for damages must be settled or filed. Different types of claims have various statutes of limitations. Each state has its law determining the statute of limitations for bringing a claim for injuries because of a bicycle accident. Utah has a statute of limitations of four years for a plaintiff to resolve their case by settling with the insurance company or filing a lawsuit in the proper court. A person who has a bicycle accident claim has four years from the date of the accident to settle the claim or file a lawsuit.

The statute of limitations is a hurdle because you are barred from recovery forever if you miss the time to settle or file. The statute of limitations is used to move a case along reasonably and efficiently.

Having a statute of limitations ensures that the case is pursued steadily so that the court system is not clogged up with stagnant cases. A deadline for settling or filing a lawsuit preserves evidence. Evidence may be lost if too much time passes between the date of the accident and when the case is filed in court. Witnesses of the accident may be unavailable if too much time passes. Your injuries may heal quickly, making your case less persuasive to an insurance company or a jury. On the other hand, your physical condition can deteriorate because you lack access to proper health care to help you get better. Having a prompt and clear deadline to keep the case moving protects both parties from laborious litigation.

The law only allows limited exceptions to the statute of limitations. The Discovery Rule’s legal doctrine is the narrow exception to the statute of limitations. Per the discovery rule, the statute of limitations for a claim does not begin to run until the plaintiff discovers their injury. This exception is beneficial for those who suffer “hidden” injuries.

For example, if a person has a brain injury, they may not notice a change themselves. Often people who are close to an accident victim are the ones that see symptoms of a brain injury, including memory loss, emotional instability, and changes in speech patterns. In exceptional cases like that, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the person knows they have been injured. They will have four years from the date of discovery to settle the bicycle accident claim or bring a lawsuit.

HOW ARE PAIN AND SUFFERING CALCULATED AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT IN UTAH?

One way of calculating pain and suffering damages is by using a pain and suffering multiplier. Calculate the value of your pain and suffering by multiplying your actual damages by 1.5 to 10 to find the amount of pain and suffering. 

In determining the appropriate multiplier for your pain and suffering, several factors must be considered, including the degree of the other driver’s negligence, the severity of your injuries and permanent disability, and the length of your recovery.

HOW MUCH SHOULD MY SETTLEMENT BE AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT?

An attorney can help you determine the value of your claim. The insurance company’s job is to settle allegations that its insured are at fault for the smallest amount of money possible. That is why dealing with the insurance company alone is not the best course. You should be wary of any first offer you receive from an insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company is not your ally. You need someone on your side. Your best option is to hire a personal injury attorney. 

Gosdis Law is a Utah bicycle accident lawyer that focuses on personal injury law. Injured people deserve to be protected from greedy insurance companies that shortchange them. Gosdis Law approaches every case with expertise, professionalism, and empathy. We have won millions of dollars for our clients because of this approach. We want to help you put your life back together after you experience a bicycle crash with a motor vehicle. If you have been in a bicycle accident in Utah, call Utah’s bicycle accident lawyers at Gosdis Law.

WE WILL FIGHT TO RECOVER THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR YOUR UTAH ACCIDENT

SCHEDULE A FREE CASE EVALUATION WITH A UTAH BIKE ACCIDENT LAWYER TODAY.

If you have been injured in a bike accident in Utah, you need to retain a Utah attorney who focuses on bicycle accidents. You are entitled to compensation. Gosdis Law will help you get it. Our attorneys are committed to obtaining justice for all our clients and believe it is essential to get your life back on track as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

The personal injury attorneys at Gosdis Law have decades of experience getting our clients the compensation they deserve for their bike accident cases.

Call or text us today at (385) 429-9960 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced bike accident lawyer.