Santa Ana is the second largest city in Orange County, California. The gorgeous weather is perfect for sports such as bicycle riding, but the heavy traffic can make accidents likely. When bicyclists are struck by cars, trucks or SUV’s, they are more likely to suffer serious injuries than those riding in passenger vehicles. Below is an overview of how California personal injury law can help those seeking compensation after a bicycle accident.

How Accidents Happen

Bicycle riders must adhere to the same rules of the road as those driving vehicles. This means they must practice reasonable care to avoid being hurt in an accident, just like those driving cars. However, the majority of bicyclists are hurt by drivers who did not see them before proceeding. The most common ways bicycle accidents occur are:

  • When Bicyclists Travel Through Intersections
  • When A Car Door Is Opened Suddenly
  • When A Driver Backs Into A Bicyclist
  • When Drivers Are Distracted
  • When Drivers Fail To Obey The Speed Limit

Types Of Injuries

Bicyclists are more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries than those riding in passenger vehicles. This is because they do not have protective metal surrounding them like those riding in cars. The most common accident injuries include:

  • Brain Injuries
  • Neck And Back Injuries
  • Broken Bones
  • Damage To Internal Organs
  • Facial Fractures
  • Spinal Cord Injuries Leading To Full Or Partial Paralysis

Time Frame For Filing A Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are hurt in a bicycle accident in California, you only have a certain amount of time in which to file a lawsuit for your injuries. California law gives accident victims 2 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injuries. If you were hurt by a government employee, the time frame may be significantly less which is why it is best to speak with a personal injury lawyer for advice.

Damages

If you are successful in your lawsuit, you may obtain compensation for many different types of damages such as:

  • Emergency Room Costs
  • Medical Bills
  • Hospital Fees
  • Cost Of Doctor Visits
  • Reimbursement For Medical Devices
  • Lost Income
  • Future Lost Income If You Are Disabled Due To The Accident

Proving Fault

In order to be awarded compensation for your injuries, you must prove the driver was reckless or negligent, causing your injuries. While this is not always an easy task, some things that may point to driver negligence include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving While Operating A Cell Phone Or Other Mobile Device
  • Driving While Intoxicated
  • Operating A Vehicle After Taking Illegal Or Prescription Drugs
  • Failing To Look For Bicyclists Before Opening Their Car Door

What A Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Do

Having an experienced bicycle accident lawyer working for you is a good way to take charge of your financial future after being injured. Personal injury law can be confusing and the legal process difficult to navigate, which is why it may be best to seek the advice of a lawyer. Some things a lawyer may be able to do to help you are:

  • Investigating The Accident
  • Speaking With Your Doctors To Prove The Severity Of Your Injuries
  • Obtaining Copies Of Police Reports Regarding The Accident
  • Entering Into Negotiation With The At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
  • Filing Lawsuit Documents With The Court
  • Attending Hearings And Trials With You

While bicycle accidents are always stressful, it may be helpful to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice. After examining the evidence surrounding your case, a lawyer will let you know if you have a valid claim. If you move ahead with a lawsuit, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement before going to trial. Having a lawyer to look out for you is the best way to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with personal injury cases.