Aggressive Legal Representation For Bicycle Accident Victims
Bicyclists are far more vulnerable on the road than auto drivers, and it seems like bicyclists ought to have some special consideration under the law. California’s vehicle code actually says that bicycles have the same rights and responsibilities as cars, trucks, motorcycles, and all of those other, much larger vehicles they share the road with. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), California has the highest number of bicycle accident fatalities in the nation, and the number of fatalities has risen each year since 2010. In light of these statistics, the state has added more laws intended to protect bicyclists, but the fact remains that a bicycle is a small, human-powered vehicle sharing road space with much larger and more powerful vehicles, and regardless of whose fault an accident between a bicycle and a motor vehicle may be, the bicyclist is the one most likely to suffer serious injuries.
What To Do After A Bike Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident where your bicycle and a motor vehicle collided, it’s important that you consult an attorney as soon as possible, and definitely before you speak to the other party’s insurance adjustor. Write down anything and everything you can remember about the accident: Traffic, weather, and road conditions, approximate speeds, directions, and any other relevant details. Also make note of and report any injuries, even if they seem small, or you don’t notice them for a day or two after the accident. In some cases, injuries worsen over time, and in other cases, an accident victim may to be stressed to notice an injury at the scene. Even if you don’t require emergency treatment after an accident and you think you’re fine, you should be seen by your physician or at a clinic as soon after as possible, especially if your head got bumped or hit the ground.
Do I Really Need An Attorney?
The answer is a loud, clear “YES!” and there are a couple of very good reasons. First of all, in bicycle accidents, like in car accidents, liability is determined by learning which party was not following the rules of the road and caused the accident. Unlike auto accidents, though, where one driver is most often found to be at fault, in cases of bicycle accidents, liability is more likely to be split. That could mean that each party would be responsible for their own damages, or worse, if you’re assigned a majority share of the liability, you could owe the other party for their damages. An experienced accident attorney can help gather evidence and present an effective legal argument against shared liability.
The other primary reason for you to hire an attorney after a bicycle accident is to keep the insurance companies in line for you. They work very hard to prevent you from hiring an attorney in the first place. Their first approach to you will likely involve them making warm, sympathetic conversation and possibly even admitting their client’s liability. They assure you that they’ll take care of everything and have you back on your wheels in no time. No need to hire an attorney, right, friend? Once they feel confident that you’re not going to hire an attorney, though, those same super-friendly adjustors won’t have time to take your calls, will make excuses not to pay for this or that, they’ll drag their heels, and hope you’ll eventually settle for a ridiculously small settlement, just because you’re sick of dealing with them and want the whole thing over with.
Depending upon your specific case, you may be entitled to compensation for expenses like medical bills and property damage, along with lost wages, and if the other party is found negligent, you may also be entitled to additional compensation for things like emotional suffering, physical pain, and loss of quality of life. If your injuries cause permanent or long-term damage, you may also be entitled to payments for future medical bills and care, and loss of your future income. It’s a complicated matter that arises from a stressful and painful situation. You’ve already got enough pain and aggravation to deal with. Contact the Law Offices of Kevin Cortright for a free consultation and we’ll let you know what your rights and options are. If you’ve got a case, we’ll review and investigate every aspect of your accident and condition to make sure you get all the compensation you have a right to.