Why do I need an attorney if I am involved in a bicycle accident?
A bicyclist is killed in a bicycle accident every six hours in the United States!
If you are a bicyclist who is following the Virginia bicycle safety laws and you are injured in an accident with a vehicle, you might believe that the insurance company of the culpable party will cover the expenses of any injuries you have suffered. However, this tends to not be the case, as the opposing insurance company is not interested in making you whole, but only in their bottom line. This means, they will seek to pay you as little as possible in their settlement discussions with you. Insurance companies are notorious for offering very low payments to victims of bicycle accidents.
Additionally, when police officers create their accident reports, there tends to be a belief that between a bicycle and a vehicle, it is much more likely that the bicycle rider was the cause of the accident. This is reflected in the subsequent police reports describing the accident. These reports make it easy for insurance companies to deny full payment to the injured bicycle rider, as they will claim that their insured driver was not completely responsible for the accident.
A bicyclist in Virginia has all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle and is subject to the provision of the Code of Virginia sections on motor vehicles, unless the context of the provision clearly indicates otherwise.
There are also regulations for appropriate use of bicycle equipment. Depending on the time of day, bicyclists are required to have lights on the front of the bike, and red reflectors on the rear. In Virginia, bicyclists are not required to wear helmets. Although in some locations they are mandatory for persons under the age of 14.
An experienced attorney with knowledge of the bicycle rider laws of Virginia can help to prove the innocence of the victim (the bicycle rider), the negligence of the driver of the vehicle, and the responsibility of the insurance company of the vehicle driver to make the injured bicycle rider whole by paying for all injuries and losses suffered by the bicycle rider.
If you have been injured while operating a bicycle, you may be entitled to just compensation. However, that must be determined by the facts of each and individual case. Please contact The Alvarez Law Firm, PLLC for a free case consultation