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Bicycle have recently been gaining immense popularity in the United States as people seek alternatives to increasing gas prices, heavy traffic, pollution from motor vehicles, and strive to be healthier. Though there are numerous benefits to bicycles for everyone, these benefits quickly disappear if riders are involved in a serious or fatal accident. Bicycles, with their lack of protection for riders and much smaller size compared to cars and other vehicles on a shared road, can result in catastrophic injuries even for riders taking all proper safety precautions and riding carefully. Though some accidents are caused by rider error, injuries caused by someone else’s negligence can entitle bicyclists to damages from the responsible party. If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, speak to a Hemet Bicycle Accident Attorney to see if you may be entitled to recover for your injuries.

Hemet Bicycle Accident Facts

Hemet is a relatively small city in Riverside County of 84,277 in 2016. The city is home to numerous biking trails like Simpson Park, Pachea Trail, and Lakeview Trail, and has been encouraging road cycling. This, combined with the warm, dry climate in the area, makes Hemet an attractively destination for bicyclists – and increases the risk of accidents in the area both on and off the roads.

California had more than 140 bicycle fatalities in 2015 and consistently leads the country in them annually. In 2017, bicyclist deaths made up 4 percent of California’s entire traffic fatality toll – and Hemet contribute to that number. In April 2019 a rider was seriously injured on Florida Avenue in front of the Hemet Days Inn after colliding with a motorist. In 2016 a bicyclist was killed in a similar collision on Florida Avenue approaching Western Avenue, and in 2015 a mountain biker died near Simpson Park.

Motor vehicle accidents are a prominent cause of bicyclist injuries and death – distracted driving, speeding, and impaired driving commonly among them. However serious accidents can also be caused by:

  • Loose animals,
  • Defectively manufactured bicycles, and
  • Poorly maintained roads.

Though accidents can be precipitated by different causes, in most cases they could be avoided if someone didn’t behave negligently. You should contact a Hemet Bicycle Accident Lawyer if you were involved in an accident to see if you may be entitled to compensation.

How Do I Win My Case? Negligence

It’s normal to wonder about the process of recovering damages and what your case is worth. Most Hemet bicycle accident victims seek compensation in court by arguing negligence. In California, negligence means proving the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, breached that duty by acting or failing to act when they should have, and the breach caused the victim’s harm. Once these are proven, the defendant is responsible for proven damages to the victim unless a legal defense exists. Because proving causation and breach of duty can be difficult, seeking help from a skilled Hemet bicycle accident attorney is advisable.

Compensatory Damages

Once you establish negligence, you may receive compensatory damages for harms you can prove. These damages are meant to make you whole for different damages suffered in your bicycle accident. Economic damages address concrete injuries victims suffer such as:

  • Lost earning potential,
  • Funeral costs
  • Hospital bills, and
  • Property damage.

Noneconomic damages, conversely, are meant to address injuries a victim suffers that are not always visible and cannot be substantiated adequately by facts and figures. These often deal with emotional, mental, or psychological trauma associated with the accident such as:

  • Loss of consortium,
  • Disfigurement or scarring,
  • Pain and suffering, and
  • Emotional distress.

Punitive Damages

In some cases, victims may also be eligible for punitive damages that punish a defendant’s bad behavior and deter similar behavior from happening again Once clear and convincing evidence shows defendant acted with fraud, malice, or oppression, a judge or jury can decide whether to award such damages and in what amount. Punitive awards are often exponentially larger than compensatory awards to serve their purpose.

It can be difficult to satisfy different and demanding burdens of proof, so getting help from a skilled Hemet Bicycle Accident Attorney to avoid legal pitfalls is advisable.

Can I Recover If I Partly Caused My Accident?

You may still recover even if you partly caused your Hemet bicycle accident. In California, comparative negligence can be used to recover damages if more than one party was responsible. However, a victim’s award will be reduced by how responsible they were for their injuries. Once a court assigns all parties involved a percentage of fault, if you were supposed to recover $200,000 but were 50% responsible for the accident, you can only recover $100,000.

If I Was in a Hemet Bicycle Accident, What Now?

If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, taking a few steps can protect your health and strengthen any future legal claims you bring. Seek medical assistance immediately to be evaluated and treated. Even if you think you weren’t hurt, being seen is important as some injuries don’t present symptoms right away. If the accident involved a motorist, call police and cooperate in giving a statement if possible. Get copies of any accident report and keep copies of all your hospital records and incurred expenses. If you can, take photographs of the accident. Contact a Hemet Bicycle Accident Attorney to see what to do next.

Speak to a Hemet Bicycle Accident Attorney

Contact the skilled Hemet Bicycle Accident attorneys at Walton Law if you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident. Our attorneys have spent years representing victims like you through personalized, dedicated representation and recovered millions in damages for their injuries. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or use our Contact Page to schedule your initial, risk free case evaluation today. There is no obligation, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our experienced attorneys evaluate your unique situation help you recover maximum compensation for your injuries so you can get your life back on track.