Pasadena Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycles are popular in Pasadena, CA. Many people ride for exercise; others use bikes to enjoy the pleasant weather Pasadena typically enjoys. Some even use their bicycles as environmentally friendly alternative transportation to and from work. Whatever your reasons for riding your bike in the Pasadena area, it’s vital to know the risks you face whenever you ride your bike near motor vehicles.
Legal Representation for Pasadena Bicycle Accident Victims
Even the most cautious bicyclists can experience traumatic accidents when drivers fail to use appropriate care and caution near them. When drivers hit bicyclists, the bicyclists involved in these incidents are likely to experience catastrophic injuries; often these accidents are life-changing and some are fatal. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bicycle accident that someone else caused recently, it’s vital to consult a Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine the best options for legal recourse available to you.
Why You Need a Pasadena Bicycle Accident Lawyer
If you and your family are struggling in the aftermath of a bicycle accident someone else caused, you likely face expensive medical bills and an inability to work. These issues can create economic strain for any household very quickly, and you should not be left managing these costs when another party is directly responsible for causing your accident. While you may be hesitant to hire an attorney due to the assumed high cost of legal representation, you must recognize that you stand to lose much more by not hiring an attorney.
An experienced Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer can handle your case proceedings on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery. Your legal team will handle court filings, document gathering, and securing the evidence necessary to prove liability for your bicycle accident. You will also be able to count on your attorney to help you calculate the full scope of the damages you can include in your claim. You’re more likely to maximize your case award when you have an experienced legal team handling your case.
Chris and Frank’s team of seasoned Pasadena personal injury lawyers has years of experience representing clients in complex cases. We understand the stress and uncertainty that any personal injury can cause the victim and their family. Our goal is to help you feel more confident about the problematic legal proceedings ahead of you. We get to know each client we represent so we can carefully tailor our legal counsel through every phase of their case. Our client-focused approach to personal injury representation has allowed us to successfully guide many clients through challenging cases. We are ready to leverage this experience on your behalf.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Bicyclists can ride on most roads in the Pasadena area, except highways, freeways, and wherever bicycle use is specifically restricted. Bicyclists should use bike lanes wherever they are available, but they have the right to occupy space in a lane as long as they do not inhibit traffic flow. Unfortunately, some drivers do not recognize the rights of bicyclists and may be aggressive or unreasonably dangerous around them. Some of the most commonly reported causes of bicycle accidents that eventually lead to personal injury claims in Pasadena are:
- Driving while distracted, the most commonly cited cause of all vehicle crashes in the country. An inattentive driver could easily fail to notice a nearby cyclist in time to avoid causing a crash.
- Speeding. Drivers who exceed posted speed limits put themselves at risk and endanger others nearby. Speeding reduces the time and space a driver has to slow down or stop in time to avoid crashing.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is illegal to operate any vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Therefore, if a driver causes a bicycle accident in this manner, they potentially face felony DUI charges. It is also important to note that California law applies the DUI code to bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers; therefore, a bicyclist can face DUI charges if they ride their bike under the influence.
- Poor visibility. Drivers must use caution during periods of poor visibility. While bicycles typically have reflectors that make them more visible at night and in low light, these features may not be enough to prevent an accident during certain conditions.
- Aggressive driving. Some drivers are reckless behind the wheel, engaging in maneuvers that put everyone at risk. For example, if a driver causes a bicycle accident due to intentionally reckless misconduct behind the wheel, they are likely to face criminal penalties and civil liability for the victim’s damages.
- Bicycle defects. It is possible for a bicycle accident to occur because of a defect in the bicycle. In this situation, the manufacturer could be liable under California’s product liability laws.
If you or a loved one experienced a bicycle accident recently and were unable to immediately identify the party or parties responsible for causing the incident, you must speak with an experienced Pasadena bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible.
Proving Fault for a Bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident case is a personal injury case, and success in a personal injury case requires establishing liability for the injury in question. The plaintiff filing the case must identify the person they believe responsible for causing their damages. They must then prove that the person named in their claim failed to uphold a duty of care that applied to the situation in question. For example, driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol would violate a driver’s duty of care to refrain from intoxicated driving.
Once the defendant’s breach of duty has been assessed, the plaintiff must then prove the full scope of the damages they intend to seek in the claim. The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant directly caused the claimed damages by their actions. Your Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer will be invaluable for accomplishing these things. Additionally, they can help you gather any evidence you may need to disprove allegations of comparative negligence from the defendant.
