Costa Mesa Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycles are common throughout southern California. Residents use bikes for leisure, exercise, and even commuting to and from work by cycling. While bicycling is an environmentally responsible and healthy exercise, it can also be dangerous for several reasons. If you bike on the streets of the Costa Mesa, CA, area, it is vital to acknowledge the risks you face every time you cycle near motor vehicles.
Legal Counsel for Bicycle Accident Victims in Costa Mesa, CA
If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a bicycle accident that someone else caused, the attorneys at Chris and Frank can help you hold them accountable for your damages. Bicycle accidents almost always result in severe injuries, which can cause permanent disabilities and forever change the victim’s life. Some bicycle accidents are fatal. If you are unsure of your legal options after a bicycle accident, a Costa Mesa bicycle accident lawyer is your best resource for the answers you need.
How Bike Accident Attorneys Can Help With a Bicycle Accident Case
Many people who experience personal injuries wonder whether they can handle their claims unassisted by attorneys and save money on legal fees. It is technically possible for a bicycle accident victim to file and pursue a claim on their own behalf. However, this is a challenging and risky option.
The victim would need to meet strict procedural requirements with the Costa Mesa civil court system while recovering from their injuries. In addition, bicycle accidents can easily result in tremendously painful injuries that require extensive recovery time. During this time, the victim may not be able to work, and medical bills combined with the inability to earn income can create a significant economic problem for the victim and their family.
Even if you were successful with your bicycle accident claim on your own, you would likely settle for much less than an experienced Costa Mesa bicycle accident lawyer could have secured on your behalf. The legal process is daunting and stressful, and the desperation significant damages cause can lead some claimants to seize the first opportunity they see to recover compensation. An experienced attorney can help you thoroughly investigate every potential avenue of compensation available in your claim to maximize your recovery to the greatest possible extent. Additionally, they will handle your legal affairs while you rest and recover with peace of mind.
Determining Liability for Bicycle Accidents
Whenever a motor vehicle driver strikes a bicyclist, the driver is almost always at fault. Bicyclists have the same rights as motor vehicle drivers on many of the Costa Mesa, CA, roads. While they may not ride on highways or freeways, they may take a lane on most of the other roads in the area. If motor vehicle drivers do not yield the right of way to bicyclists where appropriate or are otherwise negligent, they can easily cause devastating bicycle accidents.
Some of the most commonly cited causes of bicycle accidents in southern California include:
- Distracted driving. This is the leading cause of all vehicle accidents in the US. Bicycles are smaller and harder to see than most other vehicles, and all drivers must be very cautious when driving in any area where cyclists are present. Even momentary distraction can cause a devastating bicycle accident.
- Driving under the influence (DUI). It is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If an impaired driver causes a bicycle accident, they will face criminal prosecution in addition to civil liability for the victim’s damages.
- Moving violations. Turning without signaling, illegal turns, improper lane changes, illegal passing, and running red lights or stop signs can easily cause bicycle accidents.
- Speeding. Drivers must abide by all posted speed limits. Driving too fast reduces the time and distance a driver has to slow down or stop in time to avoid a collision.
When a driver negligently causes a bicycle accident in any way, they absorb liability for the victim’s damages. In addition, depending on how and where the accident occurs, the victim could suffer life-threatening injuries.
Commonly Reported Injuries From Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can easily result in many types of injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries. Even if cyclists wear high-quality helmets, they may still suffer traumatic brain injuries. Some of these injuries can be life-threatening without immediate treatment, and many others cause permanent complications for the victim.
- Spinal cord injuries. If a bicyclist injures their spine in an accident, they could face a limited range of motion, decreased flexibility, even paralysis.
- Internal organ injuries. Crash forces can easily damage the internal organs of the body. Some of these injuries may not be immediately noticeable.
- Facial injuries. A bicyclist can suffer injuries to their face and teeth, which may require restorative surgeries and result in permanent disfigurement.
- Broken bones. Bone fractures are prevalent in bicycle accidents. Some fractures will heal completely with time and appropriate care, while others may require surgery or result in nerve damage.
This is not an exhaustive list of all the injuries that might result from a bicycle accident. If you experience a bicycle accident and believe you only suffered minor injuries, you should still see a doctor immediately. Your doctor can examine you and potentially reveal injuries that have not yet caused noticeable symptoms. This may not only spare you worse medical complications in the near future but also help you understand the full scope of your injuries and claimable medical expenses in a personal injury case.
Suppose you or a loved one has suffered these or other injuries due to a negligent driver’s actions. In that case, it is imperative to consult an experienced Costa Mesa bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to determine your best options for legal recourse.
Damages and Compensation in Costa Mesa Bicycle Accident Claims
California personal injury law allows a plaintiff to claim compensation for any damages they experience from a defendant’s negligence. Therefore, your Costa Mesa bicycle accident attorney can potentially help you secure both economic and non-economic damages from your accident.
Economic damages are the measurable effects of an accident that are typically repaid 1:1. The plaintiff must provide proof of these damages, such as their hospital bills and evidence of lost income if they are left unable to work due to their injuries. Non-economic damages are things that cannot be easily measured in monetary figures, such as pain and suffering. Your Costa Mesa bicycle accident lawyer will help you determine an acceptable amount of pain and suffering compensation based on the severity of your injuries and whether you develop any permanent medical complications from them.
FAQs About Costa Mesa, CA Bike Accident Law
Chris and Frank aims to provide prospective clients in the Costa Mesa, CA, area with helpful information so they can make more informed decisions about their legal affairs. Review the following common questions about bicycle accidents in Costa Mesa to help you determine whether you have grounds for legal action.
Can You Sue Someone for Hitting You on a Bike?
If another party hits you while riding a bike, you have grounds to file a civil claim against them. Your attorney can help you gather the evidence necessary to prove the incident’s liability.
What Should You Do if You Have an Accident With a Cyclist?
If you hit a bicyclist while driving in Costa Mesa, stop your vehicle immediately and check on the victim. You should report the accident immediately. While you may be distressed at the thought of facing liability for the accident, the penalties for fleeing the scene are much more severe, and you face criminal prosecution for doing so.
Can a Cyclist Be at Fault in an Accident?
California enforces a pure comparative negligence statute, meaning a plaintiff can potentially face liability for causing their own damages. If a bicyclist causes an accident, they may lose a percentage of their case award to reflect their contribution toward causing the accident. A cyclist can absorb fault for a bicycle accident, but the driver is likely to also face liability for damages since they have an inherently higher duty of care to prevent accidents with cyclists.
Who Is Liable in a Bike Accident?
More than one party can bear liability for a bicycle accident. Your Costa Mesa bicycle accident lawyer can help you gather any evidence necessary for establishing liability, which may include driver cell phone records, vehicle computer data, and footage from traffic cameras in the area.
Find Your Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
California enforces a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. This means a victim has two years from the date of a bicycle accident to file a claim against the party or parties responsible for causing it. This may sound like plenty of time to take legal action, but it is always best to work quickly and secure legal representation as soon as possible after these incidents. The sooner you retain the services of a Costa Mesa bicycle accident lawyer, the better your chances will be of maximizing your recovery.
The attorneys at Chris and Frank have years of experience guiding our clients in the Costa Mesa, CA, area through complex personal injury claims. Your bicycle accident has likely caused significant damages for you and your family, and our goal is to assist in your recovery. If you are ready to discuss your case with an experienced and compassionate Costa Mesa bicycle accident lawyer, contact Chris and Frank today to schedule a consultation with our firm.
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