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Northern California Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer can help you or a loved one that’s been injured in a Northern California bicycle accident. My team knows how tough bike accidents can be, both physically and financially. We’ll walk you through your claim and make sure you receive proper care. Contact us today for free consultation to see how we can help you.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

If you spend any amount of time biking in Northern California, you’re probably aware of the likelihood of an accident. But at the same time, every accident is different. So, if your accident was relatively minor, you probably don’t need to worry about taking legal action.

However, in the event that your accident is more serious, my firm can be a big help. We’ll help you by investigating what happened, explaining your options, then guiding you through the legal process. More than anything, we want to make things easier on you. We can handle the legal side of things while you focus on getting better.

What Should You Do?

One of the main questions you probably have after figuring out whether or not you need a lawyer involves what you should do. There’s no legal requirement in California that says you need a lawyer to file an injury claim. But again, having our team can make the process easier.

Still, there’s a few things you’ll need to do right after the accident happens to make sure you have a viable claim. This means doing the following:

  • Get medical help – Call 911 to report the accident so an ambulance can respond and treat any injuries on the scene. Then, go to an emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible. This will treat any immediate injuries, set up a plan for treatment, and document your injuries officially.

  • Get contact and insurance details – Make sure to collect the names and insurance details of everyone involved in the accident. This information is vital for making claims or seeking financial assistance.

  • Collect evidence – Take pictures or videos of the accident scene and any damage to your bike. Having visual proof can help explain what happened during the accident.

  • Don’t admit fault – Avoid saying you caused the accident. Determining who is responsible is complicated, and our team can handle it.

Remember, every case is unique, and the right actions depend on your situation. Our team is here to support you and protect your rights throughout the process.

Who’s Responsible For Your Damages?

Any bicycle accident in Northern California is going to cause some level of damage. As a bicyclist, this usually means injuries and damage to your bike, gear, and other property. All of this is taken into account when you decide to file an injury claim, but the first step is to figure out who is responsible–otherwise known as “liability.”

Liability hinges on negligence, which has four elements:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Causation
  • Damages

Basically, you have to show that the person or party responsible for your accident had a duty to keep you safe, breached that duty, which then caused your accident and injuries.

In a typical bicycle accident scenario, this could happen through:

  • Not respecting shared road space
  • Neglecting to indicate turns or maneuvers when leaving or entering the curb
  • Door-related accidents involving cyclists, where a car door is opened into their path
  • Not yielding
  • Ignoring the right of way
  • Driving while distracted
  • Unsafe merging
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Defective bicycles or parts
  • Inadequately marked bike paths and lanes
  • Issues with road conditions, such as potholes, malfunctioning traffic signals, or faulty streetlights

Most of the time, this means that the driver that collided with you will bear most of the responsibility. However, others could share liability:

  • Local governments
  • Construction or road crews
  • Third drivers
  • Other bicyclists
  • Pedestrians
  • Part or vehicle manufacturers

With so many different causes of accidents, it’s important to look at the specific circumstances that are involved in yours. This will allow you to pinpoint liability–and start the actual claims process.

Damages in a Bicycle Accident Claim

The claims process after a bicycle accident is going to be the same regardless of where it happens in Northern California. Generally, you have two options to file an injury claim:

  • An insurance claim outside of court
  • A personal injury lawsuit inside the court system

The main difference is that the insurance claim process is much less formal than a lawsuit. Also, an insurance company has a lot more influence and power in the claims process, since they control it. While a lawsuit is much more formal and takes more time and effort, it gives you a chance at a higher amount of “damages.” This is just the legal term for your losses, which include things like:

  • Medical expenses – These damages cover your medical bills and other treatment costs, including surgeries, consultations, and treatment.

  • Ongoing care – This can cover ongoing care needs, like therapy, medical devices, and other expenses related to ongoing treatment.

  • Lost Income or earning potential – If your injuries keep you from working or earning as before, these damages cover your financial losses.

  • Property damages – This covers harm to your bike, gear, clothes, and belongings from the accident.

  • Pain and suffering – These damages pay for the physical and mental pain from the accident.

  • Emotional distress – These damages address the mental toll, like anxiety or PTSD, from the accident.

  • Loss of quality of life – These damages address changes in your life after the accident, like activities you can’t do anymore or changes in relationships.

  • Punitive damages – You might get extra damages if the responsible party was extremely careless or intentional, meant to punish them financially.

What Can Make an Effective Case?

As with any accident or injury claim, the amount you ultimately receive hinges on various factors. Not only that, but it also depends on how effectively you present your case. So then, you might be wondering what makes an effective bicycle accident case. Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Evidence – The evidence you can present is going to be very important. This may include photos of the accident scene, damage to your bicycle, and any injuries sustained. Also, obtain contact information from witnesses.

  • Accident reports – It’s crucial to report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the police report. This official documentation can strengthen your claim.

  • Keep records – Maintain detailed records of all medical expenses, including bills, receipts, and any other related costs. Also, document any missed work and lost wages due to the accident.

  • Document the aftermath – Keep records of any ongoing medical treatment, therapy, or rehabilitation related to the accident. This documentation can support your claim for future damages.

  • Be patient – Resolving a bicycle accident claim can take time. Stay patient and persistent throughout the process, and don’t hesitate to follow up with us as needed.

It’s worth repeating that our team can help you through this entire process. With our experience and resources, we can make sure you have the strongest claim possible for your damages and recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter where the accident happens?

No, your rights don’t change regardless of where the accident happens in Northern California. If the accident is caused by the negligence of someone else, you can file an injury claim.

How long do I have to file a claim?

You have two years from the date of the accident to file.

How long does a typical bicycle accident case take?

This differs from case to case, and depends on things like insurance coverage, liability, and how serious the accident is. There’s no set timetable for a claim.

Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer Can Help After a Northern California Bicycle Accident

When you or someone you care about gets hurt in a Northern California bicycle accident, it’s difficult to know how to react. Any accident carries the risk of trauma and injuries, which makes things even tougher. At Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer, our experienced team will be there to support your legal rights and claim. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to get started.