Every time you climb onto your bicycle, you are taking a risk. If you ride in traffic, your risk is greater because you are largely unprotected. If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, you will likely face economic as well as physical damages. The best decision you can make at this point is to contact a bicycle accident attorney for the help you so desperately need.
What Kinds of Cycling Injuries Are Actionable?
Nearly 50,000 cyclists in the U.S. sustained injuries in motor vehicle collisions in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As the sport gains in popularity, the number of wrongful deaths and injuries to cyclists continues to rise.
To obtain compensation for your damages, the other party to the accident must be at least partially to blame. The responsible party could be:
- A motorist
- Another cyclist
- A local resident
- The road department
If a motorist fails to observe traffic laws, resulting in a collision, you have a strong liability case. Also, if a distracted or inebriated driver is responsible for your accident injury, you are eligible for compensation.
Other cyclists or pedestrians can cause you to lose control of your bike and crash or fall. If someone darts in front of you and you crash, your injuries are at least partly that person’s responsibility. Similarly, if a resident along your bike route intentionally blocks your path, forcing you into a collision with traffic, you may have an actionable case.
Sometimes the city itself is liable. For example, the city’s failure to properly maintain the road or bike lane may cause unsafe conditions, leading to your injury. A bicycle accident attorney can help in determining liability.
Dos and Don’ts in the Aftermath of a Bicycle Accident
The first thing you should do directly following the accident is to get medical care for any injuries. If you must go to the emergency room, ask a friend or family member to represent you at the scene.
Do the following when an accident occurs:
- Wait for the police to arrive and make their official report
- Get the name and contact information for other parties to the accident
- Get the names and numbers of any witnesses present
- Take photos
- Get in touch with a bicycle accident attorney
Don’t do the following:
- Say you’re fine and ride away
- Minimize the other party’s liability
- Make any statement before speaking with a bicycle accident attorney
- Agree to an insurance settlement until you speak with your lawyer
How Much Compensation Can I Get for My Damages?
The amount of compensation you are entitled to depends on the division of liability and your total damages. In California, both parties in an accident may have some degree of liability. For example, if a driver hits you when you turn without signaling, you are partially at fault for the accident. The total compensation would reflect your degree of liability.
In general, as a victim of an injury accident, you can ask for:
- Payment of medical bills
- Payment for repairing or replacing your bicycle
- Compensation for your pain and suffering
- Compensation for future loss of work
- Coverage of other related losses or expenses
How a Bicycle Injury Attorney Can Help
An experienced liability lawyer has the knowledge, resources, and record of success to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, call Rizio Law Firm in Southern California at 888-292-8888 for a free initial consultation, or complete our contact form, and an experienced legal expert will respond promptly.