Settlement vs. Litigation: What Should I Do After A Bicycle Accident?

settlement vs litigation bicycle accident lawsuit insurance settlement

Had a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault? Have the insurers made an offer? Here’s how to know when to accept… Being knocked off your bicycle on the road is terrifying. You have to endure the pain of the accident, and then you need to deal with your wrecked bike, medical expenses, and time off work to recover. It’s not fair. The old adage that bad things happen to good people is small comfort. 

What can you do about it? You can track down a personal injury lawyer able to fight for your rights. Let them gather evidence on your behalf, interview witnesses, and try to prove what happened and that you weren’t to blame. 

But what happens at the end of all this? What happens when you have made a successful claim and the insurance company is trying to get you to settle? How do you know when to quit? Let’s take a look. 

What Is A Settlement? 

Let’s assume that you are newly injured and don’t know what to do. First, ensure the police get your statement and that you take a trip to the ER to record your accident. Your next call should be to a good personal injury lawyer. We suggest Portland law firm Johnston Law Firm, P.C.

After you explain what happened, they will look into your case in greater detail. They might use re- enactments, find witnesses at the scene, or take photographic evidence that proves you weren’t at fault. Once they have collated all the evidence, they will send it to a judge who will give a preliminary decision. 

If that decision goes in your favour, we come to the settlement stage. A settlement is what happens when the opposing insurance firm pays out to keep the case from going to court. You can accept, if you like, or you can choose to go into litigation if they don’t offer you enough. 

What Is Litigation? 

Litigation is the process of taking that insurer to court because you cannot agree on a fair settlement. If the opposing party thinks that they are likely to win in court, they might well offer something low to try and display their confidence. 

Sometimes they will offer a low settlement because they think they can win in court, but more often, the insurance companies want to avoid court altogether. Court costs rise higher and higher, and even if they win on the day, it still incurs costs. 

Knowing When To Settle 

At this stage, it is vital that you listen to your lawyer. Your personal injury attorney has done this a thousand, thousand times. They know if your offer is fair or if the company is trying to bluff you. They have perhaps worked against this team of lawyers before and know this is a trick of theirs. They might have used tactics in the past that won out… don’t guess for yourself. You really do need professional advice from an experienced attorney. 

They say you shouldn’t accept the first offer you get from an insurance company, but sometimes you shouldn’t accept the second, or the third offer, either. Only a specialist can tell the difference to get you the offer you deserve. Hire a top attorney and don’t go into litigation unprepared.

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