After a wreck, cyclists often enlist the help of experienced lawyers to file bicycle accident claims. Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for your financial losses, property damage, and pain and suffering. At Los Angeles Bicycle Law, we focus on personal injury claims for cyclists, filing insurance claims and lawsuits against negligent drivers and other parties.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
In many ways, you should treat bicycle accident claims exactly like any other personal injury. This includes taking the following steps:
- Contacting the police while at the accident scene and filing a police report.
- Obtaining the careless driver’s insurance as well as contact information.
- Taking pictures of the accident scene.
- Identifying witnesses and obtaining their contact information.
- Seeking medical treatment for your injuries.
- Filing an insurance claim with the careless driver’s insurance company and any other relevant policies.
- Contacting a personal injury lawyer.
However, many insurance adjusters and personal injury lawyers don’t understand cycling. Without an experienced injury attorney, you might accept an undervalued settlement or lose valuable benefits. Los Angeles Bicycle Law is the only California law firm that focuses solely on bicycle accident claims. Our team of skilled litigators (and avid cyclists) are ready to speak with you.
When Can an Injured Cyclist File a Bicycle Accident Claim?
Most California bicycle accident claims are based on a theory of negligence. A careless driver or other party is negligent if:
- He or she owed you a duty of care (such as to yield at an intersection drive at a reasonably safe speed, or pay attention to the road).
- The driver violated this duty of care, causing your injuries.
- You suffered damages (such as lost income, property damage, and medical bills) due to their carelessness.
Once you prove a party’s negligence, his or her insurance company should cover your damages.
California law applies a theory of comparative negligence, You can recover a portion of your damages even if you were partially at fault. For example, suppose a driver runs a stop sign and strikes your vehicle. However, you were distracted by your bicycle computer, which increased the severity of your injuries. If you suffered $100,000 in damages, and the driver was 75% responsible for the accident, he or she is responsible for $75,000.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Claims
Compensation for bicycle accident claims varies dramatically, depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident and the severity of your injuries. However, you might be entitled to compensation for your:
- Lost wages,
- Medical bills, including the cost of doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, prescription medications, physical therapy, and assistive devices (like crutches and ramps),
- Property loss (repair or replacement of your gear),
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of enjoyment,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Other damages.
Without the help of an experienced bicycle accident claims lawyer, you might undervalue these damages. Insurance adjusters frequently try to take advantage of unrepresented bicyclists, trying to get statements that weaken their claims or underestimating their losses.
When you work with a bicycle accident lawyer at Los Angeles Bicycle Law, we will fight for you. Our goal is to negotiate the best possible settlement, based on your unique circumstances. And, unlike most California personal injury lawyers, we have a deep understanding of bike law, the impact of a bicycle accident, and the costs associated with them. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Proving Your Bicycle’s Value
Unlike cars, there isn’t a simple way to assess the value of a bicycle — especially if the model was discontinued or your bicycle was significantly modified. For many, biking is an expensive pursuit. We spend significant money on performance bicycles, improved tires, cranks, onboard computers, bag systems, and specialized clothing. In a bicycle accident, many of these items might be totaled.
After an accident, you should do the following:
- Compile as many receipts as possible. Your bicycle shop or shops might have records of your purchases and improvements.
- Get multiple estimates of the cost of repairing or replacing your gear.
- Take pictures of both your injuries and the damage to your personal property.
This information will help you prove the extent of your property damage, hopefully maximizing your bicycle accident claims’ value. When you work with Los Angeles Bicycle Law, we will help you document your losses and fight on your behalf.
Consult With a Los Angeles, California Bicycle Accident Claims Lawyer
The bicycle accident claims lawyers at Los Angeles Bicycle Law work solely with injured California bicyclists. Unlike most personal injury firms, we are both cyclists and skilled litigators — applying our knowledge of the sport and the law to our clients’ advantage. If you’re interested in our approach to bicycle accident claims, contact us for a free evaluation. We look forward to speaking with you.