How Many Bicycle Accidents Occur Each Year?
Though many bicycle accidents in California go unreported, the state keeps track of fatal bicycle accidents-and the news isn’t great. California was second in the nation in a recent year with 133 bicyclist deaths. Only Florida had more.
Though California does have the most significant population of all the states, 133 bicyclist deaths per year is an alarming statistic. The figure indicates a widespread lack of regard for bicyclists’ safety.
It's an unfortunate truth that bicycle accidents can happen to any cyclist. Our bicycle accident lawyers
are here to help those injured in a bicycle accident.
Why Do Bicycle Accidents Happen in California?
Bicycle accidents happen for various reasons, many of which relate to motorists.
Motorists can endanger bicyclists and cause bicycle accidents by:
- Driving while intoxicated, as about one-third of fatal bicycle accidents involve alcohol
- Ignoring or failing to recognize the bicycle lane
- Veering into the bicycle lane, whether due to distraction, lack of control over the vehicle, or other causes
- Driving too closely behind a bicyclist
- Attempting to pass a bicyclist when it is not safe to do so
- Driving while tired, angry, or in another compromising state
Motorists often fail to recognize that bicyclists have a right to share the road. This may lead a driver to become irritated when a bicyclist slows them down and to make irrational and dangerous driving maneuvers as a consequence.
Bicyclists are entirely
at risk to the environment around them. They have no physical barrier around them, and a motor vehicle striking them or throwing them to the ground can cause severe injuries and even death.
Who Is Liable for a Bicycle Accident?
Liability for a bicycle accident depends on the specific facts of the accident
. When a motorist strikes a bicyclist, the motorist may be liable in most cases.
In other bicycle accidents, a motor vehicle, bicycle, or roadway defect may cause or contribute to the accident. In such cases, an attorney can determine whether the vehicle manufacturer, bicycle manufacturer, the municipality that oversees roadways, or other part is liable for the collision.
Can I Receive Compensation for a Bicycle Accident in California?
You may be entitled to compensation for a bicycle accident in California.
Those who may generally file a lawsuit after a bicycle accident are:
You may recover several damages, including:
- Healthcare expenses: If you required ambulance transport after your accident, underwent emergency observation, required surgery, stayed in the hospital, saw more doctors after your initial care, or received another medical service, then you may be facing significant medical bills. The party or parties liable for your bicycle accident may be responsible for these bills.
- Lost income: If you've missed work because of your bicycle accident, you may get compensation for lost income and other benefits from your work-performance bonuses, employer-matched 401(k) contributions, and other perks you missed.
- Pain and suffering: Injuries cause suffering, both physical, psychological, and emotional. A lawyer will seek compensation for all pain and suffering you’ve already endured and any pain and suffering you’re likely to experience in the future.
- Damage to your bike and other personal property: The parties liable for your bicycle accident may need to pay to repair or replace your bicycle and any other damaged property.
Your attorney will calculate the cost of each of your damages. This cost should guide them to a fair settlement offer.
How Much Compensation Do I Deserve?
The amount of compensation you're entitled to will depend on several factors. Your attorney will consider the severity of your injuries, the cost of your medical treatment, and the extent of your pain and suffering.
Your attorney will calculate the cost of all damages, including those that don’t have an obvious cost-like pain and suffering.
If I Want to Seek Compensation for My Damages, What Should I Do Now?
Hiring an attorney may be the next step in your bicycle accident case. Your lawyer can provide a clear plan for your case and get started as soon as possible.
If you don’t hire a lawyer, then you will have to take your case into your own hands.
- Have to figure out what kind of legal action to take
- Have to figure out where to file your insurance claim or lawsuit
- Have to research the legal basis for your case
- Have to draft and file your claim
- Have to lead negotiations on your own
- Have to decide whether to go to trial
- Have to pay out of your own pocket for all aspects of your case
If you hire an attorney, they will handle these aspects of your case. The firm will also pay for all case-related costs, including any experts they hire to help with your case.
How Can a Lawyer Help With My Bicycle Accident Case in California?
Your lawyer will do everything necessary to complete your case, which generally includes:
- Investigating the accident: Your lawyer will work to gather all relevant facts and information about your bicycle accident. They will also gather and secure any evidence related to your claim.
- Filing your case: Your attorney will determine which legal approach makes the most sense and then file any documents necessary to start your case. This can include a lawsuit or insurance claim.
- Negotiating a settlement: Settlement negotiations are a critical juncture in any bicycle accident case. Your lawyer will fight for a fair financial settlement, and this may resolve your case.
Different cases follow different paths. Your lawyer should be prepared to handle any twists and turns in your case, including the challenges that arise during the legal process. Meanwhile, you can recover from injuries and get your life back in order.
Call an Attorney Today to Discuss Your Bicycle Accident
Lawyers generally offer free consultations. You can discuss your case, ask questions, and start the legal process. Don't wait, as your bicycle accident lawyer must abide by time limits. Call today