Factors That Affect Bicycle Personal Injury Claims In Montana
If you were riding a bike in the state of Montana, and were involved in an accident with a motorist, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the motorist involved. Here are a few things you need to know before going forward with a personal injury lawsuit that was the result of a bicycling accident.
You May Pursue Compensation Through The Motorist's Insurance
If you were hit by a motorist while riding your bicycle, you may pursue compensation through the motorist's insurance company. You would need to collect the motorist's insurance information just like you would if you were involved in a multi-vehicle accident with the motorist.
Then, you would need to directly contact the motorist's insurance company. Since you do not have an insurance company representing you on your behalf, you may want to have an attorney assist you with this process.
The other motorist's insurance company will most likely request information from you about the accident itself, as well as proof of your medical expenses, lost wages and damage and repair costs for your bicycle. Your attorney will be able to let you know if you are offered a fair settlement or if you should pursue formal litigation against the motorist.
Your Actions Also Matter
If you choose to pursue a personal injury claim, you should be aware that your actions also matter. You will be questions by the motorist attorney, and you need to be aware that the actions that you took to contribute to the accident will also be examined.
Bike riders have specific rules and regulations that they are also required to comply with when riding in Montana. Make sure that you were following all the rules before you move forward with formal litigation.
To start with, your bike equipment will be examined. In Montana, your bike is required to have functional brakes. It also must have a white headlight as well as rear tail light or reflectors as well as additional reflective gear. If you do not have these items on your bike, and visibility was reduced at all that day, the court may determine that you bear some responsibility for the accident since you did not make an effort to make yourself visible.
Next, you are required to follow all rules of the road. That means you must signal when turning or changing lanes, and stop at all applicable stop signs and traffic signals. A failure to do so could place the blame for the accident on your shoulders.
Additionally, you are required to ride with the flow of traffic or in the bike or travel lane. If you are on a one-way road, you are supposed to ride on the left hand side of the road.
In order to have a successful case, you need to be aware of Montana's bike rules and make sure that you were following them.
Be Prepared To Settle
Finally, most personal injury cases do not make it all the way to the courtroom. Most are settled outside of the courtroom. Make sure you discuss with your attorney and review all of your expenses to that you know what amount is an acceptable settlement amount and what amount in unacceptable to you before you begin to pursue the case. Contact an accident attorney to learn more.