If a driver hit you while you were riding your bicycle, you may be able to sue the driver for compensation. Working with a qualified personal injury attorney can help you understand your options following a bicycle accident and enable you to achieve the best outcomes.
Read on to learn more about what to do when a bicycle is hit by a car in Oklahoma and how you can claim compensation. Then contact our Bryan Garrett PLLC team to schedule a consultation with a bike accident attorney.
Can I Sue an At-Fault Driver in a Bike Accident?
The short answer is yes — you can potentially sue a driver who hit you while riding your bicycle. However, a lawsuit is not always necessary in these cases.
The primary reason to sue an at-fault driver in an accident is to claim compensation beyond what their insurance company provides. For example, if the driver was drunk or acting recklessly before the accident, you may be able to sue for punitive damages. These damages effectively punish the driver for their egregious behavior, awarding you money from their savings.
You may also decide to sue the at-fault driver if they did not have insurance at the time of the accident, preventing you from receiving a payout from their insurer. In this case, you may be able to receive funds from your own insurance company. However, submitting a claim to your insurer could increase your premium, and you shouldn’t have to face this penalty in a not-at-fault accident.
Otherwise, you can obtain compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Other Ways to Get Compensation After a Bicycle Accident
An insurance claim is the primary way to receive compensation after a bicycle accident.
If the at-fault driver has insurance, they should contact their company after the accident to begin an insurance claim. Then, the insurer will reach out to you to obtain more information about the claim and determine how much money to award you. They will examine your:
- Medical bills
- Treatments and diagnoses
- Physical damage to your bicycle and other property
- Long-term damages
- Pain and suffering
Then, they will offer you a payout amount to cover these damages. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for providing insufficient funds to claimants. If the insurer fails to offer you enough compensation to cover your damages, you and your attorney may decide to sue the insurance company. Most lawsuit funds in bicycle accident cases come from insurance company lawsuits rather than driver lawsuits.
How to Sue The At-Fault Driver
You and your personal injury attorney can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of suing the at-fault driver. If you decide to move forward with a civil lawsuit, it will follow roughly these steps:
- Pleadings: Each party files paperwork explaining their side of the dispute.
- Discovery: Each party prepares evidence supporting their side of the dispute.
- Trial: Both parties present their evidence in the trial.
- Verdict: The judge or jury determines how much compensation to award, if any.
You and the at-fault driver may halt this process at any time by settling the case. Settling outside of court could save you time but may leave you with less compensation than you could receive through a lawsuit.
Our team at Bryan Garrett PLLC can walk you through all of the steps in the compensation process after your bicycle is hit by a car in Oklahoma. Contact us today at (405) 369-4498 or fill out our online form to schedule an in-person consultation.