hit by a car while riding a bike

Were You Hit by a Car While Riding a Bike? Here Is How Much Compensation You Can Get

Being hit by a car while riding a bike can result in some of the most devastating injuries. These injuries often require extensive medical care, time missed from work, and physical limitations, forcing you to hire outside help for everyday tasks.

Because of this, you might be considering filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver and wondering, how much compensation will I get for my bike accident?

The answer is it depends. Generally, the settlement or award is higher as your injuries become more severe and permanent.

Think about it: if you suffer only minor injuries such as lacerations or bruising and make a full recovery, your compensation is likely to be much less than someone with severe, life-altering, permanent injuries such as a spinal cord injury. Let’s take a closer look.

If you have questions, please contact us today.

Damages Available in a Bike Accident Case

Three types of damages are available in a bicycle accident case: economic, noneconomic, and punitive. Economic and noneconomic are the two most common types of damages and are considered compensatory. In other words, they compensate victims for the losses from their injuries.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are the easiest to determine based on your actual calculable losses. These include your medical expenses and lost wages. Your lawyer can help you estimate approximate economic damages by calculating your medical expenses to date, anticipated future medical costs, lost wages, and anticipated lost wages if you cannot return to work.

Noneconomic Damages

Non-economic damages compensate a victim for their subjective losses (i.e., the negative impact on their life). These often include compensation for :

  • Pain and suffering, 
  • Loss of consortium,
  • Mental anguish and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

These can be more difficult to estimate because they are unique to the individual. Your pain and suffering may be substantially more than that of someone else with similar injuries. Although more difficult to calculate, you are nevertheless entitled to them. Having a sharp attorney on your side is essential to negotiate your noneconomic damages with the insurance company.

Punitive Damages 

Under rare circumstances, you may receive punitive damages, otherwise known as exemplary damages. Punitive damages punish or make an example of the defendant rather than compensate the victim.

Maine only permits punitive damages for the most egregious conduct. Specifically, the plaintiff must show clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with malice.

Average Bike Accident Settlement Amounts

When you’ve been severely injured in a car versus bike accident and contemplating filing a claim, you might want to gain an idea of what type and amount of compensation you can receive. 

There is no formula for determining a settlement. Bike accident settlement amounts can vary widely depending on individual factors and circumstances.

Further, many insurance companies have internal formulas that are unique to them for estimating settlements.

How Are Bike Accident Settlements Calculated?

While there is no settlement calculator, several factors are considered when determining car versus bike accident settlements.

Severity of Injuries

If you suffer severe, permanent injuries, you will undoubtedly have higher medical costs than if you only suffer superficial, temporary injuries. 

Financial Loss

What are your actual financial losses, including lost wages, bike repair, or replacement costs? 

For instance, if you miss only a few days of work, your financial loss will be less than that of someone unable to work for months or even years.

Applicable Maine Law

Maine follows a modified comparative negligence system, meaning a plaintiff can recover damages only if they are not found to be equally or more at fault than the defendant.

Often referred to as the 51% rule, if the cyclist is 51% or more at fault for the accident, they are barred from recovering damages. However, if the cyclist is 49% or less at fault, they can still seek compensation. Our seasoned lawyers will assess your case to determine fault and liability. 

Insurance Policy Limits

An important, often overlooked factor to consider in estimating potential compensation is the applicable insurance policy limits. Most insurance policies have a maximum payout, which can limit the settlement offer you receive.

In other words, if the negligent driver has a policy with a maximum cap of $200,000, you may be limited to seeking that amount and not more.

Other factors will be crucial in determining the outcome of your claim, including:

  • The severity of the accident itself,
  • The severity of your injury,
  • The cause of the crash,
  • Your age and medical history (do you have a pre-existing medical condition?), and
  • Who the defendants are.

Remember, no two cases are alike, and the presence or absence of certain factors can significantly affect your anticipated compensation. Should your case not settle outside of court and proceed to trial, the judge or jury will consider these factors.

Our attorneys can assist you with accurately determining your possible damages. As a cyclist, you lack the protections a vehicle passenger has, and because of that, your injuries are more likely to be catastrophic. We routinely see bike accident victims receive settlements upwards of five, six, and even seven-figure amounts.

Surgery vs. No Surgery

Taking it a step further, one significant factor that will drastically influence your settlement is whether or not your injuries require surgery. 

Almost any injury necessitating surgery versus one without is more likely to result in a higher compensation. Why? 

There are a few reasons why injuries requiring surgery settle for more money.

  • The actual cost of the surgery can easily reach five to six figures, which is factored into the settlement;
  • Injuries requiring surgery tend to be severe and will negatively impact your life, including your ability to earn a living and participate in daily activities you did before the accident (e.g., jogging, yard work, etc.); and
  • The care and associated costs usually continue beyond surgery, including the need for physical therapy and rehabilitation, diagnostic testing, and even additional surgeries in the future.

Surgery and all procedures surrounding and stemming from surgery are costly and will undoubtedly influence your settlement.

Get in Contact with a Maine Bike Accident Attorney Today

Portland Radio Group named our team a 2022 and 2023 gold winner for best law firm. At Mann Law, we are here for our clients every step of the way, beyond simply seeking monetary damages.

We are here to support you through your recovery and get the justice you and your family deserve. Let us get to work for you. Contact us for a free consultation.

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Christiana E. Mann Christiana “Chrissy” Mann has specialized in civil litigation for 21+ years as a savvy and creative litigator, and she’s regarded as a fair, compassionate, and zealous advocate on behalf of her clients.