Martinez Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Riding a bicycle is an environmentally friendly way of getting around the city of Martinez. It is a great aerobic activity that can be easily incorporated into a daily routine. Regular cycling has benefits such as strengthened bones, improved posture, decreased stress levels, and more. However, riding a bike may come with many dangers. This is because bicyclists face a greater risk of injury and death from crashes in comparison to occupants of motor vehicles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A cycling crash may result in significant changes in your life from traumatic injuries and mounting medical expenses on top of the temporary or permanent inability to work.
The best way to protect your rights after a serious bicycle accident in Martinez is to get help from an attorney experienced in handling personal injury cases in California. Get started today with free, friendly case advice from one of our skilled lawyers at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400.
Our legal team at AutoAccident.com represents those injured in bicycle accidents caused by the negligence of others in Martinez and across Contra Costa County. We have over three decades of experience successfully representing clients in accident cases throughout the state of California. When you turn to us for legal representation, you can rest assured that we will use our expertise, knowledge, and resources to build a strong case for fair compensation on your behalf. Discuss your case in detail with one of our compassionate and skilled accident lawyers now in a free consultation. We are always available to meet with you in person or over the phone, listen to your story, and discuss your potential options for recovery moving forward.Types of Compensation in a Bicycle Accident Case
Cyclists often suffer catastrophic injuries if they are hit by a motor vehicle. They do not enjoy the same level of protection a car provides, like airbags, seat belts, and a steel frame. To make an injured bicycle rider whole again, they are awarded financial compensation in the form of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages reflect financial losses that can be proven through evidence, such as receipts and invoices. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cannot be established as quickly as they are subjective in nature and vary in value from case to case. Some of the losses that may be recovered in an injury case for a bike crash may include but are not limited to:
- Medical Expenses: The expenses for medical treatment related to the vehicle vs. bicycle collision are recoverable so long as they are deemed reasonable and necessary. Medical care costs may include ambulance rides, hospitalization, surgical intervention, follow-ups with treating physicians, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other treatment for accident-related injuries.
- Lost Wages: If injuries from a cycling crash force an individual to miss work for recovery, they might be entitled to the reimbursement of earnings lost during that time. To establish lost wages in a personal injury case, evidence such as paycheck stubs, a doctor's note stating the patient's need to stay out of work for recovery with specified dates, and letters from the employer confirming missed days may all be used to show wage loss.
- Loss of Future Earnings: If injuries from a bike accident significantly impacted a person's ability to return to the same job they had before the incident or left them with a permanent disability, they may seek financial recovery for the reduction in their future earning potential. Testimony from medical experts and economists is often necessary to prove lost future earning capacity.
- Pain and Suffering: Injured cyclists may be entitled to compensation for their emotional suffering and physical pain from the other side's negligence.
- Property Damage: An injured cyclist may be entitled to recover costs for repairing or replacing damaged property. This may include the bicycle, helmets, clothing, watches, etc.
Establishing the extent of economic and non-economic damages in a cycling crash case can be stressful and challenging. That is why it is best to retain legal counsel with the experience, skills, and resources to handle all aspects of your claim. A top Martinez bicycle accident lawyer will work with their team of experts to prove damages and determine the amount of compensation needed to make you whole again.Can You Negotiate a Settlement with an Insurance Company for a Cycling Crash?
An injured cyclist may handle a bodily injury claim with the insurance company, agree to a settlement offer, and have the case closed without legal counsel. However, unless the property damage is minimal and the resulting injuries are relatively minor, a claimant may greatly benefit from working with a top Martinez bicycle accident attorney. That is because the personal injury claims process for a cycling crash is not always straightforward, as the negligent driver and their insurance carrier may attempt to dispute liability for the incident. This may present in many forms, including claims that the cyclist was riding their bike on the wrong side of the road, the bicycle rider was wearing dark-colored clothing at night, the bicyclist was not wearing a helmet, and the bike was not equipped with reflectors.
