Riverside Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Many Riverside, CA, residents enjoy riding bicycles for leisure and exercise, and many residents use their bicycles as eco-friendly alternative transportation to and from work. Unfortunately, while many areas of Riverside offer bike lanes and other amenities to make bicycling safer and more accessible in the area, bicycle accidents can and do happen regularly throughout California.
Suppose you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a bike accident. In that case, it’s essential to determine whether another party, such as a negligent driver, is responsible for the resulting damages. When motor vehicle drivers fail to use appropriate care around bicyclists, devastating bike accidents can occur. An experienced Riverside bicycle accident attorney is the best possible asset to have on your side after this type of situation.
The attorneys at Chris and Frank can offer the comprehensive and detail-oriented legal counsel you need to navigate a bicycle accident claim successfully. You likely have substantial damages from your bike accident, and if another party caused the incident, you have the right to hold them accountable for your losses through a civil claim. Your Riverside bicycle accident attorney can be instrumental in helping you navigate the complex civil proceedings you face, establishing the full scope of your claimable damages, and helping you establish the defendant’s responsibility for your losses.
Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for Accidents Involving Bicyclists?
Many people in California and throughout the United States who experience personal injuries make the mistake of believing they can manage their legal proceedings unassisted, so they do not have to pay attorneys’ fees. While it is technically possible to represent yourself in a personal injury claim, anyone who does not have professional legal experience will likely encounter substantial challenges if they attempt to do so. Navigating the California civil court’s procedural requirements is incredibly difficult, and even minor errors can lead to significant delays and disruptions in a bicycle accident claim.
Beyond jeopardizing your claim on a technicality before it begins, several other serious risks accompany self-representation in a bicycle accident claim. First, you would need to manage all your legal affairs while simultaneously dealing with the aftermath of your injuries. Second, you may overlook available avenues of compensation and settle for less than your claim is worth. Finally, you may think your case is straightforward, and that liability for your damages is obvious, only to discover that your case involves highly complex details that you do not know how to address to prove liability for your damages.
Working with a reliable Riverside bicycle accident lawyer is the best way to avoid these risks while maximizing your recovery. Your attorney can not only handle your legal affairs on your behalf while you focus on your recovery, but they can also help you explore the full scope of your claimable damages, both immediate and future, to ensure you receive as much compensation as California law permits for your claim.
What Do You Do After Minor Bike Accidents?
It’s possible to experience a minor bicycle accident with little to no damage or injury. However, you should still know what to do in this situation if you need to take legal action later. Any motor vehicle accident can cause injuries that do not manifest immediately noticeable symptoms. You could sustain an internal injury that doesn’t start causing pain for several days, and by that time, you could be in critical condition.
After a minor bike accident, take down the other driver’s information, including their insurance details and contact information. Take photographs of the accident scene if possible, being sure to capture fresh pictures of the damage to your bike and any injuries you sustained, even minor cuts and scrapes. Remember that California state law requires drivers to call the police to report accidents resulting in injury, death, or property damage. It’s typically best to err on the side of caution and report a bicycle accident, so there is an official record if you need to take legal action for the incident later. If you are unsure whether to contact an attorney, you can take advantage of free consultation offers to see if any local attorneys believe you have grounds for a civil action against the driver who caused your accident.
Possible Injuries From Bicycle Accidents
When a driver collides with a bicyclist, the chances of the bicyclist sustaining serious injuries are very high. Almost every bicycle accident involving a bike and a motor vehicle will cause injuries, some of which can be life-changing for the injured bicyclist. Some of the most commonly reported bicycle accident injuries in Riverside, CA, include:
- Broken bones. Bone fractures can be incredibly painful, and some can cause lasting medical complications for the victim. For example, a compound bone fracture can damage nerve endings and the musculoskeletal structure around the injury site. Even if the break fully heals, the victim could experience long-lasting difficulties with a range of motion, dexterity, and fine motor control.
- Crushing injuries. If a negligent driver hits a bicycle and pins them against another vehicle or other solid surface, the injured bicyclist could sustain severe crushing injuries throughout their body. A crushed limb could lead to amputation, and crushing injuries to the head or torso can be life-threatening.
- Traumatic brain injuries. Even when bicyclists wear appropriately fitted helmets, they can still suffer traumatic brain injuries when struck by motor vehicles. Any traumatic brain injury has the potential to cause permanent disabilities and life-changing complications for the victim, from memory loss and sensory processing difficulties to permanent cognitive impairment, language processing issues, and multiple ongoing symptoms that can interfere with daily life.
- Spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord carries neurological signals between the brain and the rest of the body, making it one of the most critical components of the human body. Unfortunately, the spinal cord lacks the self-healing ability of the rest of the body, so any spinal cord injury is permanent. Depending on the location of the injury, the victim could experience a wide range of symptoms, from loss of sensation to complete paralysis.
