Did You Suffer a Bike Accident?
When a crash occurs between a vehicle and a bicycle in Sherman Oaks, the cyclist will typically suffer the worst injuries.
If you were injured in a bike accident, you know this first hand.
Grappling with the reality of your accident and healing from your injuries should be your primary concern.
With the assistance of a bike accident lawyer in Sherman Oaks, you can leave behind your worries about whether you’ll receive compensation. With every case, we maximize recoveries.
Essential Steps to Take After an Accident
If you were in an accident, it could be challenging to know what to do next.
Creating a checklist of action items can help your claim or lawsuit go smoothly:
- Get medical care;
- File a police report;
- Locate witnesses and get their contact information;
- Document medical care and take photos of your injuries or damaged property;
- Do not speak with an insurance company until after speaking with an attorney; and
- Avoid posting anything on social media.
Making sure these items are taken care of will ultimately help your attorney maximize your recovery.
Bicycle Accident Negligence
The most common basis upon which an injured person may receive compensation is negligence.
If a driver’s negligence caused an accident, they could owe damages to the injured person.
To prove the driver who hit you was negligent and responsible for a crash, you must show that the driver breached their “duty of care” or that they intentionally and recklessly caused your injury.
In addition to showing a breach of duty, you must show that the breach caused your accident.
Common forms of driver negligence that cause bicycle accidents include:
- Driving aggressive or carelessly,
- Driving into a cyclist’s path,
- Opening vehicle doors into a cyclist’s path, and
- Driving under the influence.
If the driver receives a traffic ticket or is charged with a crime at the time of the accident, that can provide strong evidence that the driver breached their duty of care.
Bicycle Accident Damages
When an injured party is legally entitled to recover damages, they can recover for both tangible and intangible harm they suffered from the accident.
Economic damages related to tangible harm and are calculated using bills, receipts, and business or wage records.
Typical economic damages include:
- Medical expenses (past and future),
- Repair or replacement costs of personal property, and
- Loss of earning capacity or wages.
An injured party may also receive damages for missed activities or plans.
If your injuries prevent you from going on a pre-planned vacation or losing costs already incurred, you may be able to recover those costs.
Noneconomic damages are intangible and include things like
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of society.
While we generally think about economic damages before recognizing the noneconomic harm done to us, noneconomic damages can have just as great an impact as economic damages, if not more.
Thus, it is essential to consider these other damages to maximize your recovery.
Applicable California Bicycle Laws
Proving negligence on the other driver’s part is key to recovering in an injury lawsuit.
Still, an insurance company or court will need to consider whether you are also partially liable.
If you share responsibility for the accident, this can reduce your compensation.
As a bicyclist, you owe the same duty of care when riding on the road as a motorist. Similarly, you must abide by all rules and regulations to fulfill that duty.
The following is a summary of some rules a bicyclist must follow in the State of California.
You can find the entirety of California’s state bike laws within Vehicle Code, Article 4.
- A bicyclist must ride in the same direction as traffic, stopping at red lights and traffic signs;
- A bicyclist must use a bike lane if riding slower than traffic flow;
- A bicyclist must yield to pedestrians; and
- A bicyclist must keep one ear uncovered if wearing headphones connected to an electronic device.
In addition to these rules, there are other rules a bicyclist must follow when riding at night, including wearing proper reflective gear.
A bicyclist must understand and follow these rules to avoid potential liability in an accident.
Contact Bike Accident Attorneys in Sherman Oaks, CA
Handling an insurance claim and preparing for litigation is exceedingly complicated, especially after a severe accident.
The attorneys at Starpoint Law are bicycle accident lawyers in Sherman Oaks who will take the burden off your hands.