Comparative negligence factors into a personal injury claim whenever the plaintiff is partially responsible for causing the incident, thereby absorbing partial responsibility for their claimed damages. Defendants in personal injury cases often try to mitigate their personal liability for damages by asserting comparative negligence. They may claim the plaintiff contributed to causing the incident in question in several ways. If an investigation shows that the plaintiff is indeed partially responsible for their damages, they lose a percentage of any award, which equals their percentage of fault for causing the incident in question.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Damages
Bicycle accidents can easily cause devastating injuries to the cyclist. Many bike accidents cause broken bones, head injuries, spinal injuries, and more. In addition, the bicyclist faces a severe risk of injury from the primary impact of the defendant’s vehicle hitting them and from the secondary impact of hitting the ground. A bicycle accident can easily inflict life-changing physical injuries to the victim. They are also likely to experience a great deal of psychological distress from their experience.
Damages available in most California personal injury claims include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are more straightforward and easier to prove. These include tangible losses that can be proven with documentation, such as:
- Property damage, including the loss of the plaintiff’s bike in the incident and the cost of replacing any other personal property that was lost due to the defendant’s actions.
- Medical expenses. The defendant is liable for any medical treatment costs the plaintiff incurs due to the accident. This includes hospital bills and other immediate health care costs as well as any costs associated with necessary ongoing treatment the victim requires, such as rehabilitation and physical therapy.
- Lost income. The victim of a bicycle accident is likely to be unable to work until they recover, and the defendant is responsible for wages lost during this time. In addition, if the defendant inflicted any permanent injury on the plaintiff that interferes with the plaintiff’s ability to work and earn an income, the defendant is also responsible for this lost earning capacity.
Non-economic damages can be more challenging to determine as these pertain to intangible losses, such as the victim’s physical pain, psychological trauma, and emotional distress resulting from the accident. However, a Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer will help their client determine an appropriate amount of non-economic damages to seek in the claim, taking into account the severity of the client’s injuries and whether they face long-term medical complications because of them.
If a plaintiff is expected to fully recover, their attorney may seek a “per diem” pain and suffering settlement that awards a set amount of compensation every day until the plaintiff reaches maximum medical improvement. However, if the plaintiff faces long-term or permanent damage from the incident, their attorney is more likely to seek much more in damages. They will calculate an appropriate amount by multiplying the plaintiff’s economic damages by a factor of 1.5 to five to reflect the severity of the plaintiff’s condition.
If a bicycle accident claim pertains to illegal activity or the defendant intentionally caused the accident, the defendant also faces punitive damages. The judge overseeing the case can award punitive damages at their discretion. Typically, the amount of such damages depends directly on how much wealth the defendant has. When punitive damages come into play, defendants are also likely to face criminal charges.
As a final note regarding damages in a bicycle accident claim, remember that if a plaintiff bears partial liability for the accident, they will lose a percentage of any award equaling their percentage of fault. For example, if a plaintiff seeks $200,000 in damages but is 10% at fault, they lose 10% of the case award or $20,000 under California’s pure comparative negligence law.
Q: How Much Is My Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
A: The exact value of any personal injury claim can fluctuate based on several factors, and every case is unique. If you are unsure of the potential value of your claim, it is essential to start working with an experienced Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. The sooner you begin working on your case, the easier it will be for your legal team to gather evidence and calculate the full scope of damages you can seek from the defendant.
Q: How Will My Attorney Help Me With My Case?
A: You will be able to rely on your Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer to assist you in gathering evidence and witness testimony to support your claim, calculating your claimable damages, and handling your court filings on your behalf. A good attorney will essentially manage your case for you and provide updates as it progresses. In addition, they will provide guidance and support for any aspects of your case that require your active participation.
Q: How Long Does a Bicycle Accident Claim Take to Resolve?
A: The time required to complete any civil case hinges on numerous factors. The scope of the damages sought in the claim, the willingness of the defendant to accept liability, and the strength of the plaintiff’s evidence all factor into the timetable. When liability is clear, and the defendant is willing to settle, the case may resolve within a few weeks to a few months. However, when liability is contested or other issues arise, it can take much longer to resolve a bicycle accident claim.
Q: How Much Does a Pasadena Bicycle Accident Attorney Cost to Hire?
A: It’s natural to worry about the potential cost of legal fees when you are already facing economic uncertainty because of your accident. Chris and Frank’s team uses a contingency fee billing system for our Pasadena personal injury clients. This means the client pays nothing up front and only owes a legal fee if we win their case. The fee is a percentage of the final case award, ensuring the client receives appropriate compensation for their damages.
The sooner you start working on your case, the better chance you will have of securing the compensation you need to recover. The attorneys at Chris and Frank have the resources and experience you need on your side for a difficult bicycle accident case. If you would like to talk about your case with a Pasadena bicycle accident lawyer, contact us today and schedule a free consultation with our team.
Pasadena Practice Areas
- Pasadena Personal Injury Lawyer
- Pasadena Car Accident Lawyer
- Pasadena Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Pasadena Truck Accident Lawyer
- Pasadena Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Pasadena Dog Bite Lawyer
- Pasadena Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Pasadena Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Pasadena Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Pasadena Rideshare Accident Lawyer
- Pasadena Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
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