How Much is a Bicycle Accident Worth?

March 21, 2024 | Ed Bernstein
How Much is a Bicycle Accident Worth?

Bicycle accidents that result from driver negligence and roadway defects can lead to debilitating and sometimes permanent injuries – especially if they fall on the ground. These injuries can lead to high medical expenses, lost income, and other serious consequences. In these circumstances, the injured bicyclist may be eligible to recover various damages by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The damages an injured bicyclist may recover will usually depend on the accident's circumstances and the nature and extent of their injuries.

A knowledgeable bicycle accident attorney can navigate the legal process for you and take the necessary steps on your behalf. For example, your lawyer can represent you during all settlement negotiations with insurance company representatives or litigate your case to a favorable and efficient resolution in court.


Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents 

Bicycle Accident

Bicycle accidents are often traced back to drivers who compromise the safety of cyclists. Distracted driving stands out as a pervasive factor, where motorists focused on smartphones, navigation systems, or other distractions fail to give proper attention to cyclists sharing the road. This lack of focus can lead to collisions, especially at intersections or in congested traffic.

Failing to yield the right-of-way is another prevalent cause. Motorists neglecting to yield to cyclists at intersections, crosswalks, or when making turns contribute significantly to accidents. This oversight often results from a lack of awareness or misunderstanding of cyclists' right of way.

Unsafe overtaking by motorists poses another considerable threat to cyclists. Accidents can occur when drivers attempt to pass bicyclists without maintaining a safe distance. The close proximity between the vehicle and the bicycle increases the risk of side-swiping or forcing the cyclist off the road.

Negligent parking practices also contribute to bicycle accidents. Opening car doors without checking for approaching cyclists, known as "dooring," can result in severe collisions. Cyclists, often with limited reaction time, may collide with open doors, leading to severe injuries.

Inadequate infrastructure and road design further expose cyclists to the risk of accidents. Lack of designated bike lanes, poorly maintained roads, and insufficient signage often contribute to hazardous conditions for cyclists. Uneven surfaces, potholes, or debris can cause cyclists to lose control and suffer injuries.

Reckless driving behaviors, such as speeding or aggressive driving, amplify the dangers for cyclists. High-speed collisions or aggressive maneuvers by motorists increase the likelihood of accidents, leaving cyclists vulnerable to severe injuries.

Additionally, impaired driving remains a significant cause of bicycle accidents. Motorists operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs may exhibit impaired judgment and reduced reaction times, posing a grave danger to cyclists on the road.

Overall, bicycle accidents resulting from someone else's negligence often arise from unsafe driving. A bicycle accident attorney can hold negligent drivers accountable for the harm they cause.

Why are Bicycle-accident Injuries So Dangerous?

Injuries in bicycle accidents resulting from someone else's negligence are often severe due to several factors that exacerbate the inherent risks faced by cyclists. The lack of protective barriers exposes cyclists to the full impact of a collision, making injuries more serious and debilitating.

One significant factor contributing to the severity of injuries is the size and weight discrepancy between bicycles and motor vehicles. In collisions with cars or trucks, the force exerted on cyclists is disproportionately higher, leading to a greater likelihood of severe trauma. Fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries are common due to the intense force, and these injuries often result in prolonged recovery periods or permanent consequences.

The absence of safety features typically found in motor vehicles intensifies the seriousness of injuries in bicycle accidents. Cyclists lack the protection of airbags, seat belts, and the structural elements that shield occupants of cars and trucks. This lack of protection exposes cyclists to direct impact, increasing the risk of head injuries, fractures, and internal injuries.

The dynamics of bicycle accidents, often involving falls or ejections, further contribute to the seriousness of injuries. Even a seemingly minor collision can lead to a cyclist being thrown from their bike, resulting in contact with the road surface or surrounding objects. This can cause abrasions, contusions, and more severe injuries, such as road rash, which can be both painful and debilitating.

Limited visibility and awareness of cyclists on the road further amplify the severity of injuries. Motorists may fail to notice cyclists, particularly during turns or lane changes. This lack of awareness increases the risk of collisions, and the resulting injuries can be severe.

In bicycle accidents that result from someone else's negligence, victims frequently suffer a range of injuries. Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries, are prevalent due to the vulnerability of the head in collisions. Fractures, often involving limbs, are common, and the lack of protective gear can result in severe injuries to extremities.

Moreover, soft tissue injuries such as contusions, lacerations, and road rash are frequent consequences of bicycle accidents. These injuries, while not always life-threatening, can cause significant pain, scarring, and long-term discomfort for victims.

If you suffered any of these injuries in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, an experienced bicycle accident attorney can handle the legal aspects of your case while you attend doctor visits and focus on your medical recovery.

How to Prove a Bicycle Accident Claim or Lawsuit

Legally proving a bicycle accident claim or lawsuit resulting from someone else's negligence necessitates a strategic and comprehensive approach. Gathering compelling evidence from the scene of the accident is a foundational step. Photographs documenting the collision, any road defects, or relevant traffic signs contribute visual evidence. Eyewitness accounts, if available, offer independent perspectives on the events leading to the accident.

Acquiring the police report is also crucial. This official document provides essential details about the crash, including initial findings, witness statements, and any citations the responding officer issued. The police report is important evidence during insurance claims in establishing the cause of the bicycle crash.

