Bakersfield Bicycle Accident Attorney
Many people enjoy biking in Bakersfield, CA. Bicycle riding is not without risks, unfortunately. Bicycle accidents can come from unsafe roads and sidewalks, driver inattentiveness, negligence from bicyclists themselves, and pedestrian negligence. When anyone is on the road in a car, bicycle, motorcycle, or other vehicle, they could suffer an accident and injury. However, those on bicycles face more serious injuries from these accidents, such as skull and bone fractures, traumatic brain injury, and even death.
If you or a loved one was involved in a bicycle accident, you want to know how to handle the resulting damages. In many cases, you could file a personal injury claim. A Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyer is your greatest chance to maximize personal injury or wrongful death claim compensation.
Representing Bicyclists in Bakersfield Accidents
If another party was at fault for your bicycle accident, you can file a claim to cover medical costs, property damages, and lost income. At the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, we can help you with your claim by:
- Determining the at-fault party for your accident
- Gathering evidence from the accident and proof of your damages
- Drafting and filing your claim
- Walking you through each step of the process
- Advocating for your right to compensation through negotiation or litigation
At the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, we have 25 years of experience, and we can use that experience to fight for your rights and maximize the financial benefits that you receive. We are proud to fight for the interests of those injured in the Bakersfield area.
How to Prove Liability in a Bike Accident Claim
Liability in a personal injury claim often rests on negligence laws. If the claim for your bicycle accident relies on the idea of another party’s negligence, your attorney has to establish that party’s failure to exercise reasonable care. To show negligence, the following must be proven:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. Drivers on the road owe each other and others using the road a certain level of duty of care.
- The at-fault party breached their duty of care. If a driver was distracted, under the influence, or driving recklessly, this may be considered a breach.
- This breach of care led to the accident. There has to be a direct cause between the action that was considered a breach of care and the reason the accident happened.
- The accident caused you legally recognized damages. This includes economic and noneconomic damages.
The party may be found negligent for the accident. In other cases, they may be found reckless or even malicious. Your attorney can help find evidence of liability.
What Damages Are Available in a Bicycle Accident Claim?
A bicycle accident often causes serious injury and financial loss. You can get these losses compensated through a wrongful death or personal injury claim. Available damages include:
- Current and future medical costs. You can receive compensation for medication, surgeries, and hospital costs. You can also cover future medical complications from your injury and physical therapy.
- Lost income and lost earning capacity. If you were unable to return to work due to your injury, you may be able to receive a portion of your wages. If your injury prevents you from returning to work or from completing your job duties in the same way, you may be able to claim for future wages or promotions that you won’t receive.
- Property damage. In a bicycle accident, this is usually damage to a bike or other possessions that you had on your person during the accident.
- Pain and suffering. Emotional and physical pain are noneconomic damages that can be argued for in a personal injury claim.
- Funeral and burial costs. If you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident that was the fault of another party, you may be able to cover these costs in a wrongful death claim.
- Loss of consortium. Spouses and registered domestic partners can file for loss of consortium damages if they lost their loved one in a bicycle accident.
- Out-of-pocket expenses. Any monetary costs directly associated with the accident and injury may also be compensable.
- Punitive damages. In some cases, the court will award punitive damages if the at-fault party acted especially recklessly or was intentionally malicious.
Many people in a bicycle accident fail to calculate the potential future costs of medical bills and lost income. This can lead to them accepting a settlement from the at-fault party that is much less than they deserve. When you work with an attorney, they can prevent this. They can accurately calculate your damages and argue for a settlement that covers those costs.
The amount that you can receive in a personal injury case depends on the severity of the injury and recovery. A severe injury could lead to compensation for lifelong medical costs and complications.
Comparative Fault in a Bike Accident Claim
California is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that a party injured in an accident can recover damages even if they are partially responsible for the accident. This is true even if the injured party is determined to be 99% responsible for the accident. The party’s damages are reduced according to the percentage of their fault.
It’s common that both a driver and a cyclist are partially at fault for an accident, but drivers rarely suffer injury. Pure comparative negligence laws are good for injured parties, but they can significantly reduce your compensation. An effective attorney can argue for the least fault percentage possible in your claim.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Bicycle Accident?
Depending on the circumstances of your bicycle accident, there are several parties who could be responsible and be held liable. This includes:
- A Vehicle Driver
A driver must be proven to have acted recklessly or negligently to be held liable for damages. To prove negligence, you must show that there was a breach of care. Drivers on the road owe a duty of care to other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. A breach of this duty of care may include traffic infractions and violations, such as a failure to yield or running a stop sign. It may also include reckless driving, such as speeding and distracted driving. Other illegal actions, like driving under the influence (DUI), are considered a breach of duty of care and are more likely to result in punitive damages. If any of these actions led to the accident that caused a bicyclist’s injuries, the driver can be held liable.
