A Santa Monica bicycle accident lawyer from Greenberg Gross could help you pursue compensation for your injuries and losses if you got hurt in a bicycle accident in the Santa Monica area. The at-fault party could be responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
Please do not make the mistake of waiting too long to go after the monetary damages you deserve. California only gives you a little time to take legal action.
Why Bicycle Accidents Often Involve Severe Injuries
A person riding a bike does not have the protection of thousands of pounds of metal surrounding them like a person in a car or truck. Therefore, when a vehicle strikes a bicyclist, the body of the bike rider takes the full impact of the collision.
Compounding that situation is the fact that the bicyclist could fly through the air after getting hit. When they land on the pavement, another vehicle, or some other object, they usually suffer additional injuries from that impact. For these reasons, bicycle accidents tend to involve severe and debilitating injuries to the bicyclist. These crashes even have a high rate of fatalities.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
People driving cars and trucks are used to keeping an eye out for other motor vehicles, but they do not tend to notice bicycles quite as readily. This is because bikes are smaller and move differently on the road. They do not take up an entire traffic lane, and they can move between cars quickly.
In addition to the visibility issue, some of the common causes of accidents involving bicycles are:
- Dooring. A bicyclist is pedaling along in the far-right lane or the bike lane. There are cars parked along the road. A person in one of the parked cars throws their door open without checking for bike riders. The door strikes a bicyclist traveling at full speed.
- A person driving a car refuses to share the road with bicyclists or allow a safe distance between their vehicle and a bike.
- A vehicle turns to the right or left or changes lanes without checking for bicycles.
- The driver of a car uses a bike lane to pass other vehicles or enters a bike lane to turn right without yielding to bicycles.
These examples are just a few ways bicycle accidents can happen.
Types of Pursuable Compensation for Injured Bicyclists
When a person gets injured in a bicycle accident, they do not receive a flat compensation rate. Instead, the amount of money a person gets for their injuries and losses will depend on the unique facts and circumstances of their accident.
Common categories of monetary damages in bicycle accident claims include:
- Cost of medical treatment. Starting with the ambulance and the emergency room, your medical bills could also encompass doctors, hospitals, operations, pain management, and physical therapy.
- Long-term care. Because the injuries a person suffers can be life-changing, some people can no longer live independently after one of these crashes. When a person needs daily assistance with their medical treatment and personal care, they might need home health care or have to move into a nursing home.
- Lost wages. Few people can return to work the same day after getting injured in a bicycle accident. If you did not get paid for the time you were unable to work because of your injuries, we can add that financial loss to your claim.
- Lost future wages. You might not be able to make as much money as before your injuries. You might not earn as much income if you have ongoing issues like weakness, chronic pain, and other impairments from your injuries.
- Intangible losses. This category of money damages includes things that might not involve direct out-of-pocket expenses, but they are valid losses, nonetheless. For example, pain and suffering damages compensate for the physical discomfort and emotional distress of getting injured. Disfigurement from extensive scars is another type of intangible loss.
We might be able to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of beneficiaries if your loved one died because of their injuries from the bicycle accident. In addition, wrongful death cases can involve additional types of compensation.
The Filing Deadline in California
California gives you little time to file a lawsuit pursuing compensation from the negligent party who caused the accident. Filing a claim with the insurance company or negotiating to try to settle your claim does not count as filing a lawsuit. Therefore, the only way to satisfy the filing deadline is to file a lawsuit in the appropriate court.
California gives you two years, under CCP § 335.1, to file a personal injury lawsuit and the same amount of time to file a wrongful death lawsuit under CCP § 335.1. If you do not file a lawsuit in time, California law will bar you from holding the negligent party accountable for your losses.
How Our Lawyers Support Injured Victims of Bike Accidents
You do not have to take on the insurance company by yourself. We help people who get injured because of the carelessness of others. Here are a few examples of ways that we can help you hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm they caused:
- We will work directly with the insurance company, providing the information they need to evaluate your claim. However, as soon as you hire an attorney to handle your bicycle accident claim, the defendant and their insurance company are not allowed to contact you.
- We will negotiate to try to reach a fair settlement.
- If the case does not settle, we can file a lawsuit to protect your right to compensation.
- After filing a lawsuit, we can continue negotiating with the insurance company.
- Most personal injury lawsuits settle without having to go to trial.
- We will prepare your case for trial and represent you at trial if the case still needs to be resolved at that point.
- We take all these things off your plate so you can get the rest you need to achieve optimal recovery. All you have to worry about is getting better.
A Santa Monica Bicycle Accident Attorney Can Get Started on Your Claim Today
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a bicycle accident in Santa Monica, a Santa Monica bicycle accident lawyer at Greenberg Gross is ready to get started on your claim today. Contact us to request a consultation to discuss your case and legal options.