A Bicycle Accident Creates Many Problems And Lots Of Questions
No one knows bike accidents quite the way as Scott Sumner does. He is an accomplished personal injury lawyer, and he has himself been the victim – twice – of cycling accidents.
At Sumner Law, we understand what you are going through. We understand the anxiety about recovering from your injuries and recovering compensation. Please reach out to us when you are ready to talk to an attorney. Our Walnut Creek firm serves Contra Costa County and the Bay Area.
Whom Can I Seek Compensation From After My Bicycle Accident?
The real question is who or what caused the accident? If a negligent driver hit you, your claim would be against that driver’s insurance. If a truck driver or Uber driver hit you, their employer might be liable. A bicycle manufacturer or bike shop could be at fault for a defect or negligent repair. Or you might have a claim against the city or county for creating road hazards that caused you to crash. Compensation could even come from your own auto insurance policy if your bike accident was a hit-and-run or if the driver was uninsured. We explore all sources of liability and insurance coverage.
How Is Fault Determined In My Bicycle Accident With A Car?
Auto drivers commonly point the finger at the cyclist. In reality, the driver might be mostly at fault. In legal proceedings, each party is assigned a percentage of fault based on evidence presented in court. Under California’s comparative negligence law, compensation is reduced accordingly. If you were deemed 30% at fault, your recovery would be limited to 70% of the damages awarded. It is critical to hire a lawyer who knows how to properly investigate a bicycle accident.
What Should I Say To The Driver’s Insurance Company About My Bicycle Accident Injury?
As little as possible. The claims adjuster is fishing for information they can use to deny or reduce your compensation. Do not discuss fault or go into details about your injuries. Do not agree to a settlement or sign a waiver before you have talked to a lawyer.
Can I Still Recover Compensation In My Bicycle Accident If I Wasn’t Wearing A Helmet?
Yes, you can still recover compensation. Under California’s comparative negligence law, the defense may argue that riding without a helmet was negligent. However, California does not require bicycle helmets for adults, so that fact alone is not a bar to compensation. The defense has the burden to prove that lack of a helmet caused a specific injury (such as brain trauma) or made your injuries worse.
We might argue that a bike helmet would not have made any difference in your case or that the collision would not have occurred at all if not for the driver’s careless or reckless behavior. If the helmet defense succeeds, your compensation would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
We Handle Bike Accident Injuries On A Regular Basis. Reach Out Today.
With 25 years of experience in personal injury law, Scott Sumner knows what to do to protect your rights. We also believe in educating our clients so they can make informed decisions in a complex and adversarial process.