When a bicycle collides with a vehicle in California resulting in injuries to the bicyclist, the bicyclist may be entitled to compensation for his or her damages and losses. In cases where driver negligence or negligence on the part of other individuals or entities is involved, bicyclists may be able to seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related damages.
If you have been injured in a California bicycle accident, you are likely wondering how much compensation you may be able to claim in your case and whether filing a lawsuit is a feasible option. In this article, we will walk you through the average value of California bicycle accident claims and the type of settlement you may be able to receive with the help and guidance of an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer.
What is a Bicycle Injury Claim?
Bicycle injury claims typically arise when individuals are injured in bicycle accidents because of the negligence of others. When such an incident occurs, in an ideal situation, the at-fault driver would have sufficient auto insurance coverage to pay for your medical expenses and other losses. A vast majority of bicycle accident claims are settled outside of court with a very small percentage going to trial.
When the parties involved cannot reach a settlement, going to trial might be the only option. This typically occurs in cases where the victim has suffered catastrophic injuries such as brain damage or paralysis where a case could be worth millions of dollars. An experienced California bicycle accident lawyer can help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.
What is the Average Bicycle Accident Settlement Amount in California?
Often times, it may be challenging to pin down an average amount in a bicycle accident case because each claim has its unique set of facts and circumstances. Some research studies put the average monetary award in California personal injury cases at about $1.8 million. The median verdict is about $114,000.
Bicycle accident settlement amounts could vary significantly depending on a number of factors. The settlement will often depend on the injured person's medical bills, ongoing medical costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering and other damages. Here are some other factors that could impact the value of your case.
Liability: Who Was at Fault?
In California, bicycle injury liability often hinges on determining fault in accidents. Understanding the intricacies of California bicycle law is crucial for injured victims to ascertain whether a negligent driver or other factors may be responsible for their injuries. This detail may be found in an accident report written by police officers to respond to the accident scene. However, a police report is not the only piece of evidence that can help determine liability.
In incidents where both the driver and bicyclist are at fault, for example, independent witnesses or experts can help determine the driver's degree of negligence. When the driver is assigned a higher percentage of negligence, it is likely that his or her insurance company will compensate you for your damages.
Damages: What Was the Extent of Your Injuries?
Damages you can claim are based on the nature and extent of your injuries. You may be able to claim economic damages for losses such as medical expenses and lost income as well as cost of ongoing treatment and loss of earning capacity. An example of non-economic damages is pain and suffering where the victim has suffered physical pain and emotional trauma as a result of the accident.
Insurance: What Are the Policy Limits?
The type if insurance policy that the at-fault party has can also determine the settlement amount in your bicycle accident case. The policy limits will help you understand how much compensation you can seek. For example, if the insurance policy limit is only $15,000, the strategy your lawyer adopts might be very different than when the policy limit is $500,000 or $1 million.
What Factors Affect California Bicycle Accident Settlement Amounts?
Several factors can significantly influence the settlement amount in California bicycle accident cases. These include medical expenses, lost income, other expenses, pain and suffering, and comparative fault to name a few. Below we will examine each of these elements in more detail.
Even the most common bike injuries can lead to traumatic injuries. If you suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident, your medical expenses will likely become an important factor in your compensation. You have the right to recover all medical expenses you incur as a result of the bicycle accident including ambulance costs, doctor office visits, hospital admission, surgeries and procedures, cost of medication, medical devices, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and psychological counseling. In major injury cases, medical expenses alone could add up to millions of dollars.
Your bicycle accident settlement can also include any wages you lost as a result of the crash. In addition to wages for the workdays you missed, you can also seek compensation for reduced earning capacity if you have suffered long-term or lifelong disabilities as a result of your injury. Seeking compensation for lost income in a personal injury claim helps individuals recover their financial stability during the period of recovery, ensuring that they are not burdened by the economic repercussions of their injuries.
You can also include as part of your settlement any other financial losses that are directly related to your accident and injuries including cost of a home care worker, nursing care, housekeeping, childcare, transportation costs and necessary home modifications such as a wheelchair ramp.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to these economic damages, you can also seek non-economic damages such as compensation for your physical pain, mental anguish, and the emotional trauma caused by becoming disabled or disfigured. This financial relief aims to address the emotional and physical distress experienced by the victim due to the accident or incident.
California is a pure comparative negligence state, which means that you can receive compensation for a bicycle accident even if you were partially to blame for the accident. Your settlement or jury award in these cases will be reduced based on your share of fault. For example, if you are determined to be 25% at fault, you will still be entitled to receive 75% of the compensation.
Our California Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you have been injured after a California bicycle accident, it is imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. When you have quality legal representation on your side, your chances of recovering fair and full compensation increase significantly. The experienced bicycle accident lawyer at the Vaziri Law Group, APC will gather evidence to substantiate your claim, work with experts to evaluate your damages and protect you against insurance companies that attempt to minimize the value of your claim. Call our law offices to schedule a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.