You were riding your bicycle when a motor vehicle hit you and left you with injuries. Often, the damages from a bicycle accident are very severe. As you try to deal with increasing medical bills and missed work time, you wonder: How long does a bicycle accident claim take to settle?
If you did not cause your accident, you have rights. You can seek compensation for your damages. However, the case process does take time, and we’ll cover that below.
If you need help getting financial recovery, John Foy & Associates can help. We have over 20 years of experience in personal injury law. We can match you with the best bicycle accident lawyer for your needs. To get a FREE consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
What Is the Average Timeline for a Bicycle Accident Claim to Settle?
It’s hard to give an average timeframe for a bicycle accident claim. Every case is unique, and you could get your compensation sooner than another person. However, we find that many personal injury cases take around one to two years to settle.
We understand how badly you need compensation after your accident. Unfortunately, the recovery process does require some waiting. Settling too soon can actually hurt your case, as it might mean you’re accepting a low settlement.
The time your claim takes to settle depends on each step in your case. Let’s look at the different stages and how they affect your timeline.
Initial Accident Investigation
After your accident, it’s crucial to gather evidence. There are things you can do right at the scene, such as:
- Asking the police about getting a copy of the accident report
- Taking pictures of your injuries and bike damage
- Getting the contact information of witnesses
- Getting any emergency medical attention you need
You can help your case a lot by compiling evidence right after the crash. However, your well-being is the number one priority. Only gather information if you are well enough.
Treating Your Bicycle Accident Injuries
See a doctor as soon as possible after your accident. You will need a record of your medical treatment. Tell your doctor about any symptoms you experience.
If you wait too long to get treatment, it will hurt your claim. It’s also best to fully complete medical procedures before filing your claim. If that’s not possible, you’ll need a reasonable estimate of your future medical costs.
Treating accident injuries takes time — the more severe your injuries, the more time you might need to wait. Although waiting is worth it, the extra time can delay your claim settlement.
Talking to a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
It’s smart to contact a lawyer as soon as you can. Schedule a consultation with a trusted bicycle accident attorney in your area. Most lawyers (like John Foy & Associates) offer a free consultation.
During the first meeting, you can discuss your case. Your lawyer will give you an idea of the timeline to expect going forward.
Gathering Evidence From the Accident
After hiring your lawyer, they’ll begin gathering more evidence of the accident and your injuries. Examples of evidence include:
- Medical bills
- Pay stubs
- Doctor notes
- Bike repair quotes
- Witness statements
Gathering information to support your claim can take time. But it’s time well spent, hopefully for the best outcome.
Submitting the Demand Letter
Once you’re ready to file your claim, your lawyer will send a demand letter. The demand letter formally tells the at-fault driver’s insurance company that you’re requesting compensation.
Reaching a Settlement
After the insurer gets your letter, they’ll send a settlement offer. The first offer is usually a lowball that you don’t want to accept. Your lawyer will send a counteroffer, and this process might repeat several times.
The negotiation will determine how long this phase takes. Insurance companies will look for ways to pay less than you deserve. Your lawyer might need to send a substantial amount of time negotiating.
If the negotiation is successful, the insurer will send over your compensation. This is where your bicycle accident claim would settle.
Filing a Lawsuit
Most claims settle during the negotiations. However, sometimes you cannot reach a settlement that works for both sides. In that case, you might decide to file a lawsuit.
Bringing a lawsuit is a big decision. Trials take time, money, and patience. Discuss with your lawyer whether or not a suit is best for you.
If you file a lawsuit, it will take much longer to settle your case. However, you could come away with much more money if you win at trial.
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Why Do Bicycle Accident Claims Take a While?
Many things can delay a bicycle accident claim. Here are some examples:
- You’ll want to wait until you’ve completed all medical treatment.
- You might have to wait for your doctor’s office to send your medical records.
- The negotiation with the insurance company can take time.
- You might consider filing a lawsuit if you cannot settle.
Injury victims are often surprised by how long their case takes. Keep in mind that a fast settlement is not better. Usually, you’ll need to wait longer to get the compensation offer you deserve.
Will I Have to Take My Bicycle Accident Claim to Trial?
Most of the time, you won’t need to go to trial. Even if you file a lawsuit, the chances are high that you’ll settle before the trial date. Talk to your lawyer about the likelihood of needing to go to trial.
Talk to a Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
It’s impossible to say how long your bicycle accident claim will take. However, you do have limited time to file your case. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from your accident date (Georgia Code Section 9-3-33).
Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to know your options. The sooner you begin, the stronger your claim can be. John Foy & Associates can help you start today for FREE.
We have over 20 years of experience with injury law. We are not afraid to stand up to the insurance companies and fight for you. Plus, we do not charge a fee unless we win you money. To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.