No one can predict when they are going to be involved in a life-altering bicycle accident. One minute, you’re living your normal life, and the next minute, you’re faced with serious injuries, mounting medical bills, and an uncertain future. You probably never contemplated filing a personal injury lawsuit. Most people don’t until they have to.
If you’ve been injured in a Maryland bicycle accident, understanding the damages you can recover is crucial to recovering the compensation that will secure your financial future. While this article aims to answer as many questions as possible, you need to consult a Maryland bicycle accident lawyer at Regan Zambri Long. Call today for a free consultation .
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To fully understand the compensation you can secure for a bike accident in Maryland, let’s go through different statistics in the state. The promotion of cycling started in the 1990s to give residents an alternate mode of transportation in this densely populated state. Since then, Maryland landed 7th place in the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly State rankings. In Talbot County, cyclists can ride along stunning views of the Chesapeake, while the eastern shore attracts riders from all over the nation. On the weekdays, you’ll find residents commuting to DC via the Capital Crescent Trail or the Jones Fall Trail.
While Maryland residents have enjoyed the benefits of biking around the city, they have also seen an uptick in accidents. Between 2013 and 2017, Maryland saw an average of 816 bicycle accidents per year. Fatal crashes have steadily increased, with Baltimore seeing the highest number of crashes in the state.
In 2016 alone, there were 851 bike accidents in Maryland, and 692 (over 80%) resulted in injuries. Over 80% of these accidents result in an injury, compared with car accidents and other crashes involving drivers and passengers.
A personal injury claim is a civil action brought by an injured person against the person responsible for their injuries. These claims aim to help the injured person get their life back on track. By filing a claim against the at-fault party, you’re seeking compensation, or “damages,” for the harm you suffered. The compensation will help cover medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Now that we’ve got the basics of why you would want to open a personal injury case after an accident, let’s dive into the three types of damages you can recover.
Economic damages are the primary damages you can recover in a personal injury case. Economic damages are tangible, out-of-pocket costs you face due to the accident. This type of compensation will be somewhat easy to calculate because receipts will show the insurance company. They include:
Notice that the compensation doesn’t stop at your current medical expenses. Your personal injury attorney at Regan Zambri Long will use the current costs of your medical treatment to predict the cost of the treatment you’ll need in the future. We will include those costs in the damages we request from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The same thing goes for lost wages. If your injuries are so severe that you cannot return to work for a period of time, or even at all, we will calculate how much income you would have made and include that in your claim.
Non-economic damages are more about the intangible impacts of the accident – the ones that don’t come with a bill or a receipt. It’s about compensating you for suffering that doesn’t have a price tag. This can include pain and suffering you endure, emotional distress, and the overall decrease in life quality.
For example, let’s say you were an avid cyclist who was struck by a car while on a bike ride. As a result, you suffered a broken leg and significant back pain. You also experienced severe anxiety and a fear of cycling after the accident. You stopped sleeping well and started becoming irritable with friends and family, which is out of character. In your case, compensation for pain and suffering would be sought to address these challenges. It would be financial compensation for ongoing physical pain, emotional trauma, and the overall impact the accident had on your daily life and relationships.
Lastly, punitive damages are very different from economic damages and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are about punishing the person who caused the accident if their actions were especially harmful or reckless. Think of it as a financial penalty for bad behavior aimed at deterring the negligent party and others from similar actions in the future.
Let’s use the same scenario above to fully explain what punitive damages are. Let’s say you were on a bike ride and struck by a car. The investigation reveals that the person who hit you was speeding significantly and texting while driving. Their record reveals that they have a pattern of this reckless behavior.
In this case, a court may award punitive damages against the driver because the actions went beyond negligence – they were consistently indifferent to the safety of others. The damages would serve as a strong message to the driver and others that such dangerous behavior is unacceptable in the state of Maryland.
A wrongful death claim is the legal action taken when a bike rider dies in an accident. The family of the deceased sues the parties involved who were responsible for their loved one’s death. The damages they can collect are similar to typical personal injury cases. However, there are certain distinctions. The beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim can collect compensation for:
Like regular personal injury cases, loss of future income is taken into account. However, in wrongful death cases, the lost wages would be based on what the deceased person would have made if they were alive.
Loss of consortium falls into the non-economic damages category. It’s when a personal injury deprives a family member of an intimate relationship with their loved one. For example, if someone’s spouse dies as a result of a bike accident, the surviving spouse may collect compensation for the loss of marital intimacy. Children may collect damages for the loss of parental guidance.
The personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long will give you a fair assessment of your case during a free evaluation. We will go over all the damages available to you and which ones best fit your case. Call our law firm today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our compassionate lawyers.
Hitting the pavement after a bike accident can leave you with more than just a scraped knee. From head to toe, cyclists are vulnerable to a range of injuries, including:
Head: Concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and facial fractures are all too common in bicycle accidents. Head injuries can have lasting consequences, impacting cognitive function, memory, and emotional well-being.
Neck and Back: Whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and herniated discs can cause chronic pain and limit mobility. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
Limbs: Fractured arms, legs, and collarbones are prevalent in bicycle accidents. These injuries, along with other broken bones, can lead to temporary or permanent disability, impacting your ability to work and enjoy daily activities.
Internal Injuries: Lacerations, internal bleeding, and organ damage can be hidden dangers after a bike accident. These injuries often require immediate medical attention and can have serious long-term health consequences.
Emotional Trauma: The shock and emotional distress of a bicycle accident can be just as debilitating as physical injuries. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety are common among accident victims, impacting their mental well-being and quality of life.
It means proving that the other party, usually a driver, is at fault for the accident. This is where the expertise of the personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long becomes invaluable.
We will meticulously gather and analyze evidence – from traffic camera footage to witness statements and accident reports – to build a strong case proving the negligence of the at fault driver. Our thorough investigation aims to establish a clear link between the driver’s actions and the motor vehicle accident.
In Maryland personal injury law, the doctrine of contributory negligence is applied. Contributory negligence bars victims from recovering compensation if they were partially responsible for their accident. For example, you were in an accident with a driver who failed to stop at several stop signs. However, you were also riding your bike outside the designated bike lane. A judge may find that your contribution to the accident bars you from collecting compensation, even if you suffered a serious injury.
The lawyers at Regan Zambri Long know that defense lawyers use contributory negligence to get their clients off the hook easily. We will build a strong case proving you bear no responsibility for your accident and deserve maximum compensation.
The Maryland statute of limitations is basically a time limit the injured party has to file a claim against the negligent party. According to Maryland personal injury law, an injured party has three years from the date of the injury to file a claim.
If the injured party does not file a claim within this window, they may forfeit the right to collect any compensation. That is why it is so important to contact a Regan Zambri Long attorney as soon as possible following your accident. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation so we can get started on your claim.