Trying to do the right thing is an admirable trait, and bicyclists try every day to benefit the environment and stay in shape. What they gain in a lower carbon footprint and better health, however, they trade with the dangers associated with being surrounded by vehicles. Like a goldfish in an ocean, bicyclists have to stay constantly alert to the drivers and conditions around them. The bicyclists’ lack of size and protection makes them in danger of being unnoticed, and devastating accidents occur when drivers are not aware of their presence on the roadway.
Bicycle accidents happen when inattentive drivers, uninformed of their surroundings, make a decision that impacts the life of the bicyclist next to them. A very common type of accident is when a car pulls into the bike lane in order to make a turn and does not realize there is a bicyclist occupying the lane. Rhode Island allows bicyclists to ride along with automobiles on any roadway that does not contain bike lens, but many drivers do not expect there to be anything other than a car in the lane next to them when they are driving. Whatever the situation is, negligent behavior from other drivers can cause accidents that massively affect a bicyclist’s life.
When a car collides with a bicyclist, insurance companies try to make it seem as if they are on the bicyclist’s side, that they want to help cover their medical costs and injuries. Insurance companies will try to convince you to take an early settlement and to not get an attorney involved. Bicyclists can be convinced into thinking that the at-fault driver’s insurance will take care of them, and they soon learn that this is a costly mistake. Despite acting pleasant and conciliatory, insurance companies will always try to pay less than a claim is worth, often pressuring victims to sign paperwork and accept small sums of money.
Once an attorney is involved, insurance companies change their tune. They will start investigating the accident and try to pin as much blame as possible onto the bicyclist. The more blame that insurance companies can put on the bicyclist, the less money they have to pay to cover the wrongs their driver committed. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney will make sure that a responsible bicyclist, who was wronged by another party, will not be blamed at all for their accident. An excellent lawyer can show that their client was obeying all traffic laws applicable to bicyclists, and make sure insurance respects their clients injuries and stress from their accident.
At the law offices of Louis W. Grande, we have helped numerous Rhode Island bicyclists and pedestrians recover damages from insurance companies after an accident. Consultations are always free and we only take cases when we are confident we can win.