Medical records also play a pivotal role in proving the extent of injuries suffered. Seeking immediate medical attention and maintaining detailed records of treatments, rehabilitation efforts, and diagnostic tests creates a comprehensive record of the physical toll that the accident caused. Expert testimony from medical professionals can further validate the connection between the injuries and the bicycle accident, bolstering the victim's position.

Preserving any available video footage is also essential. Surveillance cameras, traffic monitoring systems, or even dashcam footage may capture the accident or provide additional insights into the collision's circumstances. This visual evidence can be instrumental in establishing liability.

Engaging with an experienced personal injury attorney is another critical step in legally proving a bicycle accident claim. Legal professionals can assess the collected evidence, identify potential legal theories, and navigate the complexities of personal injury law. Their experience presenting a compelling case can significantly enhance the victim's chances of obtaining fair compensation.

Witness statements also become valuable in establishing liability. Collecting testimony from individuals who observed the accident or its aftermath contributes to a more comprehensive narrative. These statements can corroborate the accident victim's account and counter any disputes the opposing party raises.

Legally proving a bicycle accident claim involves careful collection and presentation of evidence. From the accident scene details and eyewitness accounts to the police report, medical records, and expert testimony, a comprehensive approach ensures that the victim can effectively prove their case and pursue the compensation necessary to address their physical, emotional, and financial losses.

Litigating a Bicycle Accident Case

Litigating a Bicycle Accident Case

Sometimes, litigation is necessary to achieve a fair outcome for the victim. The process typically begins by filing a complaint in the civil court system. This legal document outlines the details of the accident, the negligence of the opposing party, and the damages the cyclist suffered. Serving the complaint officially notifies the opposing party of the pending legal action.

The at-fault party (or defendant) then responds with an answer, addressing the allegations raised in the complaint. This response sets the stage for the exchange of information, known as discovery. During discovery, both parties gather evidence, exchange relevant documents, and may depose witnesses. This phase is crucial for building a robust case and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each party's position.

As discovery unfolds, the parties may engage in settlement negotiations. Attorneys on both sides assess the evidence, evaluate the potential outcomes of a trial, and attempt to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Settlement discussions aim to avoid the time, expense, and uncertainty associated with a trial. If the parties can reach an acceptable settlement, the case concludes without proceeding to trial.

In the absence of a settlement, the case progresses to pretrial motions. Attorneys may file motions to address legal issues or seek a favorable ruling on specific aspects of the case. Motions can influence the scope of evidence the parties can present during trial or even lead to the dismissal of certain claims.

Upon completion of pretrial motions, the case proceeds to trial. The trial involves presenting evidence, examining witnesses, and making legal arguments before a judge or jury. Both parties present their case, and the judge or jury ultimately decides the outcome. If the decision is favorable, the court issues a judgment determining liability and damages.

Throughout these litigation steps, the role of skilled attorneys is pivotal. Their experience in case preparation, negotiation, and trial advocacy significantly influences the trajectory and outcome of the bicycle accident case, ensuring that the victim's rights are diligently represented throughout the legal process.

Factors that May Affect the Total Value of a Bicycle Accident Claim or Lawsuit

Various factors play a crucial role in determining the damages bicycle accident victims may recover when pursuing a legal claim based on someone else's negligence. The severity and nature of injuries sustained in the accident are primary considerations. More severe injuries often result in higher medical expenses, greater pain and suffering, and increased long-term effects on the accident victim's life, influencing the potential compensation sought.

The extent of medical treatment required is another key factor. Injuries demanding extensive medical interventions, surgeries, or ongoing rehabilitation can significantly elevate the overall medical expenses that the accident victim incurs. This, in turn, contributes to the calculation of compensatory damages for both past and future medical costs.

Lost income is a significant component of damages, and the time the victim cannot work directly influences the compensation they seek. Factors such as the victim's occupation, income level, and the potential effect on future earning capacity contribute to the overall calculation of lost income.

The effect on the accident victim’s quality of life is also an important consideration. Severe injuries can limit the individual's ability to engage in activities they once enjoyed, leading to a diminished overall quality of life. Compensation for loss of life enjoyment seeks to address these intangible consequences of the accident.

Loss of earning capacity is another crucial factor influencing the damages sought. When injuries affect the victim's ability to perform their usual job duties or pursue their previous occupations, compensation aims to address the lasting effect on their professional life, including potential career advancement opportunities that may be halted due to the injuries they suffered in the bicycle accident.

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental distress, and loss of consortium, are influenced by the emotional toll of the accident. Factors like the severity of physical injuries, the duration of recovery, and the psychological trauma that the victim endures all contribute to the calculation of these damages.

Evidence must support the damages recovered. The strength of the case, including medical records, expert testimony, and other documentation, significantly influences the amount and types of compensation available as part of the personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Your bicycle accident attorney can seek the maximum compensation possible in your specific case.

Speak with an Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today

If you recently suffered injuries in a local bicycle accident, consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction as soon as possible. Your lawyer can promptly review the circumstances of your accident with you, investigate the accident circumstances, and pursue legal action on your behalf. Throughout the process, your lawyer will aggressively fight for your interests and pursue the full financial recovery you deserve.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.