It is almost always the case in bike accidents that the person on the bike is injured enough that they are not able to get back on their bike right away as they heal. In the event the injuries are not severe, the bike is generally damaged enough that it needs to be repaired at a minimum but often replaced entirely. As the victim of a bike accident, you have a right to be compensated both for the cost to repair or replace your bike and for the costs associated with not being able to use your bike while you are recovering and / or it is being repaired.
You Can Recover “Reasonable Loss of Value”
Reasonable Loss of Value is most often used to recover damages in a car accident but can be used in a bike accident too. In short, it holds that you can recover damages for the loss of use for the period of time during which you did not have use of your bike. To calculate this, the reasonable rate you would pay to rent a comparable bike is multiplied by the number of dates you cannot use the bike.
Note that this is only valid for what the courts consider a “reasonable amount of time.” The time period begins on the date of the accident and through the time of repairs were done. If the bike was totaled, then you can recover daily loss of from the date of the accident for such a time that the court (or the insurance adjuster) considers a reasonable amount of time to find a replacement. This is not necessarily tied to how long it actually takes you.
You Can Recover Damages for Transportation Costs
If you are physically unable to ride you bike and your bike was your primary mode of transportation, then you could recover the money spent on transportation. This period of time can be much longer than the period of time for which you can be compensated for reasonable loss of value. For example, if you broke your leg in a bike accident and could not ride for six months, then you could potentially be compensated for all transportation costs during that time period.
Keep Good Records and Work with an Attorney
If you want to maximize your potential award, we strongly suggest keeping excellent records and documenting everything. Keep receipts of all taxis taken, write down the date and prognosis every time you visit the doctor, etc.
The second piece of advice is to work with a personal injury attorney. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker we can carefully assess your case and offer advice on the best way for you to proceed. This may involve filing a personal injury claim or it could involve accepting a settlement. The best way to find out about your best options is to call us at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.