In this article, you can discover:
- The common causes of vehicle-bicycle collisions that every driver and cyclist should be aware of to make roads safer.
- How it is possible for you to build a strong personal injury claim after your bicycle accident.
- The importance of immediate medical treatment to strengthen your legal case.
How Common Are Bicycle Accidents In California?
Bicycle accidents in California are more frequent than most people expect, roughly on par with motorcycle accidents. One of the main issues is visibility; bicycles are smaller and often not seen by motorists. When a collision does occur, the consequences can be severe because the lack of visibility means that drivers often don’t brake in time or take evasive action.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Vehicle-Involved Bicycle Accidents?
Over the years, two main causes of vehicle-involved bicycle accidents have become clear. The first is motorists pulling out of driveways without adequately checking both directions for approaching cyclists, either on the sidewalk or the road.
The second is the failure to see cyclists while making turns, often resulting in collisions at crosswalks. As either a driver or a cyclist, being aware of these common causes of accidents can help you avoid a vehicle-involved bicycle accident.
What Types Of Severe Injuries Do Bicycle Riders Generally Sustain From Accidents?
In the aftermath of bicycle accidents, cyclists often suffer severe injuries, including concussions and broken bones in the legs, arms, and wrists. Unlike motor vehicles, bicycles offer no protective structure. This means that even at slower speeds, a collision can result in the cyclist being thrown off the bike and suffering significant injuries upon impact with the ground or a vehicle.
When A Bicyclist Has Been Injured By A Motorist, What Are The First Steps They Should Take For A Personal Injury Case?
If you are a cyclist who has been hit by a motor vehicle, you should immediately document the scene by taking pictures and gathering witness accounts. You should contact the police to file a report, and refrain from negotiating with the other party’s insurance company until you consult a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies often aim to minimize your claim; speaking to them without legal advice can be detrimental.
What If I Am Too Injured To Gather Evidence Or Information At The Scene?
If you can collect evidence, focus on taking photos of the vehicles, the bike, and the accident site. Collect witness contact information, and call the police for an official report. If you are too injured to do so, you should ask a family member or a friend to carry out these tasks for you.
Should I Talk To The Other Party At The Scene, And What Information Is Safe To Share?
While at the accident scene, it is generally safe to exchange basic information with the other party. This includes:
- Driver’s license details
- Insurance information
- Vehicle registration
- Names and contact information
However, you should be cautious about divulging more than this, as people often say things to protect their own interests.
How Important Is Immediate Medical Treatment Following An Accident?
Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial, not just for your well-being, but also for your personal injury case. Delaying treatment allows insurance companies to argue that your injuries were not directly caused by the accident, which can potentially weaken your claim.
What Information Should I Share With The Treating Hospital?
At the hospital, be forthcoming about all your injuries and the pain you are experiencing. Anything you say could be used in your case, so avoid underreporting your condition. In addition, this helps ensure that your injuries are properly treated so you have the best chance of recovery.
What Is The Timeframe For Filing A Personal Injury Claim In California?
California’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is generally two years. However, you have only six months to file if a governmental entity is involved. Minors can file claims within two years after they turn 18. Because of these deadlines and the complex nature of some personal injury claims, it is essential that you contact a personal injury attorney for your case as soon as possible.
What Constitutes A Strong Bicycle Accident Injury Case?
A strong bicycle accident injury case usually involves clear liability on the other party’s part, even if it is not 100%. The severity of your injuries or damages will also play a significant role in the viability of your claim. You can help strengthen your claim by gathering information at the scene and working with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.
What If The Accident Was Caused By An Uninsured Or Underinsured Driver?
If you have uninsured motorist coverage, you can still receive compensation in such cases. Rules can differ for e-bikes based on their speed and horsepower. If you were hit by an uninsured motorist, your personal injury lawyer will be able to walk you through the next steps of your case.
What Happens After Filing A Claim Against The At-Fault Motorist?
After a claim is filed, the focus shifts to your medical treatment. You should attend all of your medical appointments, and keep both your medical care team and your attorney updated on your condition. Meanwhile, your attorney will collect all of your medical bills and records to assist with negotiation. The real work starts after you finish your treatment and negotiations begin with the insurance companies.
What Kind Of Damages Can I Expect To Receive From My Settlement?
You may be compensated for various damages, depending on your injuries and the situation. Victims are generally entitled to special damages like medical bills, and general damages for pain and suffering. You might also be compensated for any loss of earnings that can be claimed if you missed work because of your injuries.
Can Lack Of Safety Gear Affect My Settlement?
While possible in some cases, failing to wear safety gear like helmets usually does not affect the settlement, unless specific laws require such gear. However, it is always a good idea to wear safety equipment for your own protection.
What If Settlement Negotiations Fail?
If settlement negotiations reach a stalemate, filing a lawsuit is the next step. Whether the case goes to trial depends on the offers made and the particulars of your case. Working with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in litigation will provide you with the best chances of winning your case if it goes to trial.
For more information on Bicycle Accident Injury Claims In California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (562) 600-0807 today.