If you or someone you love was injured in a bicycle accident, it could be a stressful experience trying to figure out who will pay for your injuries. Understandably, one of the main questions we get is, How much compensation will I get for a bike accident?
Like other types of personal injury events and accidents, the compensation you receive will vary significantly from case to case. It all depends on the circumstances of your accident, the severity of your injuries, and who was at fault.
To learn more about pursuing a claim for injuries in an accident, speak with an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer at Wells Call Injury Lawyers today.
Potential Recoverable Damages in a Bicycle Accident
One of the main factors that will determine the value of your claim is your damages. Damages refer to your injuries and other losses that you are seeking compensation for in your claim. In a bicycle accident, these damages could include:
- Ambulance transportation;
- Hospital bills;
- Diagnostic tests;
- Prescription medication;
- Medical equipment, including crutches;
- Follow up medical treatment;
- At-home care;
- Property damage, such as your bicycle and other gear;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of consortium;
- Loss of enjoyment;
- Disfigurement, such as scarring;
- Disability; and
- Wrongful death.
In limited situations, you might be eligible to ask for punitive damages. Punitive damages are reserved for cases where the defendant’s actions were grossly negligent or intentional, such as drinking and driving.
The amount of your damages will be proportionate to the severity of your injuries and how long your treatment lasted. If you sustained soft tissue injuries and fully healed within a couple of months, your claim value will be less than someone who sustained severe leg injuries and cannot walk again without pain.
Determining the Value of Your Bicycle
Determining the value of a bicycle in an accident works differently than vehicles or even calculating your medical bills.
There isn’t necessarily a quick and straightforward way to determine your bicycle’s value. If you made significant modifications or have a discontinued bike, it can be more complicated to develop a figure. Not all bicycles are the same, obviously.
The value of a beach cruiser will be significantly different than a customized racing bike.
Performance bicycles can have a lot of optional gear that can add up quickly when damaged, including onboard computers, high-end tires, specialized bag systems, etc.
If you have receipts for everything you purchased, these are helpful. Perhaps the store or a repair shop might have some records of any work done or purchases you made.
After the accident, be sure to take photos of your bicycle and all the damage. You should also get pictures of your injuries at the scene if you can safely do so without further injuring yourself.
It’s essential to get multiple estimates for the repair costs on your bicycle. You are likely to get a range of estimates, which can help your attorney put together a formal demand amount for the other party’s insurance.
Who Is at Fault for the Accident?
Another factor that will impact your potential compensation is who is at fault for the accident. California is what’s known as a pure comparative negligence state.
That means even if someone is partially at fault for an accident, they can recover damages. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you are deemed to be 10% at fault, it means you could recover 90% of your damages from the driver who hit you. If you were 60% at fault, it means you could recover 40% of your injuries.
The critical thing to remember, though, is that comparative negligence works both ways. If you are 10% at fault, the driver could attempt to go after you for 10% of their damages. Using the second example, they could pursue 60% of their damages from you.
Working with a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle accident claims can be complicated. You should not attempt to handle your claim without a legal advocate on your side. Insurance companies know you don’t deal with these legal issues regularly, and some unscrupulous claims representatives may use that to their advantage.
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to try and place additional blame on you or offer you an amount that is far less than your claim is worth. When our lawyers represent your interests, we will ensure the evaluation of your claim’s value is accurate.
We conduct an independent investigation and work to preserve all evidence early on in the case. Our priority is to present the strongest case possible to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
To learn more about how a California bicycle accident attorney can help, contact Wells Call Injury Lawyers today. We have seven offices conveniently located around Northern California.
Our firm has been in business for almost 40 years, and we’ve successfully recovered over a half-billion dollars for our clients. Call us today to schedule an initial consultation.
Let us protect your rights and fight for the money you are owed in an injury bicycle accident.