A person riding a bicycle is no match for a negligent driver on the road. Despite the added vulnerability of bikes, a report found that 32 percent of Americans over age three rode a bicycle at least one day in the past year. The number of people bicycling to work also increased in the U.S. by 64 percent from 2000 to 2012. Tragically, a careless or unpredictable mistake by a person in a motor vehicle can cause a deadly bicycle accident in a single moment.
As San Diego’s oldest plaintiff’s law firm, we have been protecting the rights of catastrophically injured bike riders for decades. Our San Diego personal injury attorneys also represent families whose loved ones were killed in crashes involving careless motorists. We apply our vast experience with cutting edge technology to determine how each collision happened and the negligence that caused it. CaseyGerry has recovered seven-figure results for clients hurt in bicycle crashes.
When a person is injured or killed in a bicycle accident, the consequences reach far beyond the medical bills and crash-related expenses. The impact on the person’s family is also catastrophic. As their advocates, we help people face these devastating tragedies while bringing our extensive experience, track record of results, and collision knowledge to their case.
At CaseyGerry, we pride ourselves in undertaking thorough investigations and analyses, leaving no stone unturned and committing to holding responsible parties accountable. Using our time-tested investigation process, we help victims and their families maximize their recovery of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and fair compensation for their pain and suffering. We stay aware of any changes to state and federal laws and court systems that may affect their cases. Most importantly, our firm treats each person we help with compassion, because we know what they’re going through.
There are many ways that bicycles can be involved in an accident. For example:
Bicycle accident claims are commonly filed for the following injuries:
The impact of a bicycle accident can cause severe breaks or bone fractures when a cyclist is hit or thrown. Surgery or a cast is often required to facilitate healing, as well as physical therapy and other ongoing treatment.
Explosions within the vehicle that hit a bicyclist or a nearby car, exposure to debris, contact with a live current, or dangerous chemicals that leaked can all lead to a severe burn injury in a bicycle accident.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are the primary cause of bicycle accident fatalities and long-term disabilities. Even with a helmet on, bicyclists can suffer a TBI when their head hits the ground or another object on the way down.
Head and neck pain are prevalent complaints following a bicycle accident. Victims often suffer a strain or sprain of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the neck or whiplash. Symptoms may include severe neck pain, headaches, and dizziness. Pinched nerves and herniated discs can also occur, which may result in chronic pain.
The spine can suffer a great deal of stress in a bicycle accident, which can cause severe injuries. Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can vary in severity but may require surgical intervention, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and other treatment.
With a complete SCI, the victim will have permanent neurological damage and will not have motor or sensory function below the injury site.
A catastrophic injury such as a loss of a limb can occur in severe bicycle accidents, causing the victim to suffer permanent pain and lifelong disability.
The impact of a bicycle accident or the body being thrown can damage internal organs. This type of injury can quickly become life-threatening if not treated immediately.
Technically, road rash means abrasions and lacerations from when skin is scraped across a surface like pavement. Particles and debris can become stuck in the injured area and cause a lot of pain as well as a serious infection in some cases.
Lacerations, road rash, burns, and other injuries to the skin can result in lifelong scarring or disfigurement. As a result, a bicyclist’s physical appearance may be permanently changed.
When a motorist’s negligence causes an accident that results in a bicyclist fatality, it is considered a wrongful death. Therefore, the bicyclist’s surviving family has the right to hold the at-fault party accountable by pursuing a wrongful death claim.
When another party is at-fault for your bicycle accident, you have the right to pursue compensation for:
Past and Future Medical Costs
To cover any costs related to your injury, including emergency care, surgery, hospitalizations, in-home care, prescription medications, physical therapy, etc.
Past and Future Lost Wages
The amount of income you have lost and are anticipated to lose in the future from being unable to work while you recover.
Diminished Earning Capacity
If there is a difference in the level of income, you can earn now compared to before the bicycle accident due to your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for the physical pain caused by the accident, loss of enjoyment of life, or disability if you suffer any permanent impairments.
If the bicycle accident caused any psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD, etc.
The court may also choose to award punitive damages if the defendant (at-fault party) acted with an extreme disregard for the safety of others. This type of compensation is meant to punish the defendant and warn others against similar behavior.
After a bicycle accident, you may feel overwhelmed and in pain. Try to stay calm and take the following steps:
Contact an experienced bicycle litigation lawyer as soon as reasonably possible, recognizing that proper medical care should be your first priority. CaseyGerry has two full-time investigators to investigate bicycle accident cases. Acting quickly to preserve evidence is critical to fully protecting your rights. Nowadays, there are cameras seemingly everywhere, but it is common to loop the video so it is written over and erased in a short while. Skid marks may fade in a matter of days. Timely and proper investigation to preserve evidence is critical to protect your rights.
Bicycle accidents with injuries are personal injury cases, so the injured cyclist or surviving family (if the victim died) has two years from the accident to file a claim in California. If the bicyclist is a minor, the two-year period does not start until they turn 18. However, if the at-fault party is a government-owned entity, you have only six months after the accident to file a claim, regardless of whether you are a minor!
Never speak with an adjuster before consulting an experienced bicycle accident attorney. The adjuster’s job is to minimize payouts by the insurance company, and they are looking for information they can use to reduce the amount paid to satisfy your claim. Let your lawyer speak to the insurance company, and avoid any misunderstanding being used against you. Do not agree to be recorded. Never speak to or accept recommendations from an insurance adjuster or offer any information about your bicycle accident. You may not know all of the circumstances, nor the full extent of your injuries at the outset. Protect your rights by speaking to an experienced bicycle accident attorney first. CaseyGerry bicycle accident lawyers can be reached at (619) 238-1811.