If I was hit by a car while riding my bicycle, should I hire a lawyer or try to settle with the driver’s insurer?

Asked on August 5, 2014 under Personal Injury, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Where you injured or you bicyle damaged? If the answer is "no," you're not entitled to anything: you are only entitled to compensation for actual injuries or damage so if you were, fortunately, not hurt and suffered no property damage, there is nothing to sue for.

If you did suffer injury or property damage, you may be entitled to compensation--at least if the driver, and not you, was at fault. (If you were at fault, you would typically not be entitled to compensation; the obligation to pay compensation is based on fault.) If the medical bills and property damage totals to less than the maximum amount for your small claims court, then you are probably best off trying to settle first, then if they won't settle, suing in small claims court, acting as your own attorney. If  the total compensation you may be seeking is more than the small claims limit, you probably should consult with an attorney and let a lawyer help.

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