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  Last updated: 2/15/2012

Legal Issues and Biking
Persoanl Injury Liability

Even when you ride with utmost attention to safety, accidents can occur. The following guest post was sent to me recently.

If you have been injured from outstanding circumstances or due to someone else's negligence, personal injury law may come into play. Here is some information on steps you should consider if you have been involved in a cycling accident and are looking to take legal action.

Filing a lawsuit for injuries should be done with the help of a personal injury attorney, but only after they have properly understood the details of the incident. Each state has a time limit called the statute of limitations. Your lawsuit must be filed before the expiration of that time or you will lose your right to sue. Your personal injury attorney will know when that time limit is for your case and will make sure that your case is filed in a timely manner. Before filing the attorney will get copies of any police reports, all your medical records and bills, and all witness statements.

The attorney is then in a position to make a determination as to whether the other party is totally at fault or if there is some shared responsibility. Additionally, the attorney will review the medical records and bills to see if there are any treatments unrelated to the accident or if there is some legitimate concern on the part of the insurance company that there was over treatment for the particular injury. This will allow your attorney to make a demand on the insurance carrier for settlement. The demand will usually be for an amount of money in excess of what the attorney considers the value of the case.

It is normally the case that the insurance carrier will make a counter offer of settlement substantially below the legitimate dollar value of your case. And it is always true that a party not represented by an attorney will not receive a reasonable offer of settlement. The claims representatives for the insurance company are judged internally by how much below the reasonable value they can settle your case. Insurance companies go back and forth on their internal policies on settling cases. At one time a particular carrier may be willing to offer a reasonable amount to your attorney earlier in the process, and at other times the same carrier will drag things out. Your attorney will know if the carrier in your case is one who will never make a good offer or one who is for policy reasons dragging things out.

After accumulating all the relevant information, and after taking all reasonable opportunities to reach a settlement, your attorney will advise you that the proper decision is now to proceed to file a lawsuit. The ultimate decision is always yours but should be arrived at incorporating the advice of your attorney.

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