- The City or Property Owners
If a bicycle accident was caused by bad road conditions, the at-fault party may be the city or the other owner of the road. Bike accidents are frequently caused by potholes, cracks in the road, or uneven ground. If the premises owner does not keep the road, sidewalk, or path in reasonable repair, they can be held responsible for your damages. This may include city roads, private roads, and commercial roads.
- A Pedestrian
In some cases, a bicyclist crashes because of a negligent pedestrian. To prove that a pedestrian should be held liable, you have to prove that they owed a duty of care and breached that duty. This may include walking while being distracted, not being aware of their surroundings when crossing a road or lane, or failing to control a dog. If you can prove negligence, the pedestrian may be responsible for damages.
- A Bike Manufacturer
If your bicycle accident was caused because of a defective bike part or an entire defective bicycle, you may be able to hold the manufacturer, designer, or seller liable. Under product liability laws, these parties are liable for injuries caused by faulty products. For this type of personal injury claim, you don’t have to prove negligence. Product designers and manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure that their products are safe for use. If the bicycle was used as intended, you may have a product liability claim that can cover the damages that you suffered as a result of a defective bicycle.
- A Bicyclist
Bicyclists also have a responsibility for a duty of care on the road. If a bicyclist is behaving negligently, they can also be held liable for the accident. It’s likely that this will result in comparative negligence laws. This is because a vehicle driver will rarely suffer significant damages after a bicycle accident. Negligent cyclist behavior includes distracted riding or failing to follow road laws.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Bakersfield Attorney?
Filing a bicycle accident claim is possible without an attorney, but it can be more difficult. It may also not earn you as much compensation. Working with an attorney protects your rights and interests while lessening your stress. After a bicycle accident, it’s likely that you are recovering from serious injuries. Your attorney can handle much of your claim, allowing you time to rest and heal from your accident.
An attorney can:
- Ensure that you establish an at-fault party.
- Gather evidence of fault.
- Meet legal deadlines
- Gather evidence of your economic and noneconomic damages.
- Prepare and file your claim
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Working with an attorney can maximize the compensation that you get from negotiation or litigation.
What Do I Do If I Am in a Bicycle Accident in Bakersfield?
If you are in a bicycle accident, you should:
- Get medical attention if needed.
- Report the accident if anyone is injured or there is significant property damage.
- Gather the information of other parties in the accident.
- Document the accident site with photos.
- Gather contact information of eyewitnesses.
- Never admit to being at fault.
- Get in contact with a bicycle accident attorney.
In a bicycle accident, injuries may take some time to develop. It’s important to seek medical attention, even if you think that you’re fine.
FAQs About Bakersfield, CA Bicycle Accident Laws
How Do I Prove That a Driver Was Liable for Causing My Bakersfield Bicycle Accident?
To prove that a driver is liable for a bicycle accident, a cyclist must demonstrate that they displayed negligence or reckless behavior. To establish negligence, the following has to be proven:
- The driver owed the cyclist a duty of care.
- The driver failed to meet that responsibility of duty of care.
- This failure to meet a duty of care directly caused the accident.
- The accident led to the cyclist suffering economic and noneconomic damages.
Breaches of a duty of care may include speeding, driving under the influence, breaking traffic laws, or driving while distracted.
Can I Seek Compensation If My Child Was Injured in a Bakersfield Bicycle Accident?
If another party was at fault for the accident, you can seek compensation. A negligent or reckless driver or cyclist may be at fault for failing to take the proper duty of care around a child bicycle rider or pedestrian. The owner of the road, sidewalk, or bike path may also be liable. This may include the city or township or a private premises owner. Depending on if another party was at fault for your child’s bicycle accident, you can hold them liable and earn compensation.
What Should You Do If You Have an Accident With a Cyclist?
The most important thing after any accident, including a bicycle accident, is to receive medical care if it’s necessary. When a bicycle and a vehicle get into an accident, it’s very likely that the bicyclist suffered worse injuries. Report the accident and ensure that the in-need parties get medical attention. Then, it’s important to exchange information as soon as possible, and document relevant information about the accident site. This includes taking photos of the accident and getting contact information for eyewitnesses.
Can You File a Claim for a Bike Accident?
You can only file a claim for a bike accident if another party was responsible for the accident. If a driver, bike manufacturer, third party on the road, or road owner failed in their responsibility and caused the accident, you can file a claim against them. A personal injury bicycle accident claim may allow you to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Physical pain
- Lost earning capacity
- Potential future complications
Contact the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, it’s essential to determine if you can file a personal injury claim. Contact the Law Offices of David Davidi, APLC, today to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.