Personal Injury Firm in Los Angeles
Bicycle accidents tend to happen unexpectedly, but are almost always very traumatic experiences. Due to the fact that a bicyclist has little protection in comparison to a multi-ton vehicle, most resulting injuries will not only be severe but extremely costly to treat. Even when a bicyclist is wearing a helmet and following California’s bicycle safety regulations, he or she is not guaranteed safety on the road.
If you have suffered injuries or property loss after a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to compensatory damages for:
The short answer is, it depends. However, it essentially comes down to negligence. Below are a few factors a personal injury lawyer will initially consider when determining fault after a bicycle accident:
Please note that Vehicle Code 21209 VC exists to prohibit all drivers from driving within a bike lane. Any driver who injures a bicyclist in a bike lane will most likely be held liable for the accident.
In relation to bicycle accidents, negligence is usually some form of careless or reckless behavior on behalf of a driver. This means that if a driver caused harm to a bicyclist, he or she will typically be held liable for any injuries sustained, as well as the resulting damages.
Some examples of driver negligence in relation to a bicycle accident include:
Negligent behavior behind the wheel is not only immoral but is against the law. All motorists have a legalduty of care while operating a vehicle. This means that a driver who behaves irresponsibly and does not use reasonable care while operating a vehicle may be found liable for causing a bicycle accident.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident because of a driver’s negligent behavior, it is crucial that you are able to prove that his or her negligence was the primary cause of your injuries. The legal standard for negligence in the state of California will consider the following three elements:
Finally, it is entirely possible for more than one individual to be held liable for causing a bicycle accident. California is acomparative liability state, which means that more than one individual may be found liable, including the bicyclist. Therefore, liability can be divided based on the degree of fault. Damages will also be divided based on the share of fault. Finally, any available damages will be reduced depending on an individual’s degree of fault.
Below are the key steps you must take after a bicycle accident in order to protect your legal rights and obtain maximum compensation for your injuries:
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.
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:
If you were injured as a result of a defective bicycle, you may recover damages by proving that:
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:
The following individuals may file a wrongful death lawsuit in California:
Any individual(s) entitled to the decedent’s property according to California’s intestate succession laws.
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:
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.
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:
For example, a pedestrian can cause a bicycle accident by:
Being involved in any type of accident with an uninsured driver can be a nightmare. However, there are options your bicycle accident lawyer can resort to, such as suing the uninsured driver and going after their personal assets.
The other option is obtaining uninsured motorist coverage from your own insurance provider, which is often referred to as UIM coverage. UIM coverage can protect you if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance and is liable for a bicycle accident.
An injured bicyclist can generally sue for compensatory damages including:
Available damages will typically vary depending on the seriousness of your injuries. The most common types of bicycle accident injuries include:
In very rare cases, an injured bicyclist may also qualify for punitive damages. In order to be entitled to punitive damages, an injured bicyclist needs to prove that the defendant engaged in extreme behavior, such as intentionally trying to run over a bicyclist.
Punitive damages are awarded at the court’s discretion and are intended to punish a wrongdoer for his or her deliberate acts of malice.
West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help
If you have sustained injuries as a result of another driver’s carelessness, you have the right to hold that driver responsible. A bicycle accident attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your injury.
Call us today at (213) 927-3700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team.