California Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicyclists are at a disadvantage compared to the bigger, heavier vehicles on the road. There is a high potential for serious injuries or death when they are involved in an accident.
If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligent actions of another driver, the experienced legal team at Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law can be a valuable resource, helping to protect your interests through the process of seeking compensation for all your losses. Negligent driving behaviors in California put cyclists at risk every day, but we are here to help you hold these reckless drivers accountable for the damages they inflict.
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with a trusted member of our team. We can help you start your recovery journey by scheduling a consultation with an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer near you. All consultations are carried out by an experienced attorney, and we speak English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Spanish to accommodate many families within California’s diverse communities.
What Can a California Bicycle Accident Attorney Do for Me?
Managing the aftermath of your bicycle accident can be overwhelming, especially if you tackle the litigation process alone. The average person may be unprepared to assemble all the evidence to demonstrate fault and justify their requested damages. They will also lack the know-how needed to go toe-to-toe with insurance company representatives, who will be aggressively seeking to minimize any settlement to the extent possible.
By working with an attorney, you gain a team of reliable professionals who can oversee every step of your financial recovery process, ensuring that your best interests are protected every step of the way. Having a legal team at your back means you have access to many resources during your claim process, including the benefits and services listed below.
An attorney can manage all communication with other parties involved in your claim. You may need to deal with the negligent party, their insurer, or other third parties during the course of your claim and possible litigation. Without legal experience, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed — or to say something that could hurt your ability to seek all damages.
Document Preparation and Filing
Completing paperwork is not only tedious, but it also invites countless chances for errors or oversights. The average person has little to no experience completing documents related to claims or filing a lawsuit. With an attorney team at your side, you can entrust that all documents will be filled completely and accurately, saving you time and stress while furthering your chances of obtaining the maximum amount of compensation.
Help You Understand the Relevant Laws, Processes, and Prior Rulings to Bicycle Accidents in California
Legal knowledge can be quite different on paper compared to in practice. Experienced attorneys are familiar with the most-effective strategies for seeking compensation, and they are prepared to optimize your case based on these factors. Your legal strategy may also be custom-fit to a specific court system, district, judge, or insurance carrier.
Without the valuable knowledge of an attorney, you may be left settling with an undervalued claim. A recent survey has shown that the average personal injury settlement increases by tens of thousands of dollars when the victim hires representation. A legal team can watch your back and use extensively practiced skills to advocate for you in a settlement negotiation.
Thorough Investigation of Your Accident and Available Evidence
Reviewing evidence is an essential task for an attorney to fully understand the details of your accident, including the sequence of events and who may hold fault for your injuries. Your attorney team will investigate the details of your claim, including how your injury happened, what actions led to it, and whether anyone involved committed acts of negligence. This evidence not only benefits the strength of your claim, but it can also prepare your case for a possible jury trial.
Aggressively Negotiate a Fair Settlement on Your Behalf
Negotiating with an insurance company is not something most people will have to do with any frequency in their lives. When filing an injury claim, they enter the situation largely unprepared for the strategies that the insurance company may wield against them. An attorney is prepared for these tactics, and they also know the types of evidence and legal arguments that can compel an insurer to offer forth a reasonable settlement.
What Damages Can Be Recovered from a Bicycle Accident?
California bicycle accidents are on the rise, and 2016-2018 was the highest increase in bicycle accidents within a 3-year period since the 1990s. This healthy hobby can be a great way to get your daily exercise in, but when motor vehicles don’t share the road, life-altering injuries can occur.
The damages you recover heavily depend on the unique factors of your case, including the severity of the collision, the negligent party’s insurance coverage, and the representation you’ve hired. Your settlement will likely include both economic and non-economic damages. The most accurate way to fully understand what kind of damages you should fight to recover is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Economic damages have an objective, measurable monetary value. Typically, most expenses incurred in an injury case will be considered as economic damages, which includes expenses like medical bills, lost wages, future medical treatment, and restitution for property damage.
Non-economic damages do not have set monetary values, and can be harder to valuate since the losses are considered as subjective. These damages can be effectively demonstrated, however, by keeping track of ongoing debilitation caused by an injury, such as by maintaining a “pain journal” and documenting the activities you are unable to participate in while you heal. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.
This type of award is only granted in court cases when a trial jury determines it is appropriate to do so. Punitive damages are meant to make an example out of the defendant and deter others from similar egregious behaviors. For example, if a driver hit a bicyclist out of road rage, their intentionally harmful behavior may be considered as grounds for seeking punitive damages.
