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Teamwork on the bike and on a case

Teamwork is the fuel that spins the cyclist’s wheels ever faster. The peloton will always be faster than a single rider. A break with numbers is more likely to succeed than a solo effort. And an individual time trial will never be as fast as a team time trial with each teammate contributing an equal share of work.

It can be hard to remember these basic principles of teamwork while cycling. Many are often tempted into doing the work themselves. They grow frustrated with the inaction of the group or desperate for a change of pace, and failure results.

Even harder still, is the application of the above principles to our daily lives and work, especially lawyering. The old adage, “Two heads are better than one” should be qualified by the phrase “unless the other head is a know-it-all (or know-nothing) attorney.”

Nevertheless, I was recently reminded of the importance of teamwork in lawyering as part of the Bike Law Network. I received a call from a former collegiate bicycle racer who crashed into a car at the end of a solo training ride in Denver. He was seriously injured and the driver was most likely at fault.

But I knew this case would be an uphill climb, even though the car failed to yield for the cyclists. It was dusk at the time of the accident, and the cyclist didn’t have lights on his bike. These factors generally compound the inherent prejudice against cyclists in the legal realm, making bicycle injury cases more difficult by placing a portion of the blame for the accident on the cyclist.

The case would need immediate attention to combat its difficulties, and I needed help form a local injury attorney with understanding of the laws that impact cyclists and with the ability to do the necessary ground work.

I could have easily searched the internet for self-proclaimed “cycling attorneys” but this did not make certain that the lawyer would know how to handle an injury case. Conversely, I considered calling lawyers to ask for recommendations for good injury attorneys, but I knew it would be near impossible to find one who understands the concerns of cyclists and the issues they commonly face on the road.

I needed the best of both worlds, and that is what I found in Bike Law – an excellent lawyer, an avid cyclists and a true teammate.

Bike Law Colorado lawyer, Brian Weiss, is the real deal. He has litigated personal injury cases for over 20 years, and like the injured cyclist in the present case, he was a college athlete with a penchant for bike advocacy.

After my initial call, Brian immediately started working on the case. Brian met with our client, visited the scene of the crash, and began collecting evidence. He consulted with me at every critical stage to discuss strategy and decision making. Just as important, Brian made all the right moves and kept our client informed on the evolution of his case.

In the end, due largely in part to Brian’s work, the client obtained the maximum amount available to him from the driver’s insurance company.

Also, the client uniquely reaped the benefits of a second settlement for the maximum payment allowed based on an underinsured motorist policy purchased by his father, even though the client was questionably emancipated from his father’s care. In other words, the client was not named on his father’s insurance policy and he technically was not living at his father’s house as a resident-relative.

Specifically, Brian argued before the insurance company that the client, age 27, should be considered a resident relative under his father’s insurance policy because the client is registered to vote at his parents’ house, has his driver’s license registered at his parent’s house, and has a room where he keeps clothes and musical instruments in his parent’s house.

The insurance company vigorously challenged these assertions. But, in the end, it caved in the face of my and Brian’s teamwork.

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