How Much Is a Bicycle Accident Worth?

February 15, 2024 | Jarrett Blakeley
How Much Is a Bicycle Accident Worth?

You may be someone who loves cycling around the city. Maybe it's not just simple pleasure. Perhaps you're an avid biker and like riding your bike to work, the grocery, or gatherings with friends.

However, getting hit by a car has undoubtedly taken your life in a whole new direction. Maybe, right now, you're lying in a hospital bed - contemplating the costs and your future. At this point, the wisest approach is to consult with a Fort Lauderdale bicycle accident lawyer. They can guide you in evaluating your expenses to secure a fairer settlement.

Whether they need to negotiate with an insurance company, resort to arbitration, or take the claim to court, they'll serve as your ongoing legal advocate.

So, what is a fair settlement?

Your lawyer can determine the value of your bicycle accident claim based on several variables. If someone strikes you, it's their responsibility to take care of your damages, including your injuries, loss of income, and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or loss of quality of life. They may also owe you punitive damages if their action was notably reckless.

Determining Economic Damages for Your Bicycle Accident Claim

Outdoor accident scene involving car and bicycle collision. Includes people such as insurance officer and injured girl.

Economic damages hinge on your current medical expenses, anticipated future medical and living costs, and the income and earnings you have lost or will lose. Property damage is included as well in the total costs. That is why you need to save copies of the bills related to your accident claim and go over the costs with a lawyer.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

When it comes to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, an attorney figures damages based on an algorithm or method that accounts for the severity of your injuries. Typically, practitioners employ two methods.

The Multiplier Method

The multiplier method is a popular choice for calculating pain and suffering. The lawyer figures the total economic damages and multiplies them by a variable from one and a half to five. The higher the variable, the more severe the injury.

Let's say your economic damages are $100,000. The amount for pain and suffering is $200,000 if the variable 2.0 is applied. Besides the severity of your injuries, other factors used to determine the variable include:

  • The recovery time
  • How your injuries impact and have impacted your daily life
  • The degree of fault of the defendant

The Per Diem Method

The per diem method assigns a specific dollar amount and multiplies that amount by the days established for recovery. For instance, if the per diem amount of $200 is applied and your projected recovery period is ten days, the amount allocated for pain and suffering is $2,000.


Adjustments also support pain and suffering claims, influencing the daily rate, multiplier, or other calculations. Several factors contribute to the adjusted increase or decrease of a claim's value, including:

  • Any permanent effects resulting from the accident, such as disfigurement or disability
  • The time for recovery
  • The consistency of the diagnosis in correlation with the injuries and claimed amount
  • The credibility and likability of the claimant
  • The existence of a criminal history
  • The availability of required medical treatment and support

What Exactly Determines the Value of a Bicycle Accident Claim?

Let's look more in-depth at the factors used to determine the ultimate value of a bicycle accident amount.

Severity of Injuries

The extent of your injuries plays an important role in determining your claim's ultimate value. Common injuries include fractures, head trauma, spinal cord damage, and permanent disability or disfigurement. Claimants may also suffer from soft tissue injuries like whiplash or bad sprains and strains.

Let's look at how specific injuries impact claim amounts.

Cuts and Scrapes

Bike accident reports often document minor abrasions. While these cuts and scrapes can be painful, they heal within a week. It's important to note that compensation for lacerations is usually modest – ranging from a hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Sprains and Strains

Ankle or wrist sprains and back or neck strains are common injuries in cycling accidents. Although not catastrophic, they can cause pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of these injuries, compensation may range from $5,000 to $50,000. In addition, it may take months to fully recover from these injuries.

For example, Grade I strains heal in several weeks, while Grade II strings may take three months or longer. If you must undergo surgery to repair a Grade III muscle strain, you'll usually need several months of rehab to regain normal muscle functioning.

Broken Bones

Fractures often require treatment and sometimes surgery. Compensation for fractures typically covers medical bills, lost income due to time off work during recovery, as well as pain and suffering. What you'll receive depends on the broken bone and the healing time.

For example, if you broke some ribs, you might receive compensation from $15,000 to $75,000 to cover your costs. A broken arm may bring a payout from as little as $10,000 to as much as $100,000. If you fracture your pelvis, an award can range from $50,000 to $150,000.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

A traumatic brain injury (TBI), like a concussion or head trauma, can have life-altering consequences. Compensation for a TBI covers medical treatments and rehabilitation costs, lost earnings due to an inability to work during the recovery period, and pain and suffering. Damages awarded for TBI can be substantial – potentially reaching into the millions.

Spinal Cord Injuries

In cases where there are spinal cord injuries (SCIs) resulting in disabilities or disfigurement, claimants generally seek compensation that addresses permanent lifestyle changes. They may need to ask for money to modify their home or vehicle or costs related to nursing care. Loss of income is also factored into the equation when determining a settlement amount. These cases often have multimillion-dollar settlements.

Wrongful Death

If you're a family member of a cyclist who died from another party's recklessness, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This compensation covers funeral/burial costs, lost income, and benefits that resulted from your loved one's death. You may also claim non-economic damages, such as loss of companionship, consortium, or pain and emotional distress. Some cases involve multimillion-dollar settlements.

