Baltimore Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Baltimore Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycles are popular throughout Baltimore, and many people living and working in the area use bicycles for exercise, leisure, or even as an alternative, environmentally friendly local transportation. Most bicyclists are able to enjoy their time riding without any problems, but bicycle accidents can and do happen for many reasons on a regular basis. Unfortunately, these incidents can not only cause life-changing injuries for the victim but also generate very complex legal complications for all parties involved. If you or a family member recently experienced this type of incident, an experienced Baltimore bicycle accident attorney is an essential resource in your recovery efforts.
Experienced Legal Representation for Baltimore, MD, Bicycle Accident Claims
The Ruben Law Firm has built a strong reputation as a client-focused and responsive personal injury team serving Baltimore area clients. We take time to listen to our client’s story, learning all the details of how their accident has impacted their life. Our goal in every personal injury claim we take is to guide our client to the best result possible as efficiently as possible. While we are usually able to settle our clients’ claims faster than they expect, we are not afraid to represent you in court if necessary to reach an acceptable outcome.
Proving Liability for a Bicycle Accident
A bicyclist faces many of the same risks that all motor vehicle drivers face on the road. However, bicycles are smaller and harder to notice than other vehicles, and bicyclists face many additional risk factors beyond those presented to other vehicle drivers. Some of the most commonly cited causes of bicycle accidents in the Baltimore area include:
- Inattentive driving. Throughout the United States, distracted driving is the most commonly cited cause of motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, a few seconds of distraction behind the wheel is all it can take to cause a devastating bicycle accident. If you believe the driver who hit you was driving while distracted, your Baltimore bicycle accident attorney can help you secure traffic camera video footage, cell phone records, and other evidence to assist you in proving liability.
- Speeding. Drivers who exceed posted speed limits endanger themselves and others. They significantly reduce the time and distance they have to adjust for changes in traffic patterns, such as avoiding a bicyclist who suddenly appears in their path. Accidents that happen at high speeds have the greatest chance of causing catastrophic or fatal injuries.
- Aggressive driving. When drivers are aggressive and/or reckless behind the wheel, they can not only cause accidents and face civil suits from the people they injure but also face criminal charges. Therefore, every driver has a legal responsibility to operate their vehicle safely, attentively, and responsibly at all times.
- Intoxicated driving. It is illegal for any Baltimore driver to operate their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When a driver causes a bicycle accident in this manner, the penalties they face upon conviction will increase dramatically based on the amount of harm they cause.
- Poor visibility. Bicyclists should do their best to make themselves as noticeable as possible to nearby drivers. Brightly colored clothing and reflectors can assist with this, but any driving conditions that limit visibility can potentially result in a catastrophic accident.
To succeed with your recovery efforts after a bicycle accident another driver caused, you must prove their intentional misconduct or negligence behind the wheel directly resulted in your claimed damages. Depending on how the accident happened, it is also possible for more than one other driver to bear fault for your damages.
Claimable Damages in Baltimore Bicycle Accident Cases
A bicycle offers no physical protection in a crash, and even the best safety helmets can only mitigate head injuries, not prevent them entirely. When a motor vehicle collides with a bicycle, the bicyclist will sustain not only injuries from the initial impact of the other vehicle but also the secondary impact of hitting the ground. Any motor vehicle accident can cause life-changing damage, but bicycle accidents are especially likely to result in catastrophic harm to the victims involved.
Traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, broken bones, and disfiguring facial injuries are all possible effects of bicycle accidents. These injuries can, in turn, generate expensive medical bills, and most victims will need to take time off from work to recover. In addition, some are left unable to work at all due to the severity of their injuries. Therefore, under Maryland’s personal injury statutes, the plaintiff in a bicycle accident case has the right to claim compensation for:
- Medical bills, both those that they incur immediately following their accident, as well as any long-term medical treatment costs they incur for managing their symptoms and recovering from their injuries.
- Lost income. If the defendant who caused your bicycle accident caused you to develop a permanent disability of any kind that restricts your earning power, you have the right to seek accountability for the income you cannot earn because of their actions. This includes lost wages during the initial recovery as well as lost future earning power if you can’t return to your job after the accident.
- Property damage. The defendant is responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing your bicycle and any other personal property that you lost in the accident.
- Pain and suffering. While it may sound like it is impossible to assign a dollar value to the physical pain and psychological trauma you suffered from your bicycle accident, your attorney can potentially help you secure more than you might initially expect. Maryland law does limit pain and suffering compensation in most personal injury claims, but the right attorney can possibly assist you in maximizing this aspect of your final recovery.
Other factors can also influence the total value of your case. For example, if the defendant’s actions exceed the scope of typical negligence, the judge handling your case can award you punitive damages that aim to penalize the defendant. There is no limit on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded, and judges will typically base these decisions on the financial status of the defendant and the severity of their actions.
