Ventura, CA Bicycle Accidents Lawyer
Riding a bicycle, especially in Ventura where the weather is nearly always good, is one of the most pleasant activities there is. Riding a bike can also be a healthy way to get some exercise, as well as an effective means of commuting. But riding a bicycle is hardly a risk-free activity, especially when levels of traffic are high. To be sure, data published by the University of California Berkeley shows that between 2014 and 2018, there were 1,143 reported bicyclist collisions in Ventura County, making it one of the most dangerous places in the state to ride a bike.
At the law offices of Fisher & Talwar, we are committed to policies and actions that lead to safer roads for cyclists and pedestrians. What’s more, we want to make sure that negligent drivers are held liable for the harm that they cause. If you have been injured in a cycling accident, our Ventura, California bicycle accidents lawyers want to help you recover the compensation award you deserve. Please call our law firm today to learn more about how we can help.
How Bicycle Accidents Happen
Understanding why bicycle accidents happen is important for two reasons: first, knowing what needs to change in order to prevent bicycle accidents and, second, knowing who to hold liable for damages when a bicycle accident occurs.
Bicycle accidents are usually the result of the cyclist’s or the driver’s negligence. A cyclist may contribute to a crash by failing to follow the rules of riding on the road, performing an illegal maneuver, or riding while distracted or impaired.
Drivers are often guilty of causing crashes, and do so when they fail to exercise the degree of care that is required. Examples of drivers’ actions that can lead to cyclist injury include driving while distracted, driving while drunk, following too closely, failing to provide a cyclist an adequate amount of room when passing, failing to check blind spots, making a right-hand turn into the path of a cyclist who’s traveling straight through an intersection, and driving aggressively.
In some cases, other factors may cause or contribute to a cycling accident, such as a broken traffic light, a road defect, or a defective vehicle or bike part.
Bicycle Accidents Lead To Tragic Injuries
When a bicycle accident occurs, it is almost always the cyclist who is most severely injured. Cyclists have few no protections to prevent injuries, unlike motorists who have the frames of their vehicles, seatbelts, airbags, and the like. In some cases, a cyclist may not even be helmeted. As such, if a cyclist is hit with force, they may suffer injuries such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries, which can cause permanent cognitive disabilities;
- Soft tissues injuries;
- Bone fracture injuries;
- Severe road rash/burn injuries;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Spinal cord injury, which may lead to permanent paralysis;
- Internal injuries; and
- Psychological injuries.
These injuries cause pain, suffering, and, often, emotional distress. In addition, they are expensive, resulting in high medical bills and lost wages.
Damages Recoverable In A Bicycle Accident Case
When you’ve been struck by a car and have suffered any of the injuries listed above–or a combination of injuries–your life will no doubt be dramatically changed. Tragically, sometimes injuries impact a person long-term or for the remainder of their life. As such, a victim of a bicycle crash deserves to be compensated in full for both their current and future economic and noneconomic losses. Our Ventura, CA bicycle accident lawyers will work hard to get you the settlement you deserve. Types of damages that are recoverable in bicycle accident claims include:
- Medical expenses. The bulk of a person’s economic damages following a bicycle accident claim will be in the form of medical expenses. Medical expenses might include emergency medical expenses, such as transportation from the crash scene to the hospital in an ambulance; hospital stays; surgeries and treatment; doctors’ visits; medication; physical therapy and rehabilitation; at-home medical equipment; and more. Medical expenses should be paid to a victim in full. This includes the estimated cost of future medical expenses related to injuries incurred in the accident.
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity. When a person is severely injured in a Ventura bicycle accident, their injuries may cause a disability that prevents them from returning to work. Whether a person misses work for two weeks following a crash or two years, they deserve to be compensated in full for the value of their lost wages. Sometimes, injuries are so serious that they not only result in an inability to work, but also a loss of earning capacity. For example, someone who was on track to get a promotion may suffer a traumatic brain injury that makes such a potential possibility impossible. As such, the victim should be compensated for the value of their wages and the wages–and benefits–that they were likely to acquire had the accident not occurred.
- Property damage expenses. While comprising a smaller part of a total compensation award, a cyclist is entitled to compensation for the value of any property damage losses they have suffered as a result of the crash. This might include compensation for a bike, items carried in a bag that was damaged in the crash, and personal items, such as clothing.
Pain, suffering, and emotional distress. The above types of damages listed are all economic damages, which means that they have a real number attached to them and can be easily calculated as such. What’s harder to calculate in a bicycle accident claim are noneconomic damages, such as the value of a person’s pain, suffering, emotional distress, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, etc. While more difficult to calculate, there’s no doubt that a person should be compensated in full for the value of the non-economic losses they have suffered.
Liability For A Bicycle Accident
Determining liability for a bicycle accident is important; a cyclist can only recover compensation for the harm they’ve suffered if they know who’s responsible for the crash and can prove that party’s fault. When you hire the law office of Fisher & Talwar after your crash, the first thing that we’ll do is open an investigation into your crash in order to determine what happened, who’s to blame, and against whom to file a claim.
If you were hit by a negligent driver, you can bring forth a claim for damages against the driver’s liability insurance party, or you can file a lawsuit against the driver themselves. We will gather evidence to help you prove that the driver breached their duty of care owed to you, that the breach of the duty of care was the direct cause of your accident, and that you’ve suffered damages as a result.
Our lawyers will also be responsible for hiring any experts necessary to build your claim or prove fault, as well as calculating your damages and negotiating your settlement.
What To Do After A Bicycle Accident In Ventura
A bicycle accident will no doubt be a shocking experience. It may be so jarring that you have no idea how to proceed. You may also be injured to the point where taking any immediate actions is impossible (in which case, a loved one should intervene on your behalf to call an attorney). While you may feel frustrated, saddened, and overwhelmed, having an idea of what to expect and what’s expected of you in the aftermath of a crash is important.
First, you should be sure that you call the police and report your accident as soon as it happens. While at the scene, gather any evidence that you can based on your injuries. Photographs are a great form of evidence – take as many pictures as possible. Be sure to get the names of any witnesses if possible, as well as the contact and insurance information of the driver who hit you.
You should also seek medical care immediately following the accident. Be sure to keep documentation of all of the care received, and to follow your doctor’s orders – if you don’t, the insurance company could argue that you didn’t do your due diligence. We also recommend keeping a journal about your injuries and recovery.
After your accident, you should contact the insurance company to report what happened. In the days after this, you’ll likely be contacted and asked to give a statement. Remember that an insurance adjuster is not on your side. Do not give a recorded statement without consulting with an attorney first.
Try to maintain a low profile on social media after your accident, as any digital evidence could be collected and used against you. And, finally, be sure to call a Ventura bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your crash for the legal guidance and support you need.
Call Our Ventura, CA Bicycle Accidents Lawyer Today
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, our Ventura, CA bicycle accidents attorney wants to support you. We understand the degree of damages you’ve suffered and how much your future has been impacted. We will aggressively advocate for your right to compensation after a bicycle accident. Please call our law firm today or send us a message telling us more about your crash and your injuries. We offer free consultations and always work on a contingent-fee basis.