Medical Expenses

One of the factors affecting the value of your claim is the cost of your medical treatments, both current and in the future. These costs include hospital bills, doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, assistive devices like wheelchairs, and other expenses related to your treatment and recovery. The ongoing care needed for injuries also affects the value.

If your injuries result in a temporary inability to work, your claim can include the income you lost during that period. This applies to the time you've missed from work and estimated lost earnings. Having documented evidence of income loss strengthens your case.

Pain and Suffering

When determining the value of a claim, consider the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by an injury. Generally, severe injuries result in compensation for pain and suffering.

Punitive Damages

In cases where your attorney can show that the other party acted with gross negligence or intentionally caused you harm, you can get punitive damages. These damages aim to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.

Similar Case Settlements

Your lawyer will assess the value of your bicycle accident case with similar cases to determine the potential value of your claim. Recent verdicts and settlements serve as benchmarks for establishing award amounts.

Liability Disputes

Depending on the law, the liability may be solely on the other party or allocated between the parties in the accident case. That's why showing negligence is critical when establishing settlements.

In negligence cases, the degree of your fault will influence the amount you receive in an accident claim. Any guilt on your part, if applicable, reduces the amount. Or, in at-fault states, you may not receive anything unless the other party is completely at fault.

Thoroughly documenting evidence and working with a bicycle accident lawyer will help maximize the value of your settlement amount. Ensure you don't settle for anything other than fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

Documenting Your Bicycle Accident and Injuries

Top-down view of injured man with bandaged hand completing insurance claim form on clipboard.

When you experience a bicycle accident caused by someone else, you must document all aspects of the incident. This documentation will support and bolster your claim. Use the following information as a checklist.

Contact the Police 

Even if you believe your injuries are not severe, you must obtain an accident report from the police. The report will include details such as the time and location of the crash, weather conditions, road conditions, witness statements, and details about all the parties involved in the mishap.

Take Pictures

Get pictures of the damage to your bike. If you haven't done so already, take pictures of the accident scene and photograph any injuries, including scrapes, cuts, and bruises. If the lesions have faded, you'll want to refer to and provide medical reports as evidence.

Share and Collect Contact Details

You should have already down the contact details of the person who hit you - name, address, phone number, driver's license, and insurance information

Seek Medical Attention and Copies of Medical Treatments and Costs

Even if you're not laid up in the hospital and believe your injuries are not severe, you still need to see a doctor. Some injuries, such as concussions, internal bleeding, and soft tissue damage (such as whiplash), are not always apparent. You'll need to visit a doctor to ensure you receive adequate compensation for insurance purposes.

Keep Copies of Bicycle Accident Records

Maintain records of all documents related to the accident, including bills, prescriptions, receipts for therapy sessions, or missed income from work due to injury-related absences. You'll also need to keep track of any expenses incurred for bicycle repairs or replacement.

Note All the Details

While the incident is fresh, write down what transpired during the event - how it happened, the sequence of events, the weather, and the general road conditions. You'll want to note any contributing factors that led to the crash and write specific details about your injuries.

Get Acquainted with the Claims Process

To optimize your experience with the claims legal process, consider the following tips:

Familiarize Yourself with Your State's Laws on Personal Injury

Determine whether your state adheres to an at-fault system of negligence, which allows you to recover damages even if you were mostly at fault, or a modified negligence system, where you may receive nothing if you were 50 percent or more responsible for the collision. Understanding your rights empowers you to determine the viability of filing a bicycle accident claim and presenting it to the court.

Work with a lawyer who focuses on bicycle accident cases. Doing so will give you a target figure when negotiating the claim. Never take less money than what you need and deserve.

Collect and Organize the Claim Evidence

The more proof of your losses, the better your position for getting the required settlement. Also, it's best not to show gaps in medical treatment and care. Ensure you can explain all time frames to the potential payer.

Learn More About Insurance Negotiation Tactics

Insurance companies hope you'll accept their claim amounts sooner rather than later. After all, the longer you delay an acceptance, the more they figure they'll have to pay. A lawyer has the negotiation skills to politely counter their offers and show evidence to support your claim amount.

Highlight the Extent of Your Injuries

Again, don't accept any pre-settlement offers made by insurance companies. Assess what you'll need to pay for a full recovery by highlighting your injuries and determining your current and future medical needs.

Consult and Align Yourself with a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer by your side facilitates a smooth transition through the legal claims process. Don't do it yourself. Save yourself the headaches and partner with a lawyer.

Most statutes of limitations run two years for bicycle accident claims. You also want to get help from an attorney to secure the fairest settlement. Navigating the process with an attorney will enable you to get back on track and approach the future positively. Contact a skilled Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney without delay.

Reach Out Today!

Jarrett Blakeley

Firm founder Jarrett Blakeley fights to get maximum compensation for all of Blakeley Law Firm’s clients. He has been practicing law since 2006 and takes great pride in representing the rights of injured individuals against the insurance companies and the law firms that represent them. He has successfully represented thousands of clients and recovered tens of millions of dollars on their behalf. Mr. Blakeley strives to give all of his clients personal attention and maximum effort and seeks to instill a firm culture that prioritizes customer service and compassion for the injured over all else. Fighting for the injured is Jarrett Blakeley’s greatest passion and he looks forward to fighting for the injured for the rest of his career.

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