Today’s cities are becoming increasingly bike-friendly. However, that does not mean that all motorists, pedestrians, or government officials make the roads safe for bicyclists. Recklessness or negligence from any of these parties can still result in significant injuries and property damage.
Should you walk away from a bicycle accident knowing that negligence resulted in your injuries, you don’t have to wait to take action. You can work with a Chesapeake bicycle accident attorney to hold the right parties accountable for your losses. Pendleton Law can work with you to bring your case to negotiations or a trial.
How Bicyclists Interact With Other Parties on the Road in Chesapeake
Bicycle accidents throughout Chesapeake hinge on a concept known as “duty of care.” Virginia states that motorists, pedestrians, and all parties on the road have a responsibility to protect one another from harm. All parties must take reasonable steps to avoid negligent and/or reckless behavior.
Bicyclists fall into this equation as parties both responsible for others’ safety and benefactors of other parties’ responsibility. If a bicyclist can allege that negligence resulted in their roadway accident, they have the right to bring their losses before a civil judge.
How to Distribute Fault in a Bicycle Accident Case
Bicyclists have a responsibility to make themselves as visible as possible while on the road. This means that if they want to bike in the dark, they must wear the appropriate protective gear, including lights and reflective equipment.
What’s more, bicyclists are responsible for their own behavior on the road. This means that you must remain in bicycle lanes when appropriate and applicable. Similarly, you must yield when turning and allow pedestrians and/or motorists to take the right of way when road signs or signals dictate as much.
Failure to abide by bicyclist laws in Virginia may deny you the right to compensation in civil court. Virginia’s understanding of comparative negligence is not particularly generous. If another party can argue that you contributed to your own accident, that assertion of fault can devastate your case.
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Filing a Bicycle Accident Claim in Chesapeake
Whether or not you believe you may be accused of contributing to your accident, you have the right to bring your case to bicycle accident attorneys in Chesapeake. Our team can take the nature of your case into account and determine what value your case may have. Moreover, we can prepare defenses to protect you from accusations of fault.
Presenting Evidence of Your Losses
To begin your case, we need to bring forward evidence elaborating on the nature of the negligence that resulted in your losses. The evidence we can use to bring forward a bicycle accident case can include:
- Photos of your accident
- Video footage from storefronts, dash cams, and/or streetlights
- Physical debris
- Bystander testimonies
- Expert witness statements
- Bills related to your recovery
It’s our responsibility to look at the raw data from your accident and use it to better understand why your losses occurred. When you have the data you need to back your assertion of liability, however, it becomes easier for you to demand financial support throughout your recovery.
Establishing Bicycle Accident Liability
The evidence you find at the scene of your accident may allege that unexpected parties bear the fault for your bicycle accident. While it’s tempting to hold motorists accountable for supposed misconduct on the road, other parties that can be responsible for your losses can include:
- Government employees who neglect the road
- Construction crews who don’t mark off dangerous environments
- Corporate parties who park in bicycle lanes
- Bicycle manufacturers
- Bicycle mechanics
- Other pedestrians and/or bicyclists
The nature of fault in your case depends entirely on the evidence gathered from the scene of your accident. Try not to assert that one party or another bears the fault for your accident before you have evidence of that alleged misconduct.
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Calculate the Value of Your Bicycle Accident Case
Data from the scene of your accident alleges more than the nature of liability in your case. It also elaborates on the value of your case. After all, a bicycle accident claim aims to ensure that you have the resources to adequately contend with your post-accident losses.
More specifically, you can use evidence to elaborate on the economic and non-economic value of your bicycle accident. The factors that may affect your injury claim range from:
- Medical bills
- The value of property damaged and in need of repair/replacement
- Lost wages or opportunities for alternative employment
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Stress and/or PTSD
- Wrongful death and funeral expenses, as applicable
You can work with our team from the start to determine how these losses factor into your case.
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File Your Claim Within Virginia’s Deadlines
Chesapeake constitutes bicycle accidents as personal injury accidents in the eyes of Virginia’s civil courts. As such, the amount of time in which you may file your bicycle accident case is limited by Code of Virginia § 8.01-243. This statute allows you to take up to two years to bring your case to the attention of Virginia judges.
Unfortunately, this deadline is a strict one. If you attempt to file a bicycle accident claim outside of this statute of limitations, your right to compensation may be denied. Fortunately, our bicycle accident lawyers in Chesapeake can work with you starting on day one after your accident. This way, we can get your case before the right parties in the shortest amount of time.
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Bicyclists Can Bring Their Losses Before a Judge
The force of a bicycle accident can be disconcerting for anyone. It’s the recovery afterward, however, that can have a long-term impact on your overall well-being. If you feel you need help recovering from a recent bicycle accident and want to take legal action against the offending party, let the Pendleton Law Team go to work for you.
A Chesapeake bicycle accident lawyer understands the strain of your recovery and can do everything in their power to make the legal elements of those efforts manageable. For more information about how our attorneys can best serve you, you can schedule a case consultation with our office. We are available to get you on the books over the phone or through our website.
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