Our Bicycle Accident FAQ
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What should I do after a serious bicycle accident in Northern Virginia?
Northern Virginia has invested millions of dollars into its bicycle infrastructure. However, even with the addition of new bicycle lanes and paths across Fairfax County and the National Capital Region, accidents are common. In the aftermath of a serious bicycle collision, victims often struggle to obtain the compensation needed to begin rebuilding their lives. While negotiating a fair settlement could prove challenging, you should never be forced to pay the price for a motorist’s mistake.
Protecting Your Rights After a Northern Virginia Bicycle Crash
Virginia is an at-fault insurance state. Under the Commonwealth’s tort-based insurance system, accident victims have a legal right to file a claim for compensation against the person or party who caused their bicycle accident.
However, insurance companies are fundamentally for-profit enterprises. Even if you have a seemingly open-and-close case, the adjuster could undermine your claim by asking for never-ending documentation, hoping you will eventually give up and accept a bad-faith settlement.
After a bicycle accident, there are steps to take that will help protect your right to a legal recovery.
Virginia law requires that the operator of any motor vehicle contact law enforcement if they are involved in an accident resulting in:
- Significant property damage
- Personal injury
Bicyclists are not necessarily obliged to report an accident if they do not believe they have been injured. However, contacting law enforcement could prove beneficial if you need to file a personal injury claim. Even if the investigating officer is unable to establish fault, their report could be used as evidence in insurance negotiations.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
You should always see a doctor after an accident. Since bicycle crashes are inherently traumatic events, some victims may overlook injuries while suffering from shock or reeling from an unexpected rush of adrenaline. A physician could help you identify, diagnose, and treat injuries that are not immediately obvious.
Additionally, seeing a doctor will show the insurance company that you have legitimate concerns about your physical health—not simply looking to profit from a tragic accident.
If you do not need emergency care, try to collect evidence from the crash site. Evidence could include the following:
- Photographs of your visible injuries, including bruises, lacerations, or road rash
- Pictures of the damage to your bicycle or to the other vehicle
- A recorded or written recollection of how the accident occurred
If you did not have enough time to collect evidence from the accident site, an experienced Northern Virginia bicycle crash lawyer could help you collect, analyze, and preserve any evidence needed to support your claim.
Speak to Eyewitnesses
Eyewitness testimony can make or break a personal injury claim. If another person witnessed your Virginia bicycle crash, ask them for their full name, their phone number, and other contact information.
Contact an Attorney
An experienced Virginia bicycle accident attorney could help you construct a compelling and evidence-based claim for compensation. Virginia, unlike some states, does not currently cap or otherwise limit the damages available in a personal injury lawsuit.
Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC could help you obtain damages, including:
- Past, present, and anticipated medical expenses
- Physical rehabilitation
- Lost income from work
- Diminished earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
While Virginia does not currently cap damages, the Old Dominion does have a strict statute of limitations. If you wait too long to contact a bicycle crash lawyer, the statute of limitations could lapse, forcing the court to dismiss your claim on a technicality.
Skilled Legal Help for Your Personal Injury
Our experienced Fairfax accident injury attorneys understand that when you’re hit by a car, it may put you out of work; you may face expensive medical bills; and you may be overwhelmed and confused by the legal challenges of filing a personal injury claim. We know that you need skilled, experienced lawyers who can provide you with immediate help.
At Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case, and all of our personal injury work is handled on a contingent fee basis. That means, you face no legal fees if we don’t recover for you. Let the personal injury attorneys at Kearney, Freeman, Fogarty & Joshi, PLLC help you obtain the justice you deserve, especially if you suffer catastrophic injuries or must deal with the wrongful death of a loved one. Contact us online, or call us at 703-691-8333.