How Much is My Bike Accident/Injury Case Worth?
After being involved in a bicycle accident, people often asked themselves, should I consult with an attorney? I wonder how much my bike accident case is worth?
In determining the value of your injuries from a bike accident case there are several different factors that you should consider. Here is a list of things that you should consider when determining the value of your personal injury bike accident case:
- Comparative fault
- Severity of injuries
- Type of medical care needed
- Length of treatment
- Cost of treatment
- Total recovery time
- Medical bills-past and future
- Lost earnings-past and future
- Impact of the injury on your life
Here is a brief explanation of some of those factors.
Comparative fault. Comparative fault on your part reduces the amount of your claim. Many times there is a police report that establishes which party is at fault, but oftentimes the liability of the parties must be determined. If it is determined that you are partially at fault for the accident, the percentage of fault allocated to you is deducted from the gross value of your claim. If your total damages are $500,000 but you are found to be 25% at fault for the accident, the net value of your case is reduced to $375,000.
Severity of injuries. Injury severity can range from mild to severe. Mild injuries include road rash, scrapes and bruises. Moderate injuries include fractures, muscle and ligament tears. More severe injuries include head injuries, multiple fractures, paralysis etc.
Length of treatment. Length of treatment can vary from a week, a few days in the hospital, to a few weeks in the hospital to an entire lifetime of treatment required from the accident.
Cost of treatment. Cost of treatment can vary from a few hundred dollars to multimillion dollars.
Total recovery time. Total recovery time is usually a reflection of the severity of injuries. Total recovery time can last a few days up until an entire lifetime. The total recovery time depends on the nature and seriousness of the injuries.
Medical bills. Medical bills will be affected by the severity of your injuries. Generally speaking, more serious injuries require more medical treatment and medical billing. You are entitled to receive the value of all of your past and future medical bills from the person or persons that caused your accident. These include emergency vehicles, hospital bills, therapy, imaging studies, prescription drugs and any other medical care that you require as a result of your injuries. If you are going to require future medical care as a result of your injuries, you are also entitled to be compensated for that.
Lost earnings. Generally speaking, more serious injuries result in more lost earnings. You are entitled to receive any monies that you lost from your employment as a result of your injuries including any loss of income that you will get in the future as a result of your injuries. Lost earnings can be substantial, especially if you’re unable to work for an indefinite period of time. This part of your claim is dependent on the amount of income you earn and your ability to return to work after the accident. If you are unable to return to your normal occupation, vocational rehabilitation services may be necessary. This might be another element of your damages. If you are a small business owner/operator and are unable to work for a period a time it could impact your business operations.
The most significant damages that you are entitled to if you’re involved in a bike accident and have a personal injury case are your general damages. General damages are damages for your pain and suffering that you have suffered as a result of the bike accident. They are generally the biggest part of a personal injury claim, even in less serious cases. However, in larger and more serious accidents, life-changing injuries can result which can affect your marital and family relationships. In the State of California, the different factors that are evaluated to determine the value of past and future pain and suffering are the following:
- Physical pain
- Mental suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
- Emotional distress
Keep in mind that the minimum automobile liability insurance requirement in California is only $15,000. For this reason, we advise that you purchase an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy in an amount that protects you and your family in the event of a catastrophic accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and you need help determining if you have a case, give us a call today at 619-295-0035 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.