California follows a comparative fault system when it comes to personal injury cases. This means that the compensation awarded to an injured cyclist would be decreased by the percentage of negligence assigned to them in a bicycle accident case. For instance, if a bike rider was found 25 percent at fault for a collision, they may be entitled to 75 percent of the compensation awarded. The reduction in financial recovery may have severe implications for an injured party, mainly if serious injuries are involved. That is why it is recommended to follow the rules of the road by riding a bike on the right side, always wearing a helmet, using bright-colored and reflective clothing at night, and equipping a bicycle with reflectors. This will help prevent the fault from being unfairly shifted onto you in a cycling crash.
The last thing an injured bike rider should have to deal with during recovery from traumatic injuries is an insurer refusing to pay fair compensation for their damages. The unfortunate reality is that such situations are expected when dealing with businesses focused on protecting their profit margins and making that possible at the cost of claimants. Hiring an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Martinez may significantly influence the outcome of a civil case. That is because an injury lawyer will have the resources to work with experts in the field, such as an accident reconstruction expert and a biomechanical engineer, to determine the sequence of events leading up to the incident and prove the causation of the resulting trauma.What if the Driver Does Not Have Insurance to Cover the Bicycle Accident?
It is not uncommon to see a driver without liability insurance in California. A study in 2019 by the Insurance Information Institute (III) showed that the golden state was ranked the tenth highest in the country, with the percentage of uninsured drivers at 16.6 percent. That is why drivers in California greatly benefit from having uninsured and underinsured motorist protection on their auto insurance policy that is higher than the state minimum limits. Our law firm recommends carrying UM and UIM limits of at least $100,000 to ensure that you have this coverage available to you in situations where an at-fault party has little to no insurance to cover damages in a cycling crash.
What is also excellent about UM and UIM protection is that it may also be utilized in a hit-and-run bicycle accident case. That is because UM coverage will come into play up to the limits of the insurance plan, even if the suspect party cannot be located. UM may also extend protection to other household members as long as the policyholder does not list them as excluded. Remember that the first-party insurer will require clear and compelling evidence from the claimant to establish that the suspect vehicle made contact with them and their bike. That may include photos of physical injuries after the hit-and-run accident, medical records of immediate treatment that connect the trauma with the incident, video surveillance of the cycling crash from buildings in the area, traffic incident reports, and other evidence.Is There a Filing Deadline for Personal Injury Cases in California?
The statute of limitations refers to the time allowed to file a lawsuit in civil court. In personal injury cases, a claimant has two years to file suit, and this is by the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 335.1. Remember that two years is not ample time to take legal action. The process requires gathering and preserving evidence, working with expert witnesses, and building a solid case to present in insurance negotiations. A lawsuit must be filed within the deadline if a settlement cannot be reached with the insurer within the time limit.
Keep in mind that other factors may significantly influence the filing deadline. In the case of a minor child, the general statute of limitations is tolled until their 18th birthday, and they will have two years to file in civil court from that date. If a bicycle accident case involves a government vehicle or a road defect, the period is reduced to six months. Refer to the California Government Code Section 911.2 for more information. Cases involving public agencies are more challenging to handle as different filing criteria are involved. Therefore, it is best to leave all aspects of your injury case handled by an experienced attorney. Watch this video for tips on how to find a top lawyer in your area.Call Our Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Martinez, CA
A cycling crash may result in emotional, financial, and physical consequences for the injured bicycle rider and their family. When someone else's negligence results in a lifetime of physical pain and emotional suffering for you, it is essential to protect your rights and interests with skilled legal counsel. Our law firm's attorneys have years of experience handling personal injury cases arising from a wide array of accidents, including bike crashes. We are dedicated to seeking the full and fair compensation our clients need to put devastating bicycle collisions behind them.
To discuss your situation in detail in a free case evaluation with a skilled lawyer in person or over the phone, call (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. Our family at AutoAccident.com is here for you and your loved ones to help you all rebuild your lives after a life-changing crash. You never have to worry about any upfront costs for legal representation, as we handle personal injury cases under a contingent fee agreement. This means you owe nothing unless we obtain fair compensation for you. Our law firm proudly serves residents of Martinez, CA, and neighboring communities.
Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.24.22]
Photo Credit: "MabelAmber" via Pixabay
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