In California, where the sun shines on more days of the year than nearly any other state in the nation and the weather is often mild and pleasant, riding a bike is a highly enjoyable activity. What’s more, as many California cities have invested in bicycle infrastructure, riding a bike makes sense – it’s convenient, less expensive than driving a car, better for the environment and one’s health, and can even cut down on commuting time in some cases.
But the fact that biking may be enjoyable and often the most effective method of transportation doesn’t make it safe. Sadly, the number of bicycle accidents is unacceptably high; California is one of the states that leads the nation in terms of fatal bicycle accidents per year.
If you’ve been in a bicycle crash, you deserve to be compensated for your harm. Call our legal team at the office of Wagner & Pelayes, LLP today to learn how we can assist you.
Holding the At-fault Driver Liable for Your Damages
If your bicycle accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, this driver should be held liable for your losses, and you should be fully compensated for your harm. In order to achieve both, you will need to prove that:
- The driver owed you a duty of care;
- The driver breached the duty of care owed to you via a negligent act;
- Your bicycle accident would not have occurred but for this negligence; and
- You suffered actual losses as a result.
Examples of drivers’ negligence that often leads to bicycle accidents include:
- Passing too closely;
- Failing to yield;
- Making a right-hand turn into a cyclist who is traveling straight through an intersection;
- Driving while distracted;
- Driving while impaired;
- Tailgating; and
- Running a stop sign or red light.
Disproving Allegations of Shared Fault
In California, the rule of comparative negligence or comparative fault holds that a plaintiff’s damages can be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault. This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for the bicycle accident or your injuries, your damages may be reduced as such.
Commonly, insurance adjusters will argue that a bicyclist is partially to blame because their bike was not equipped with lights, they were not wearing a helmet (and suffered a traumatic brain injury), or they were riding their bike in an unsafe or unlawful manner. If these allegations have been asserted against you, our lawyers will dig deep to gather the evidence necessary to prove that the other party is 100 percent to blame for the crash, thereby maximizing the amount of damages recoverable.
Damages Recoverable in a Bicycle Accident Claim
Bicycle accidents are often especially tragic, as a cyclist has few protections to prevent against serious harm. A bicyclist hit by a car may suffer a traumatic brain injury, facial injuries, external injuries, road burn, bone fractures, internal injuries, soft tissue injuries, neck and spine injuries, and spinal cord injuries. These injuries will not only result in expensive medical costs and treatment, but may also leave the cyclist unable to work and earn an income for a period of time (or perhaps for life), and with a disability that prevents them from doing the things that they love most.
Our lawyers will fight aggressively for your right to recover all of the losses you have incurred, including compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, emotional anguish, and any other economic or noneconomic losses.
Call Our Law Firm for Your Free Bicycle Accident Consultation Today
A bicycle accident happens in a matter of seconds and can change your life. If you have been injured in an accident caused by another’s fault, please call our law firm for a free consultation. We will review your case without charge and provide you with qualified legal advice. You can reach our experienced California bicycle accident lawyers by phone or by sending us a message directly.