Resolving a Bicycle Accident Claim in Maryland
The vast majority of personal injury cases filed in Maryland each year are settled outside of court. A private settlement negotiation process allows both parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution to their case in the shortest time possible, saving both parties money on attorneys’ fees and court expenses. However, a settlement requires compromise, and both parties must be willing to negotiate.
If you file your complaint against the driver who caused your bicycle accident and they refuse to accept liability or dispute the damages you seek in the claim, your case may need to proceed to litigation. If this occurs, it will take much longer to resolve, and the judge overseeing the case has the final say regarding your compensation. The Ruben Law Firm seeks swift settlements on behalf of our personal injury clients, but we have extensive experience in civil court litigation and can provide comprehensive legal representation through all stages of your court proceedings if necessary.
It is important to remember that Maryland is one of few states that uphold the contributory negligence rule, which can feel exceedingly harsh in some personal injury cases. Under this law, a plaintiff loses their right to claim compensation from a defendant if the plaintiff bears any partial liability for causing their claimed damages. Therefore, if you have any reason to worry that you are partially to blame for your recent bicycle accident, it is crucial to consult a Baltimore bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
What to Expect From a Baltimore Bicycle Accident Attorney
When you choose the Ruben Law Firm to represent you in a bicycle accident case, we will immediately set to work gathering the evidence you need to ensure accountability for your damages. We can assist you in obtaining physical evidence, digital evidence, witness testimony, or even professional insights from various expert witnesses to substantiate your case.
All drivers must have car insurance, and if a driver caused an accident and injured another driver, the victim has the right to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If you believe this applies to your situation, we can assist you in filing your auto insurance claim for some initial compensation. However, depending on the scope of your damages, insurance alone may not fully compensate your losses, and if not, we are prepared to build a personal injury claim on your behalf.
Ultimately, every bicycle accident claim will present unique challenges to the plaintiff and their family. The total scope of effects of your recent bicycle accident may not be immediately apparent, and there are many variables that can dramatically influence the direction of your case. However, you can rely on the team at the Ruben Law Firm to guide you through an initial investigation to prove fault for your bicycle accident, gather the evidence needed to substantiate your claim for compensation, and help you navigate any and all legal proceedings you face in your pursuit of compensation.
Baltimore Bike Accident Lawyer FAQs
Q: How Do I File a Claim for a Bicycle Accident Injuries in Baltimore?
A: If another driver is responsible for causing the bicycle accident you recently experienced, your recovery process could entail an auto insurance claim followed by a personal injury suit. Your health and well-being should be your primary concern after any accident, so seek medical treatment immediately and then reach out to a Baltimore bicycle accident attorney as soon as your condition is stable. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner you can begin working toward recovery.
Q: Can a Bicyclist Be at Fault for an Accident?
A: Maryland recognizes bicyclists as drivers in many respects, and bicyclists have the same duty of care to operate their bicycles responsibly and follow the rules of the road that apply to motor vehicle drivers. It is possible for a bicyclist to be at fault for a bicycle accident. Even if the motor vehicle driver is more at fault for the incident, the state’s contributory negligence law prevents the bicyclist from seeing compensation from the defendant for their damages.
Q: How Much Compensation Can I Obtain for a Bicycle Accident?
A: The total potential value of any personal injury claim hinges on the severity of the victim’s damages. State law permits the plaintiff of a personal injury case to seek full repayment of their financial losses caused by the defendant named in their suit, and they may also secure pain and suffering compensation within the limit set by state law. Many variables can influence the total potential value of a personal injury claim, so it is best to consult an experienced attorney who can estimate your claim’s total value.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Baltimore Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
A: If you face expensive medical bills and further financial strain from an inability to work, it is understandable to have concerns about the potential cost of hiring legal counsel for a bicycle accident claim. The Ruben Law Firm takes personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so there is no risk in hiring our firm. You will only pay a percentage of your final case award as your legal fee, but only if we win your case. If we cannot secure compensation on your behalf, you pay nothing.
Q: Is It Worth Hiring an Attorney for a Bicycle Accident Claim?
A: Legal counsel you can trust is an invaluable asset no matter what your claim entails. Instead of attempting to manage your legal affairs on your own while also managing your medical needs, you can have an experienced legal team manage your case on your behalf. Your attorney’s guidance and legal experience will significantly increase your chances of reaching the best results in your case, and you are likely to recover far more compensation than you could manage on your own.
The Ruben Law Firm is committed to providing client-focused and compassionate legal counsel to every personal injury plaintiff we represent. The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner we can begin building your case and helping you reach the positive outcome you deserve. If you are ready to speak with an experienced Baltimore bicycle accident attorney, contact our team today and schedule a free consultation.