Car parked by wrecked bikeThis is the third post in our series on the handling of bicycle accident cases in Fort Worth, Texas. Our last article discussed the process of dealing with insurance companies after being injured. We stressed the importance of involving a qualified attorney to handle this process as soon as possible after the incident. Doing so can help protect a victim’s right to receive the appropriate amount of damages. Because this can be a lengthy process, it is also important to find counsel with adequate resources to manage the case properly. In this article we will discuss how to establish a defendant’s liability. Contact a lawyer immediately if you need assistance.

If a bike rider is injured in a collision with a motor vehicle, the rider will need to provide evidence of the driver’s liability for the crash as well as for the extent of the damages suffered by the cyclist. The driver may argue that he or she was not completely responsible for the wreck. Both parties will need to provide facts that substantiate their respective claims. Common types of evidence include witness statements, accident reports, photographs and videos, medical reports and phone records. Information gleaned from these sources provide an outside view of the accident and can corroborate the injured party’s account of the incident.

Evidence can be gathered by conducting an investigation of the accident. A thorough investigation might include interviews with witnesses from the scene of the accident.  A witness may have noticed that the driver swerved into the bike lane when the crash occurred. During the interviews, a witness may reveal that he was taking a cell phone video and captured the accident on camera. Reviewing the police report in detail may reveal that there was road construction in the area or dangerous weather conditions at the time of crash.

The attorneys involved in the case may also use the discovery process to obtain information from third parties. Discovery is a legal process by which lawyers file Requests for Production  with the Court and require relevant parties to produce information about the incident. Items requested may include phone records from the defendant’s cell phone or GPS tracking systems from the car. This data may demonstrate that the driver was distracted or driving recklessly when the incident took place. These types of facts will form the basis to prove the extent to which the defendant was liable for the accident.

Other types of information may be used to establish the amount of damages the victim is entitled to receive. If the injured party is unable to return to work for a period of time afterward, wage and hour information may be used to prove a loss of income. If the rider is seriously injured and incurs major medical expenses or a permanent disability, the victim’s attorney may involve experts to provide evidence of the long-term impact of the crash. These could include economists reports of the lost income potential over the course of the person’s life or the cost of long-term care facilities for the expected recovery period.

Because the facts of each specific accident will be different and establishing liability can involve complex legal arguments, we recommend contacting a Fort Worth lawyer immediately. When choosing an attorney to represent you in after a bicycle accident, it is important to hire someone with experience in personal injury cases. We suggest selecting a law firm with multiple lawyers and an in-house investigator, with the resources necessary to retain the experts needed to support your case.

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