- Internal injuries. A bicycle accident can easily involve multiple traumatic impact forces, and the victim could suffer damage to their internal organs. This can lead to internal bleeding, organ failure, and other adverse medical complications very quickly.
- Facial and dental injuries. Most bicyclists do not wear fully enclosed helmets, and an accident can easily cause damage to the face and teeth. Some of these injuries are treatable with expensive procedures but often cause permanent scarring.
The speed, location, and angle of impact are typically the most important determining factors when it comes to the types of injuries a bicyclist could sustain when struck by a motor vehicle driver. If you or a loved one recently suffered any of these injuries in a bicycle accident, it’s vital to consult an experienced bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to determine your best options for legal recourse.
Proving Liability for a Bike Accident Injury Case
A bicycle accident claim is a type of personal injury claim, and the central legal concept for every personal injury claim filed in the United States is negligence. The word “negligence” describes a party’s failure to exercise reasonable care in a situation. Therefore, if you believe another driver was negligent and that their negligence directly caused your bicycle accident, you and your bicycle accident lawyer will need to establish the four elements of negligence in civil court to succeed with your claim:
- Duty of care. You must prove the defendant named in your lawsuit owed you a duty of care. For example, every driver has a duty of care to refrain from operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol.
- Breach of duty. Next, you must show how the defendant violated their duty of care. Driving under the influence of alcohol, committing a moving violation, or driving while distracted are all common examples of breached duty of care.
- Damages. You only have grounds for a civil claim if you suffered a measurable loss. Your attorney can help you calculate the full scope of the damages you could potentially recover in your bicycle accident claim.
- Causation. Finally, it’s necessary to prove that the defendant’s negligence directly caused your claimed damages and that those damages did not occur due to any other circumstance. Essentially, you must prove that your damages would not have occurred but for the defendant’s breached duty of care.
If you want the best chance of successfully proving these four elements of negligence and winning your case, you must work with an experienced bicycle accident attorney.
Damages and Compensation in Your Riverside Bicycle Accident Case
California state law allows a personal injury plaintiff to claim compensation for all damages resulting from a defendant’s negligence. Due to the high likelihood of a bicycle accident causing severe damages, the total compensation you receive from a successful bicycle accident claim could be much higher than you initially expected when you have the right attorney assisting you in your case.
First, you have the right to claim compensation for all medical expenses resulting from your bicycle accident. You can claim compensation for immediate medical costs such as your hospital bills, emergency transportation, prescription costs, and fees for advanced treatments you require. You can also claim compensation for your lost income if your injuries prevent you from working for an extended time. Finally, if your injuries are severe enough that you cannot return to work in the future, you have the right to claim compensation for your lost earning potential. Your Riverside bicycle accident lawyer will help you calculate how much you would have reasonably expected to earn until retirement age and add this lost future income to your lawsuit.
California law also allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover compensation for pain and suffering. This may sound difficult to calculate, but your attorney can help you determine an appropriate figure based on the severity of your injuries and the overall cost of your medical expenses. For example, if you claim $200,000 in medical expenses for injuries that were extremely painful and caused permanent damage, your attorney could seek $400,000 to $1 million or even more in pain and suffering compensation. Personal injury plaintiffs can also receive compensation for any property damage incurred because of a defendant’s negligence, such as the cost of repairing or replacing their damaged bicycle.
California Bicycle Injury Statutes You Should Know
An experienced bicycle accident lawyer can guide you to a favorable result in your bicycle accident claim. However, it’s still wise to understand the unique legal statutes that might come into play for your bicycle accident case. For example, California upholds a pure comparative negligence law. This means that a plaintiff loses a percentage of their case award if the case reveals that the plaintiff is partially responsible for causing their claimed damages. If you were riding your bicycle outside a designated bike lane or on a road that does not allow bicycling, this could work against you in your civil claim and reduce your case award.
Find Your Riverside Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
It’s natural to feel uncertain and frustrated about your situation after you or a loved one has suffered severe injuries in a bicycle accident, especially when you know that another party is responsible for causing the accident. The legal team of Chris and Frank can provide the guidance and support you need to approach your bicycle accident claim with confidence. Our firm has the resources and experience necessary for handling the most complex bicycle accident claims. In addition, we can consult expert witnesses if necessary to support your position in court and help you gather the evidence you need to prove liability for your damages.
If you are ready to take legal action for your recent bicycle accident, Chris and Frank are here to help. We’ve successfully represented many Riverside bicycle accident victims in the past and can apply our professional experience to your case. Contact us today and schedule a free case review with an experienced Riverside bicycle accident attorney.
Riverside Practice Areas
- Riverside Personal Injury Lawyer
- Riverside Car Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Truck Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Bicycle Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Uber Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Lyft Accident Lawyer
- Riverside Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Riverside Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Riverside Dog Bite Lawyer
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