Common Injuries Experienced After a Bicycle Accident
A bicycle accident affects everyone differently, and many factors, like speed, may affect the severity of your injuries. A bicyclist has no protection in an accident, which can make serious injuries more common. Sometimes, a cyclist may even feel like they luckily walked away unharmed, only to feel the effects of the accident later.
It is important to note that even a minor collision with a traditional passenger vehicle can physically harm a cyclist. Because of the overall lack of protection, a minor impact can cause more damage than one might expect.
A bicycle accident can result in a wide variety of injuries, but some of the most commonly treated ones include:
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck or spine injuries
- Nerve damage
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal bleeding
What Steps Should I Take After a Bicycle Accident?
Following the steps listed below can help you solidify the details of your story and protect the validity of your claim moving forward.
Above all else, remember that preserving as much evidence as possible can benefit your case. The best rule is to never throw any document away, and collect every medical document, insurance communication, and other information you are presented with to give to your attorney.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention After Your Accident
As the victim of a bicycle accident, it is important to receive medical attention as soon as possible. The impact of a vehicle hitting a cyclist at full force can inflict serious injuries, even to people who believe they walked away unharmed.
During an accident, adrenaline is released into the body, which may block any sensation of pain, leaving you unable to identify your injuries for hours after impact. Many people walk around with injuries like broken bones or concussions without even knowing it, simply because adrenaline blocks the pain.
Never wait on seeking medical attention. If you were injured because of a negligent party’s actions, by waiting to treat your injuries, you may worsen your condition, giving the negligent party’s representation a way to argue that they can’t be held responsible for the full extent of your damages. Further, you will want a medical report fully documenting your condition in close proximity to the accident. Always save a copy of your doctor’s discharge papers and medical documentation, as well as any records or other receipts of the treatment you received.
Request the Negligent Party’s Insurance Information
Always exchange information with the driver (or drivers) involved in your collision. You may be unable to obtain this information at a later date if not. Make sure that you also obtain the driver’s name, if different than the name listed on the policy.
In cases where the other party chooses not to cooperate, it is essential that you gather as much evidence as you can, including things like their vehicle license plate and the impact marks they left. Write down a description of the driver and any name provided as soon as possible. For cases where the negligent party attempts a hit and run, call the police immediately.
Document All Possible Evidence
If you are physically capable, it is important to take as many photos and videos of the scene as you can. Keep in mind that once the accident has been cleaned up, there are limited means to accurately reproduce it without photos and videos. Remember to capture small details like debris and tire marks, as well as photos of the damage to your bike and any injuries to your person. Try to get a photo of the scene as a whole, showing clearly where the accident took place and the vehicle’s relative position therein.
It is important that you also document the extent of your injuries. Try to take photos every 12 hours as your injuries develop. Document any damaged property like torn clothes or scratches on your bicycle. Save these photos and any physical documents you receive, and provide them to your attorney to see what can be used to build your case.
Scan the Scene for Witnesses
It is likely some bystanders will gather around an accident to watch the events unfold. First responders will also be looking for any witnesses, as well. If police presence does not arrive quickly enough, you can always ask witnesses to stick around to give a statement or offer to take their contact information and relay it to police officers once they arrive. Make sure you get the witnesses’ full name and the best means to contact them should you need more follow-up in the future.
Witness statements aren’t always necessary, but they can definitely help everyone involved paint a clearer picture of what happened immediately before and during accident. They can be used to shed light on the negligence committed by the other party, solidifying evidence and statements that would otherwise be inconclusive or unverifiable.
Call a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Filing notice of a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer is an important next step, but first you want to secure your own legal representation. Insurers will often attempt to lead claimants into admitting fault or giving up information they are not required to, possibly hurting the claimant’s potential settlement value. An attorney can not only help injury victims avoid common mistakes, but they can also handle most communications on your behalf.
When you secure a legal team after your bicycle collision, you gain the resources you need to maximize your chances of successful recovery while simultaneously making the claims process easier to manage. An attorney will oversee every step, ensuring that your needs are accounted for and heard by all parties.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident in California? Call Singh Ahluwalia Attorneys at Law
If you were hurt because of the negligent actions of another person, you have the right to seek compensation for damages that you endured. Without a skilled attorney at your side, fighting for a personal injury settlement may be more difficult and time-consuming. The professional experience of a bicycle accident attorney can protect you along the way, while also helping you feel supported and confident throughout your financial recovery process.
Call (559) 878-4958 or Contact us online to speak with a trusted member of our team that can help you get started by scheduling a consultation with an attorney. All consultations are carried out by an experienced attorney, and we speak English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Spanish.