If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by another person’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, securing compensation can become complicated and involve various parties. Most people that experience a bicycle injury have never had to go through a personal injury claim like this. They may not know that a Long Beach bicycle accident attorney could help them get through the process.
Bicycle crash statistics and injuries
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) says that there were 124 bicyclist fatalities and 11,379 bicyclist injuries across the state during the latest reporting year. A high percentage of bicycle accidents result in serious injuries for the bicyclists. Even when they wear a helmet, a bicyclist does not have much protection from the force of a vehicle slamming into them. It is not uncommon to see the following injuries after a bicycle versus vehicle crash:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
What do bike accident settlement cover?
There are various types of damages a bicycle crash victim may be entitled to. The two primary types are called economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include losses that are calculable. This can include:
- Medical bills for past and future care
- Loss of income if you cannot work while you recover
- Loss of future earnings due to disability
Non-economic damages include losses that are not always as easy to calculate. This can include:
- Emotional and psychological damages
- Mental and physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
Calculating these damages often takes the help of a bike accident attorney who can work with qualified medical and economic professionals to determine the extent of your injuries and losses. Many people underestimate the full extent of their losses and accept a much lower settlement than they are entitled to.
Who is going to pay for these damages?
The at-fault party will be responsible for covering the damages for your bicycle accident injuries. If you are struck by a driver who has insurance, you will need to consider their coverage limits. Many drivers have only the minimum coverage required by the state. This includes bodily injury liability coverage of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per incident. If this does not cover the total amount of your losses, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
What will an attorney help you do in these cases?
A qualified and experienced Long Beach personal injury attorney will understand that these cases often require extensive investigation. It is not always clear who was at-fault in a bicycle accident case. Even if it is fairly straightforward, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier is not going to willingly hand over a large settlement. A bicycle accident lawyer in Long Beach can help clearly show who was at fault by gathering all of the evidence from the crash, including photos, video surveillance, eyewitness statements, accident reports, and more. An attorney will them handle all negotiations between you and the other party’s insurance carrier or legal team.
What if I do not receive a fair settlement?
If the other driver’s insurance carrier does not offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the insurance company or the at-fault driver.