I have been in a bicycle crash – what should I do?
Obviously you should seek medical treatment and do everything your doctors tell you to do. Take pictures – lots of them – of your bicycle and your body. Pictures are often the best evidence of injury. You should also start keeping a journal to keep track of the who, what, where, when, why and how of your treatment. The journal will prove invaluable later when the insurance companies try to minimize your injuries. We suggest that you keep your journal electronically. We also suggest that you keep a picture and / or video journal of your injuries and treatment course.
I do not have medical insurance – will I be left with a lot of bills?
Tell your medical providers that you do not have insurance and they should bill the offender’s insurance company. If your doctors are not willing to do that they may be willing to provide treatment on a lien basis. This means that a doctor will provide care now and wait to be paid out of the proceeds of the case. We can help finding doctors that will provide care on a lien basis.
The insurance company wants me to make a recorded statement – should I?
You should never give a recorded statement without the assistance of a Salt Lake City bicycle accident lawyer. You have no obligation to speak with the offender’s insurance company and if you are working with us simply have them call us. You have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurer but should not make a recorded statement without the assistance of a lawyer. A bicycle accident lawyer will protect your rights to make sure an insurance company will not twist your words and use them against you later.
What if the vehicle driver does not have insurance at all or not enough insurance?
You can turn to your own coverage if you have purchased what is called uninsured coverage or underinsured coverage. In other words you purchase uninsured coverage before the crash to make sure you are covered if injured by a driver that has no insurance. You purchase underinsured coverage before the crash in case the other driver does not have enough coverage. We recommend that all drivers purchase enough uninsured and underinsured coverage as they can afford. We recommend this because we have found that with tough economic times more and more people are driving without proper insurance.
The vehicle driver’s insurance company is not offering fair payment claiming that I am not hurt – what can I do?
We need to prove that you were seriously hurt. We need to provide the insurance adjuster with your doctor’s records to prove the injuries. You might also need the strength of a seasoned bicycle accident attorney to help you prove your injuries.
What should I be paid for when involved in a bicycle accident?
You should be compensated fully and fairly including:
- past wage loss (wages you lose while getting better),
- future wage loss (if you are unable to return to your job),
- past medical costs (money spent treating your injuries),
- future medical costs (money spent treating your injuries in the future),
- household services (chores about your home that you would normally do if you were not injured),
- pain and suffering (after all you did not cause the injury and now you are the one suffering).
Do I really need to hire an attorney – what if I do not have any money?
Injured people who hire a bicycle accident attorney receive, on average, about 3½ times more money that without an attorney. All good bicycle accident lawyers will take your case on a contingency basis meaning we advance all the costs for the case and wait to be paid only when we get money for you.
How does the money work out in the typical case?
Typically what happens, and only as an example, assume we settle your case for $100,000. Here is what happens:
|Attorney fee (33.3%):||$33,333|
|Subrogation (pay medical bills):||$20,000||-$20,000|
Why are attorney fees so much?
Attorney fees are meant to compensate the attorney for his or her time spent working on the case. It includes attorney time spent dealing with adjusters and preparing your case for mediation, arbitration or trial if necessary. The fees also pay for paralegal time and overhead required to operate a modern legal practice. We keep our costs at a minimum using digital media and communicating electronically wherever possible.
Who will be working on my case?
At George Tait Law the primary attorney who will be working on your case is George Tait. Occasionally another attorney may work on your case for a short period of time if I am in trial or otherwise too busy but I will always supervise the other attorney to ensure your case is handled competently.
Can I call and see how my case is progressing?
Sometimes your case might not be progressing as fast as you might like. Sometimes we are waiting for medical records and sometimes we are waiting for medical providers or health insurance companies to get back to us before we finalize settlement. We are a relatively small firm and want you to call so you are fully informed about the status of your case – call any time!
What if I am on Medicare or Medicaid?
In order to make sure your Medicare or Medicaid coverage is not placed in jeopardy we work closely with Medicare and Medicaid to make sure they are paid back out of the proceeds of the case and protect your eligibility.