If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. However, every case is different, so here’s what you need to know.
Injured in a Bicycle Accident: Your Guide to Compensation
Some people who are injured in bicycle accidents are entitled to financial compensation. Generally, the circumstances of the accident determine whether you deserve a monetary payout; if your accident was caused (at least partially) by someone else’s negligence, you could have grounds to sue.
Statistically, almost all bicycle accidents resulting in severe injury are caused by a negligent driver. In fact, every year, about 2 percent of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists – and the number has been increasing.
Common Injuries From Bicycle Accidents
The most common injuries (including those that are non-catastrophic) are to the head, and many cyclists suffer from traumatic brain injuries after a bicycle accident. Other common injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Pulled muscles and strains
Some injuries are more severe than others are, but the bottom line is that if you’ve suffered damage due to a bike accident, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit against the person who caused it.
Related: Traumatic brain injury settlements in California
Bicycle Accident Settlements versus Bicycle Accident Lawsuits
The vast majority of bicycle accident cases settle outside of court. That’s because before you file a lawsuit, you generally try to reach a settlement with the other party. You are never under any obligation to accept a settlement – you can always take the case to court – but you do need to know that your Los Angeles personal injury attorney will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve during the negotiation process.
Related: Personal injury information
What is a Bicycle Accident Settlement?
Most people try to reach a settlement with the responsible party’s insurance company before filing a formal lawsuit in court. During this process, attorneys for both sides negotiate back and forth. The at-fault party’s insurance company will most likely try to give you much less than you deserve; your attorney will provide a counteroffer, and the process will continue until you reach an agreement you can live with.
However, if the at-fault insurance company is unwilling to negotiate, you may choose to file a formal lawsuit.
What is a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
When you’re unable to reach a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company, you have the right to file a lawsuit. However, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of your injury – that’s the personal injury statute of limitations in California. (There are a few exceptions, but generally, it’s no more than 24 months.)
If you and your attorney agree that you should file a bicycle accident lawsuit, these are the general steps you’ll follow:
- You hire an attorney. Most people work with the same attorney they worked with during settlement negotiations.
- Both sides will ask each other for evidence and witness information. Both sides can schedule depositions of the opposing party and witnesses. This phase can last several months.
- Trials usually last several days. A judge or jury will determine whether the defendant (the other party) is at-fault for the accident and for the plaintiff’s (your) losses. If the defendant is responsible, the judge or jury will decide how much money to award you in damages.
At any point during the lawsuit process, you and the other party can agree to a settlement. Sometimes when an insurance company discovers that it has no chance of winning at trial (usually after seeing the evidence your side has), it will offer a better settlement than it originally offered during negotiations.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation – and if you are, we can help you get it. Call us at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below for a free consultation. We’ll visit you at home or in the hospital, or you can come to our office or participate in a video conference. We’ll answer your questions and give you the advice you need to start moving forward.