In Lake Elsinore as in the rest of the country, bicycles have become more common as a green way to commute, exercise, and live a healthier lifestyle. However, the benefits of bicycling can disappear rapidly when accidents occur. Even when bicyclists ride safely and take appropriate caution by using helmets and other protective equipment, injuries and even death are still far too common. However, many riders do not realize that they may be entitled to compensation if another party was responsible for their injury-causing accident. If you were injured in a Lake Elsinore bicycle accident, speak to an experienced bicycle accident attorney to see if you may be able to recover for your injuries.
How Do Lake Elsinore Bicycle Accidents Happen?
In 2017, 738 bicyclists lost their lives in the United States. California unfortunately leads the nation in this category – more than 300 cyclists are killed each year and countless more injured. Just last year in Lake Elsinore, despite the extensive system of bicycle paths, one bicyclist was killed at Railroad Canyon and Carnation and another was struck in a hit and at run at Grand Avenue and Blackwell Boulevard.
Lake Elsinore, with its typically warm and dry climate, as well as the scenery around its nearly 3,000 acre picturesque freshwater lake, make it a popular destination for bicyclists. Additionally, the City has encouraged bicycle use by its residents through an extensive system of biking paths and designated bicycle lanes on its roadways. The City’s steady tourism industry around the lake and events such as the Elsinore Grand Prix, combined with a growing population of over 66,000 and high population density, make it no surprise bicycle accidents are all too common.
Despite the fact nearly 30 percent of fatal accidents are due to collisions with motor vehicles, many common situations can result in injury or death. Common causes of bicycle accidents are:
- Poor road maintenance,
- Impaired drivers,
- Distracted drivers,
- Distracted pedestrians,
- Defective bicycle parts, and
- Other cyclists.
More often than not, a bicycle accident is the result of someone’s negligence – be it another cyclist, a motorist, a pedestrian, a manufacturer, or a government agency charged with maintaining roadways. This makes it wise to check with a Lake Elsinore bicycle accident attorney to understand if you may have legal claims arising from your accident and injuries.
What Is My Case Worth in Lake Elsinore?
It’s normal to wonder what your bicycle accident injury case is worth. To pursue recovery in Lake Elsinore, most victims pursue personal injury claims under a negligence theory. You must show another party:
- Had a legal a duty of care to you,
- Breached their duty, and
- Their breach was the cause of your injuries.
It can be difficult to prove another party breached their duty and show the breach injured you, so relying on a skilled Lake Elsinore bicycle accident attorney is a good way to sidestep legal pitfalls.
If you can prove another’s negligence, they are responsible for your damages unless they are able to raise a valid legal defense. If not, you may receive an award compensatory damages for injuries you can substantiate in court. Damages may be intended to compensate for concrete physical and financial harms such as:
- Hospital bills,
- Lost wages, and
- Burial expenses.
Damages may also be awarded for more harms that easily lend themselves to quantification – usually emotional and psychological harms such as:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium/companionship, and
You may also be able to recover exemplary damages intended to punish the wrongdoer’s behavior if you can show they acted in a vile or reprehensible way when causing your injuries. These awards, called punitive damages, may be awarded when by clear and convincing evidence you can prove the defendant acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. Though judges and juries have discretion as to whether to award punitive damages and in what amount, these awards generally are exponentially larger than compensatory awards to serve their purpose.
Different damages require you to satisfy different burdens of proof – experienced bicycle accident attorneys can help navigate these tricky legal waters, so it is advisable to speak to one immediately.
What If I Am Partially at Fault for My Bicycle Accident?
In Lake Elsinore, even if you partially contributed to the bicycle accident that caused your injuries you may still be able to recover damages. California utilizes the concept of comparative negligence in personal injury cases. This means the damages you can recover are directly proportionate to the amount of fault you bear in the injury-causing accident. A judge or jury will review the evidence presented to them, then assign the parties a percentage of responsibility for the accident. A party’s respective portion of the fault correlates to the share of any award they can recover as a victim or must pay as a negligent party. Comparative negligence is a complicated legal doctrine and can be difficult to argue successfully, so it is best handled by an experienced personal injury attorney.
Speak to a Lake Elsinore Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured during a bicycle accident in Lake Elsinore, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Walton Law as soon as possible. Time is not on your side, so you should be proactive to protect your health and your legal claims. The skilled attorneys at Walton Law have spent years providing dedicated, tailored representation for injury victims and have secured millions of dollars in recovery. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866)-338-7079 or through our online Contact Page to set up 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 the facts of your unique situation, explain your options to you, and help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries to get your life back on track starting today.