You do not need a lawyer for a bicycle accident in Los Angeles. But an attorney familiar with handling these types of cases can help you initiate the legal process to recover damages. The laws that govern the conduct of motorists do not automatically apply to bicyclists.
Bicyclists are at a greater risk of sustaining severe injuries when they suffer an accident.
Having a lawyer on your side means they will investigate what happened, determine liability, and file an insurance claim or lawsuit on your behalf. They will gather sufficient evidence to establish negligence.
In What Ways Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help?
A bicycle accident lawyer can help by identifying the liable parties in the accident. A lawyer can gather evidence and examine the history of all the parties involved. This can be a complex process on your own, especially as you try to heal from your injuries.
Having a lawyer by your side allows you to devote your attention to your medical treatment following your bicycle accident. A lawyer will negotiate and handle communications with the liable party's insurance company. Insurance adjusters will often try and shift the blame to the injured party in a bid to lower the damages they should pay.
A lawyer can prepare you for what the claims process entails. An attorney will also guide you on what you should say if the insurance company asks you for a statement. Your lawyer will also be able to determine the value of your claim by working with various experts such as economists.
Recoverable Compensation You Could Receive After Your Bicycle Accident in LA
The value of your claim following a Los Angeles bicycle accident will be dependent on your economic (out-of-pocket) and non-economic (physical and emotional) damages. These may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Hospital bills
- Rehabilitation (physical therapy)
- Assistive medical devices
- Property damage and cost of repair
- Salary lost due to time off from work
- Reduced earning capacity
- Disfigurement or disability
What Should You Do After a Los Angeles Bicycle Accident?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that approximately 467,000 cyclists sustained injuries in 2015. The first step after a bicycle accident is seeking medical attention. A health care provider can diagnose any injuries that may not seem apparent at the time.
Receiving treatment makes it easier for you to prove that the liable party's negligent or reckless action caused your damages. You may feel fine, but some injuries take hours or days to manifest. Some common types of injuries sustained in bicycle accidents are:
- Road rash
- Back injuries
- Head injuries such as a concussion
- Broken bones
You should also call law enforcement and report the accident. You can later obtain a copy of the police report as an important piece of evidence in your claim.
A lawyer will help you prepare to file a claim against the liable party's insurer. In some cases, the insurer complies with your request for damages. Many times, negotiations occur to come up with a fair settlement. Having a lawyer by your side helps you negotiate for the full amount you need to move forward.
What Happens If You Are Partially At-Fault for the Accident?
California follows a comparative fault system. This means that you can still recover damages even if you are partly responsible for the accident.
For instance, passengers and bicyclists who are minors have to wear a helmet while on a bike. The percentage of fault reduces the amount of damages you can recover. If the percentage of fault exceeds 50%, you cannot recover damages.
A lawyer who handles bicycle accident cases in Los Angeles can analyze the details of your case. They have access to resources and will hire an accident reconstruction specialist who will show the other party caused your accident and should be held responsible.
Statute of Limitations
You have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. In California, you typically have two years from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your chance to recover compensation. A lawyer familiar with the laws and statutes of the state of California can ensure your lawsuit is filed on time in the proper court.
Call a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
You do not need a lawyer for a bicycle accident in Los Angeles. But having an attorney by your side allows you to focus on healing while we take care of everything else. Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis. You pay nothing out of pocket until we win a settlement or court award on you or your loved one's behalf.
Call Dolman Law Group today and get a free consultation regarding your case.