If you need advice about your legal options in the aftermath of a serious bicycle accident, contact the personal injury attorneys of Glasheen, Valles & Inderman for a free consultation. With offices throughout North Texas and West Texas, our law firm is known throughout the region for aggressive and committed client service in severe and catastrophic accident cases. We also represent New Mexico clients from our Albuquerque office.
We offer free consultations in all personal injury and fatal accident cases, and our track record of success allows us to commit substantial resources to the investigation and proof of every case we handle. Our lawyers have recovered more than $100 million for our clients over the years. We collect a fee and recover our expenses only if we successfully recover money for our clients through settlement or jury verdict.
There are three main problems to solve in a bicycle accident case: proving the liability of one or more defendants, establishing the amount of damages based on detailed medical and financial evidence, and making sure that the negligent defendants can pay you the full amount of your losses, most often through insurance. Our decades of success with all three of the problems that routinely appear in a personal injury lawsuit represent a powerful advantage for our clients.
Proving Liability in a Texas or New Mexico Bike Accident Case
Despite their obvious vulnerability in traffic at any speed, bike riders can’t expect to catch a break in court any more than they can on the road. Vehicle drivers will often claim that the injured bicyclist committed a traffic violation or somehow appeared out of nowhere. Sometimes the defense strategy will be to characterize the bike rider as reckless and aggressive. The idea is to make the injured bicyclist appear legally responsible for his or her own injuries.
Under the negligence law of both Texas and New Mexico, even a negligent accident victim can recover damages from a negligent defendant under the comparative negligence rule. When each side of the lawsuit alleges that the other was negligent, the jury is instructed to apportion the negligence between the parties. For example, the jury might find that the defendant was 60 percent negligent and the plaintiff was 40 percent negligent. Under that scenario, the plaintiff can still recover 60 percent of the total damages under the law of both states.
There’s an important difference between the two states’ approach to comparative negligence, however. Texas applies a modified version of comparative negligence that prevents a plaintiff from recovering damages from a defendant who was less negligent than the plaintiff. Known as the 51-percent bar, this rule means that the injured party needs to prove that the defendant was more at fault than the victim. In New Mexico, which applies the pure version of comparative negligence, the plaintiff can recover at least a portion of the damages from any defendant found negligent, even if the plaintiff was mostly at fault. The damages awarded will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of negligence.
At Glasheen, Valles & Inderman, our experience with the investigation and proof of liability in complex accident cases can help protect your interest in a full and fair resolution of your claims against any responsible defendant.
Building the Damages Claim in Bicycle Accident Litigation
Once you have established the liability of one or more defendants, you need to prove just how much they owe you. Proof of damages is just as important as proof of liability. Our goal is to make sure that every element of your loss is identified, documented and tracked from the very beginning of the case. That way, we can back up our claims of medical expenses, lost income and future medical needs both in settlement negotiations and at trial. Our attention to detail on the damages side of the case not only helps protect the value of your claim, it also helps ensure that you’re receiving the medical and rehabilitative services you need for your physical recovery.
While some medical bills appear right away and can’t be credibly disputed, the reasonable cost of future medical expenses is a frequent issue in the most severe accident cases. If the medical evidence indicates a high likelihood that your settlement or jury award will need to cover future treatment or rehab needs, we present a fully detailed case for your needs through qualified medical and vocational experts.
Maximizing the Value of Insurance for Bicycle Accident Victims
Winning a verdict at trial is no guarantee that you’ll ever see a dime. In nearly every case, one or more insurance companies will make the actual payments awarded through a settlement or jury verdict. Our attorneys’ experience with insurance coverage issues in motor vehicle accident cases of all kinds can make the decisive difference in your bicycle accident case.
We know how to identify insurers in a wide range of circumstances. In the most severe accident cases, you’ll need significantly more coverage than most individual drivers carry on their auto policies. In some cases, the bike rider’s own car insurance and health insurance can be accessed to maximize your coverage. Sometimes, we’ll find that municipalities, transportation engineers, maintenance firms or equipment manufacturers might also be partially responsible for your injuries. Our resourceful approach to insurance issues in bicycle accident litigation can help you collect on the full amount of damages that we’re able to prove.
To learn more about the ways our experience with liability, damages and insurance can help you in Texas or New Mexico bicycle accident injury cases, contact an experienced lawyer at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman at any of our five offices.