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I got hit by a car on my bike. Can I sue?
Yes. As with any other situation where
someone else's negligence played a role in causing an accident (and
your resulting injuries), if you were riding a bicycle and were hit
by a car, you can file a personal injury lawsuit in the local branch
of your state's civil court.
But that doesn't mean you should rush
to the courthouse steps. As long as you pay attention to time limits
for filing a lawsuit (what's known as the statute
of limitations), going to court will remain an option for you if
you've been injured in a car-bicycle accident. But it's a costly and
time-consuming option, so it's one you want to keep in your back
pocket for now.
If you were hit by a car while on your
bicycle, you can get compensation for your injuries by filing a claim
with the driver's car insurance carrier, and reaching an agreeable settlement, without ever having to go to court.
This is called a “third
party claim,” and in most states you'll be able to recover
for your medical treatment, any lost income, and your pain and
suffering in connection with the accident and your injuries. It's the manner in which most personal injury cases are resolved.
Your best first steps will probably be
1) get all necessary medical treatment
2) gather together all the documents
and photos that are relevant to your case (medical bills, photos of
the scene and your injuries, the police report if one was generated
after the accident)
3) discuss your situation with a nearby
injury attorney (especially if you're seriously injured), and
4) put together a professional and
letter that you (or your attorney) will send to the at-fault
driver's car insurance carrier.
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