A collapsible bike is a good thing — as long as it is supposed to be foldable!
However, if a bike is collapsed or folded up as the result of a crash with a truck or car, it is usually not a good thing at all.
A question we often hear from our injured cyclist clients is whether or not they can cash a check from the unsafe driver’s insurance company without ruining their case.
While the disabled biker has to be careful before signing any checks from an insurance company, this is especially true if the draft says “in full and final settlement of all claims. ”
If the biker signs this kind of check, the case is over, and the injured cyclist cannot come back later for any additional injuries, losses, or after-discovered harms.
At Abrams Landau, Ltd., our severely injured bicycle crash clients may get a check shortly after the crash for the property damage part of the claim. Because bicycles — once dented or collapsed after being run over by a car — do not heal on their own, this property damage claim can be settled fairly soon after the car crash.
Getting two written estimates from the bike shop where purchased and/or maintained helps a long way towards getting fair value on this limited loss claim.
On the other hand, the bodily injury or “BI” claim can take a lot longer, since the medical care, treatment modalities, and wage loss issues take time to sort themselves out.
Insurance companies often claim they will not entertain settlement until the injured biker’s treatment is over and all of the medical bills and wage loss documentation is in hand.
However, according to Herndon bicycle crash lawyer Doug Landau, there is no law that requires this, and most of his cases are either tried or settled before all the treatment is concluded. This is especially true, Landau notes, because the majority of cases at the Law Shop involved permanent injury, long-term care, and future medical costs and time off from work.
Rather than collapsing under the pressure, hectoring, and wheedling the insurance company, Landau recommends you hire experienced legal counsel who understands the subtleties of bike crash litigation.