Whether you ride a bike to travel to work, run errands, or get some fresh air and exercise, you have a right to your share of space on public roads. Because of this, motor vehicle drivers must respect your rights by keeping a safe distance away from you while you are on a bike and paying attention to their surroundings. Unfortunately, not every driver adheres to this duty, which could result in collisions with devastating repercussions for impacted cyclists.
If you were struck by a vehicle while riding your bike, you might have grounds for civil litigation that a Smith Hulsey personal injury attorney could help you pursue. By working with an experienced Cleveland bicycle accident lawyer, you could give yourself better odds of proving liability for your injuries, but also maximizing available compensation from a settlement or civil court verdict.
While there are some rare exceptions, negligence is the foundational legal principle on which the vast majority of personal injury claims are based. Negligence essentially has four components, each of which must be fulfilled for someone to be held liable for damages in a collision.
Every person who operates a car, truck, or other vehicle on public roads has a “duty of care.” For drivers, this implicit legal duty requires them to remain focused on the road and their surroundings, obey applicable traffic laws, and generally respond as a reasonable person would to any conditions they encounter while driving.
A breach of this duty is the second component of legal negligence. Someone could violate their duty of care through reckless, careless, or malicious actions that lead them to not keep people around them safe.
Causation specifically entails a direct link between the defendant’s irresponsible actions and a subsequent collision—in this case, a collision with a bicyclist. As a Cleveland bike crash attorney could further explain, there must be at least one physical injury necessitating professional medical attention that results directly from the wreck.
The amount of compensation someone may recover depends primarily on the specific injuries and losses they experienced. Through a comprehensive claim, a plaintiff could recover for economic losses like bicycle repair/replacement costs and medical expenses. They could also recover non-economic damages like physical pain and emotional/psychological suffering.
Support from a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer in Cleveland can be essential to getting the most restitution possible out of a claim despite any potential procedural roadblocks.
Filing suit or pursuing a fair settlement after a wreck like this caused by someone else’s negligence is rarely a simple process. Even if you have extensive evidence proving another party’s fault, converting that information into a successful case result requires help from an attorney who knows how cases of this nature work.
Retaining a Cleveland bicycle accident lawyer should be a priority for anyone hurt while riding due to a motor vehicle driver’s misconduct. Schedule your initial consultation at Smith Hulsey today.
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