If you were injured or suffered property loss in a bicycle accident, the party or parties responsible for your losses will have to pay for your damages. The first step towards recovering damages owed to you can be accomplished by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Please consult with an experienced Los Angeles bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to determine whether you are entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and claim damages.
3.1 Can I Sue The Manufacturer If A Faulty Product Caused My Accident?
Bicycle accidents can often be caused by a faulty bicycle part. An example could be when the brakes on a bicycle suddenly fail and a bicyclist crashes and suffers serious injuries. In this case, neither the bicyclist nor another driver is responsible. However, according to California’s products liability law, the manufacturer who designed and distributed the defective bicycle can be held liable for those losses.
A products liability claim is different than a personal injury claim, because an injured bicyclist will not have the burden of proving the manufacturer’s negligence in order to file for damages. Strict liability
can be imposed regarding:
- Manufacturing defects
- Design defects
- Failure to warn defects
If you were injured as a result of a defective bicycle, you may recover damages by proving that:
3.2 Can I Sue If My Family Member Lost Their Life?
- The bicycle manufacturer sold a defective product
- The product was already defective when it left the manufacturer
- The product was used in a reasonable manner
- Injury or harm was sustained as a result of the defective product
An individual who was killed after a bicycle accident no longer has the option of filing a personal injury claim for themselves. However, their surviving spouse or child(ren) may have the option of filing a wrongful death claim and suing for:
- Funeral/burial costs
- Earnings the deceased would have earned if he or she survived
- Loss of companionship and support
The following individuals may file a wrongful death lawsuit in California:
- The surviving spouse
- The surviving domestic partner
- The children of the decedent
- If the decedent’s children have passed, the surviving grandchildren may file
Any individual(s) entitled to the decedent’s property according to California’s intestate succession laws
3.3 Can I Sue The City For Hazardous Road Conditions?
Not all bicycle accidents are caused by a driver’s negligence or by another driver at all. Poorly maintained roads are a leading cause of many serious bike accidents. It’s important to understand that California premises liability law
dictates that a city can be held liable for negligence if they do not properly maintain public roads in safe conditions.
A serious bicycle accident can easily be caused by seemingly harmless road conditions, such as:
- Loose gravel
- Broken cement
- Uneven sidewalks
- Faulty or damaged road signs
Finally, all property owners — including commercial, private, and city — can be found liable for not properly maintaining their asphalt or pavement surfaces. Therefore, you may be able to sue for recovery of damages if you were injured by the city’s negligence.
3.4 Can I Sue A Pedestrian For Causing My Bicycle Accident?
You may have a claim for damages against the party responsible for your losses, whether it was another driver or even a pedestrian. If you were injured in a bicycle accident because of a pedestrian’s negligence, it is crucial to prove that his or her negligence was the cause of your injuries. The legal standard for negligence
in the state of California will consider the following three elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached his or her duty of care through negligence, and
- The defendant’s negligence was the primary cause of the injuries sustained
For example, a pedestrian can cause a bicycle accident by:
- Suddenly stepping into the bike lane
- Running in front of a bicyclist
- Walking and texting and not watching the road
- Not paying attention to bike traffic while wearing headphones
- Intentionally knocking a bicyclist off their bike
- Not controlling their dog