What Should I Do If I Get Hit By A Car On My Bike?
Bicycle accident injury victims tend to suffer particularly devastating injuries due to the lack of protection bikes provide. It is difficult enough recovering from serious injuries, without having to fight a personal injury claim. In our combined 65 years of experience as bicycle accident lawyers, we have found that injured cyclists have a number of common questions. We have assembled a list of questions that we are most frequently asked.
Frequently Asked Questions about Bicycle Accidents
1. Should I hire an attorney to handle my bicycle accident injury claim?Absolutely. Bicycle Accident Lawyers work on a contingency basis, which means they are only paid when the client is awarded compensation. The defendant’s insurance company may have told you that you do not need to hire an attorney to represent you, but this is not always true. Remember, insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and they lose money when they have to pay out on claims. While they may say things to lure you into thinking they are on your side, they are not. Remember, they are the defendant’s insurer.
2. Who will pay my medical bills following a bicycle accident? There are several options available for payment of medical bills. Your health insurance may cover some or all of the expenses. Your auto insurance policy may pay for some of the medical bills, if you have medical payments and/or underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. If the defendant driver has auto insurance, it will typically cover your medical bills.
If you do not have health insurance to cover your bills, call our bicycle accident lawyers immediately at (800) 718-4658 for a free consultation. We have a network of doctors who treat our clients on a lien, which means that the doctor is paid when your case is settled. This allows you to receive medical treatment now, with no upfront costs.
3. What if improper repairs or maintenance caused my bicycle accident? If a bicycle shop repaired or performed negligent maintenance on your bicycle, you can file a claim against the shop or individual who did the repairs. You will need to prove causation, however—it will need to be established that the improper repairs directly caused the accident.
4. What if a pothole or other defect in the roadway caused my bike accident? If a road defect caused your accident, you may be able to sue the county or other government entity for negligence. Pursuing a hazardous roadway defect claim can be very complicated, and is one more reason why it is important that you speak with a bicycle accident attorney before moving forward with a claim.
5. What if my child was injured or killed while riding a bicycle? Claims in which children are injured are handled somewhat differently from other personal injury cases. For example, the deadline for filing a lawsuit may be different for children. If your child was killed while riding a bike, you can pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
6. What if I was partly at fault for my bike accident? California is a contributory negligence state, which means that if you were partially responsible for the accident, you may still be able to gain compensation. Your award will be reduced proportional to the percentage of blame that can be attributed to your actions.
7. What damages can I recover in a bicycle accident case? You can obtain compensation for related medical expenses, including physical therapy and ongoing treatment. If your injuries caused you to miss work, you can receive payment for lost wages. Damages can also include: cost of repairing/replacing your bicycle, compensation for pain & suffering, and other non-economic damages.
8. Is there anyone else I can make a claim against, if I am injured in a bike accident? That depends upon who was responsible for the accident. If defect in workmanship of your bicycle was a factor, you may be able to sue the manufacturer. If a shop repaired your bike but did so improperly, you may be able to file a claim against the shop or individual. Finally, if a roadway hazard contributed to the accident, you may be able to file a claim against the government entity responsible.
9. Can I sue the driver of a car that hits me while I’m riding my bicycle? Absolutely! If the driver of the vehicle was at fault for the accident which caused your injuries, you can file a claim against him for damages.
10. What are my rights and responsibilities as a bicycle rider? California law provides a bicycle rider with the same rights and responsibilities as an automobile or another vehicle operator. Therefore, the laws pertaining to bicycle riders fall within the California Vehicle Code and an accident is handled similarly to an automobile accident. Certain exceptions may apply if the bicycle is not actually "ridden" at the time of the accident
11. Are there any special laws that apply to bicyclists? The California Vehicle Code does have some specific sections that apply only to bicycle riders. These laws not only protect a bicycle rider, but also set forth specific responsibilities and duties.
These laws include regulations on such topics as:
- Drinking or using drugs
- while riding;
- Specifics on where the bicyclist may ride and at what speeds;
- Specifics on the equipment a rider is required to have on their bicycle and their person when riding;
- The use of hand signals;
- The use of bicycle lanes;
- The number of riders allowed on a bicycle;
- Specifics on the use of vehicle traffic and turn lanes.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, call (800) 718-4658 for a free consultation with one of the Bicycle Accident Lawyers of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP. We specialize in cycling accidents, giving us the edge to seek maximum compensation for our clients.