Huntington Beach Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycles are immensely popular in California. Many people ride their bikes solely for pleasure and exercise, while others use them as alternative transportation to and from work each day. Bicycles are beneficial because they can potentially help the environment by cutting vehicle emissions and are an accessible form of transportation for many people living in the Huntington Beach, CA area. However, they are also much more vulnerable than motor vehicles, especially when ridden on busy roads. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries in a bicycle accident, it is vital to know your legal options when it comes to recovering compensation for your damages.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have extensive professional experience handling complex bike accident and motor vehicle accident claims in the Huntington Beach, CA area. If you believe a negligent driver or other party is legally responsible for your recent bicycle accident, we can help you hold them accountable with a personal injury claim. Having skilled legal representation on your side can make your recovery much easier.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident?
If a negligent driver or other party caused your bicycle accident, and their fault for the incident seems immediately clear, this does not mean you will experience a simple legal process of obtaining compensation for your losses. In fact, attempting to manage a civil claim on your own without a lawyer can be incredibly difficult. You could make procedural mistakes when filing your complaint with the court, or you may overlook compensation you are legally entitled to claim, resulting in lower compensation than you deserve. Hiring an experienced Huntington Beach bicycle accident lawyer will ensure you do not encounter these unfortunate circumstances.
When you secure legal counsel from a reliable team of Huntington Beach bicycle accident lawyers like the attorneys at Easton & Easton, you can focus on your recovery with the peace of mind that comes with knowing your case is in trustworthy hands. We have helped many Huntington Beach, CA clients recover their losses after all types of accidents, including those involving bicycles. We understand the devastating injuries and economic strains these accidents can cause and will do everything we can to hasten and maximize your recovery.
If you do not hire legal representation for your bicycle accident claim, you not only run the risk of collecting much less compensation than you deserve, but also risk jeopardizing your case on a technicality. Additionally, once you settle your claim with the defendant, you cannot go back and revisit the claim later if you believe you settled for less than you should have. In addition, accepting the defendant’s settlement offer will release them from future liability for the claim, so it is vital to get it right the first time and maximize your recovery with the help of an experienced Huntington Beach bicycle accident lawyer.
Potential Damages from a Bicycle Accident
Bicycles may be fun to operate, but they offer their users extraordinarily little protection from crash forces. A bicycle accident involving a motor vehicle will almost always result in some form of injury to the bicyclist, even if the bicyclist is wearing an appropriately fitted helmet and safety pads. Unfortunately, not all drivers extend the same level of courtesy to nearby bicyclists as they do to other drivers, and this inattention may cause serious or even fatal injuries.
When a vehicle strikes a bicycle, the severity of the bicyclist’s injuries typically depends on the speed at which the vehicle was travelling at the time of the accident, and the direction of impact. Bicycle accidents can easily result in broken bones, facial injuries, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. While wearing a helmet can reduce the chance of a rider experiencing a fatal head injury, a helmet may only minimally limit the severity of a head injury from a bicycle accident. As a result, it is common for bicycle accident victims to sustain multiple injuries that result in extensive recovery time.
The immediate damages of a bicycle accident could easily include medical bills and property damage to the victim’s bike. These immediate losses will create a compound effect that can cause serious financial problems for the victim. They may require expensive medical treatment and need an extensive recovery period, during which time they will be unable to work. Medical bills and lost income can make it harder for the victim and their family to pay their bills and manage household expenses. Therefore, it is vital to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after a bicycle accident in Huntington Beach, CA. The sooner you begin working on your case with a reliable attorney, the better your chances of avoiding these financial issues after a bicycle accident.
Claimable Damages in a California Personal Injury Claim
If your bicycle accident occurred because of the negligence of a driver or another party, a personal injury claim offers your best chance of holding them accountable and securing compensation for your losses. An experienced Huntington Beach bicycle accident lawyer can potentially help you recover:
- Medical expenses, including those incurred immediately following your accident as well as anticipated long-term medical costs. A bicycle accident may cause painful injuries that require immediate medical treatment as well as long-term care, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, or other rehabilitative treatments. All medical expenses resulting from a bicycle accident are claimable in a subsequent personal injury claim, so it is essential to work closely with your attorney to determine the full scope of your claimable medical expenses.
- Lost income. Your bicycle accident may prevent you from working for several days, weeks, months, or even years while you recover from your injuries. When a personal injury prevents you from earning income, you can include lost wages in your personal injury claim. If you developed a permanent disability from your accident that prevents you from working at all in the future, your attorney can potentially help you recover your lost future earning capacity. This claim will likely require the help of financial experts, who can calculate the income you would have earned in the future had the accident not occurred.
- Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing your bicycle. You can also claim repair or replacement costs for any other personal items damaged or destroyed in your bicycle accident.
- Pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages are more difficult to prove. However, your attorney can help you gather evidence to make a compelling case for compensation for the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological suffering you endured because of your accident. The amount you receive typically depends on the severity of your injuries and the degree of long-term complications they caused.
If the defendant in your claim was egregiously negligent, acted in a criminal capacity, or intentionally harmed you, you may also receive punitive damages at the judge’s discretion. If the defendant faces criminal charges, the judge overseeing their criminal case could include restitution in their sentencing. Once you discuss your claim with an experienced Huntington Beach bicycle accident lawyer, they can help you better understand what type of compensation you could secure from a successful claim.
How Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?
Bicycle accidents can happen anywhere in California for a variety of distinct reasons. However, the leading cause of all motor vehicle accidents across the country is distracted driving. When drivers fail to pay attention to the road, use their cell phones behind the wheel, or divert their attention for even a few seconds, they can easily cause devastating accidents with bicyclists. Bicycles are smaller, harder to see, and make almost no noise compared to motor vehicles. In California, bicycles may use the road the same as motor vehicles unless local laws specifically indicate otherwise. Drivers may also cause bicycle accidents when they fail to yield the right-of-way as required.
You may have grounds for a personal injury claim for your recent bicycle accident if the accident occurred due to:
- Distracted driving. All drivers have a duty of care to pay attention to the road while operating their vehicles.
- Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. This is not only dangerous but illegal, and a driver who causes an accident due to DUI will face criminal prosecution as well as civil liability for the victim’s damages.
- Poor visibility. Bicycles are smaller and harder to see than other vehicles, and they are especially difficult to see at night. All bicyclists should add reflectors to their bikes to be as visible as possible in low light or nighttime. Drivers should exercise additional caution during these times.
- A defective product. If your bicycle suddenly malfunctioned and caused your accident, you could have grounds for a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Success with this type of claim will require proving the accident occurred because of the defective product in question and not some other cause.
- Intentionally harmful conduct. If a driver intentionally causes a collision with a bicyclist they could face severe criminal charges, including attempted murder depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you believe your recent bicycle accident reflects one of these scenarios, it is essential to speak with an experienced Huntington Beach bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible to begin building your personal injury claim.