Bicycles provide no physical protection, so riders are highly susceptible to serious injury and even death in the event of an accident. Survivors of bicycle crashes may be left facing large medical and rehabilitation expenses at a time they may be unable to work, and their lives may never be the same.
If you or a loved one was injured or someone has died in a bicycle accident that was due to someone else’s negligence or fault, you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. However, California laws are complicated; insurance companies and their lawyers will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible or even make it seem as if the accident was your fault, so it is difficult to fight for compensation on your own.
Fortunately, there is help available from an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows how to handle bicycle accident claims. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, the attorneys at Neale & Fhima APC have helped thousands of clients win cases in California. Working from offices in Irvine, Dana Point, San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, we are dedicated to providing excellent legal representation to people who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of other parties, and those who have lost loved ones to traumatic accidents.
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss the circumstances of your bicycle accident and determine the best way to move forward to winning the compensation you deserve, so call us today to get started at 888-407-2955.
Bicycle accident cases are complicated and injuries often severe, so it is important to find an attorney you are not only comfortable with but who has the experience and resources needed to win optimum compensation. Here are some reasons why we believe you should choose Neale & Fhima to advocate for you:
Bicycle accidents require careful investigation, and evidence can evaporate quickly, so the sooner you have an attorney working on your behalf, the better. When you retain Neale & Fhima, we immediately start working to build your case. We will:
We provide experienced and aggressive legal representation for personal injury and lemon law claims throughout California, fighting for the compensation our clients deserve.
Turn to our Irvine bicycle accident lawyers at Neale & Fhima today if you were injured in a bicycle accident. Call us today to discuss your case at 888-407-2955.
Proving that another party or parties, (the defendants in the case) were negligent and at fault for causing the accident that resulted in your injuries is essential to winning your bicycle accident case. At the same time, insurance companies and opposition attorneys will try to prove that you were negligent and did something to cause or contribute to the accident. Our attorneys are aware of this and will be prepared to counter their arguments by conducting careful investigations and gathering and preserving evidence.
To prove negligence legally, the following elements must be established:
According to Section 21200 of the California Vehicle Code, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles, including not driving under the influence, giving pedestrians the right-of-way, and obeying traffic signals. In addition, there are special rules motorists must follow, such as giving cyclists at least three feet of space when driving alongside or passing them.
Cyclists must ride with the flow of vehicle traffic unless passing, making a legal left turn, riding on a one-way street, riding on a road that is too narrow, or when the right side of the road is closed due to road construction. If there are designated bicycle lanes, cyclists must use them unless they are making a left turn, passing, avoiding hazards, or approaching an authorized right turn.
Cyclists have the right to completely take a lane, even if they are moving slower than traffic in the following circumstances:
Violations of the rules of the road by both bicyclists and motorists are considered negligence so, depending on the situation, either party could be legally at fault for an accident or found to contribute to the accident. In addition, there may be other parties who may have done something to cause or contribute to the accident. Some examples are:
All potentially liable parties should be named as defendants in the lawsuit, as they all may have insurance and assets that can go toward a settlement.
When another party is found to be negligent, they can be held liable for the damages that result. In a successful bicycle accident personal injury case, you may receive an award, also called damages, as compensation for your losses.
California allows the recovery of compensatory damages that pay you for both your economic damages and non-economic damages.
California does not limit the amount of compensatory economic or non-economic damages that you can recover in personal injury cases, except for California medical malpractice, which caps at $250,000 on pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
Punitive damages. In some rare cases, when it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant has been guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice, you may also be awarded punitive damages, also called exemplary damages in California (section 3294). California law requires that the court take three factors into consideration when evaluating claims for punitive damage awards:
After a serious bicycle accident, you may be confused and have many questions. These can best be addressed at your free initial consultation, but to get started, here are some answers to questions our attorneys are often asked:
What Are the Amounts of Damage Awards for Bicycle Accidents?
There is a wide range of damage amounts that you may receive in a successful bicycle accident lawsuit, from thousands to millions of dollars. The amount you will be awarded depends on the individual factors and circumstances of your case such as the degree of fault, the extent and permanence of your injuries, the costs involved, and the skill and negotiating power of your attorney.
Will car insurance cover my accident?
Your car insurance will not cover a bicycle accident, but the other motorist’s insurance will cover some costs up to the limits of the policy, if you are in an accident with a motor vehicle. California requires all motor vehicle drivers to obtain a minimum amount of insurance coverage, including $15,000 per person, $30,000 per incident, and $5,000 for property damage. However, motor vehicle drivers in Orange County and Irvine generally have higher limits of insurance to compensate you for your injuries.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
If you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still get a partial settlement. California considers pure comparative negligence, where each person is liable for the portion of the damages that they are at fault. For example, if you are 25 percent at fault, and the other party is found to be 75 percent at fault, that party only has to pay 75 percent of the damages.
What if My Loved One Was Killed by a Motorist While Cycling?
California’s wrongful death laws section 377.60 allow surviving family members to file claims to receive compensation if someone’s negligent actions result in the death of their loved one. Damages may include:
How long will it take to settle my case?
The amount of time it takes to settle your case can vary greatly. In cases, when fault is clear and medical treatment has been complete, the insurance companies are willing to negotiate and the cases can settle in weeks. Other cases, such as when there are multiple defendants or very serious injuries, can take a more time to resolve. It may take months or longer to settle, especially if the case goes to trial.
When you have the Neale & Fhima legal team working for you, we will be there to answer your questions and address your concerns throughout the entire legal process. We will always keep you informed on the progress of your case.
Call Our Irvine Bicycle Accident Lawyers for Help Today. In the aftermath of a serious bicycle accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Neale & Fhima are here to help. Call us now at 888-407-2955 for a free initial consultation and allow us to evaluate your case and determine the best way to recover the compensation you need to help rebuild your life.