A 2016 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed California to be the leading state in cyclist fatalities. Some of California’s leading causes of bicycle accidents include reckless driving, dangerous road conditions, and careless pedestrians.
Have you been involved in a bicycle accident and don’t know what to do next? The California state personal injury laws afford anyone injured in a bicycle accident the right to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. Furthermore, in the unfortunate incident of losing a loved one in a bicycle accident, you reserve the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for their passing. Our California bicycle accident lawyers at Setareh Law may help you traverse these unfamiliar lands.
What Should I Do After Being Involved in a Bicycle Accident in CA?
When you’ve been involved in a biking accident, taking actions that improve your chances of a better outcome when filing for compensation is vital. Below are a few guidelines to take into account:
Obtain Real-Time Evidence
Once you’ve been involved in an accident, it’s crucial first to catch your breath and inspect your body for any injuries. After all, your health comes first. Once you’ve checked and ascertained that you are okay, proceed to collect:
- The driver’s information, such as name and contact details
- The vehicle’s data, such as the model, make, color, year, and license plate number
- The driver’s insurance information
- The vehicle identification number
- Contact details of any witnesses
It’s also a good idea to take a video and pictures of the accident before anyone moves anything. This evidence will come in handy in your case.
Note: Please refrain from negotiating with the driver or apologizing, especially when you know you didn’t cause the accident. The driver may be polite at the moment, but they won’t when forced to compensate you for their recklessness.
Notify the Police
Contact the police and have someone come to the crime scene to determine the at-fault motorist in the accident. Let the police collect written statements from you, the driver, and witnesses. Keep a copy of the police report with you.
Seek Medical Treatment
Many bicycle accidents are associated with neck, back, and head injuries, and although you may feel okay, it’s in your best interests to get yourself checked by a doctor. It’s not unusual that your body is still in shock and, therefore, can’t register the injuries you may have sustained in the accident. You can now proceed to contact your California bicycle injury lawyer for assistance with your case.
Call a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Although the accident might seem straightforward, it’s highly advised to not represent yourself. You stand a better chance of getting reasonable compensation if you seek the help of an attorney. A California bicycle accident lawyer is seasoned in such cases and can therefore argue a good case on your behalf.
Can I Sue for a Bicycle Accident in California?
Yes. However, California personal injury law stipulates you first file for compensation against the at-fault party’s insurance company. These damages you may seek to be compensated for can include:
- Injuries and consequent medical bills
- Counseling or occupational therapy
- Property damage (in this case, the bicycle)
- Lost wages or earning capacity as a result of the accident
- Loss of consortium—a companion, support, and intimacy from a spouse
- Death of a loved one
- Pain and suffering
You can file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party for causing any of the distress mentioned above.
If you can’t get to agree with the insurance company, you can proceed to trial, and the judge or the jury will determine the compensation you deserve. Suing is also an option when factors such as bad road conditions cause an accident. For instance, if the cause of the accident was potholes, lifted asphalt, uneven sidewalks, loose gravel, cracked cement, or damaged road signs, you might not be sure how to file the lawsuit. Reach out to a California personal injury lawyer about who may be responsible, so you can get compensated for your injuries.
What to Do if a Loved One Dies in a Bicycle Accident in California
In the unfortunate event that a bicycle accident robbed you of a loved one, California laws allow only the following family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- A surviving spouse to the deceased
- A surviving domestic partner to the deceased
- Children of the deceased
- Grandchildren of the deceased, if their children are also deceased
- Anyone entitled to the deceased’s property by California intestate succession laws
Any of the above-listed family members may be able to receive damages by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. You could seek damages for:
- Financial earnings the deceased would have earned as income if they’d survived
- Loss of support and companionship
- Funeral expenses
Although death cannot be compensated, seeking damages goes a long way in bridging the gap left by the deceased.
Enlist California Bicycle Accident Lawyers to Help You Recover Suitable Compensation
We know how confusing it can be to be involved in a bicycle accident. But if you’re in such predicaments, speaking to a personal injury lawyer before you engage the driver’s insurance company has many benefits. A seasoned California personal injury attorney can deal with the insurance company, so you don’t have to.
At Setareh Law, our experienced lawyers are well-versed in the knowledge of California’s personal injury laws and in a better position to argue your case. They may be able to help you recover total compensation when filing your claim. Our attorneys have built a strong rapport within California’s communities and are dedicated to providing you with the best outcome.