Riding a bicycle can be an enjoyable and healthy activity, but it can unfortunately be very dangerous as well. Communities, particularly urban areas, are encouraging bicycle use as an alternate form of transportation in heavily populated areas despite the myriad attendant risks such as broken bones, brain injuries, and road rash. Distracted motorists, unsafe roadways, and defective bicycles can all cause catastrophic accidents in the blink of an eye. These accidents have the potential to cause severe injuries with lifelong consequences for the victim. If you are hurt in a bicycle accident, you may be entitled damages for your injuries and should speak with a Murrieta bicycle accident attorney today.
Murrieta Bicycle Accident Statistics
Murrieta is a rapidly growing city with over 113,000 citizens that continues to grow every year because of its proximity to urban areas such as Los Angeles and San Diego. The city’s dense population poses a risk to citizens bicycling for pleasure, exercise, or commuting – over 70 percent of bicycle accidents occur in moderate to densely populated urban areas. The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute reported over 45,000 bicycle accident injuries and 800 fatalities just last year.
Bicyclists in Murrieta have rights equal to those of motorists when they are on public roads. They have also been given dedicated bike lanes in certain areas to promote safe bicycling on roadways. However, even when they obey the laws, the drivers they share the road with often fail to see them, give them proper space, or acknowledge their right of way when appropriate.
How Do I Recover for My Bicycle Accident Injuries in Murrieta?
In California, bicycle accident victims usually will argue negligence on the part of others involved in the accident in an attempt to recover damages. To recover for negligence, you must prove:
- Duty – The other party had a legal duty to the victim.
- Breach – Through an affirmative act or an omission, the party failed to uphold their legal duty to the victim and act as a reasonable person would if placed in their situation.
- Causation – The party’s breach of duty caused the victim’s injuries.
- Harm – Actual harm occurred to the victim as a result of the actions.
Once a victim shows these elements occurred, the other party is to have acted negligently and be liable for the victim’s injuries unless they can raise a valid defense. Because it can be difficult to prove negligence against common defendants like large corporations and government entities, as well as to counter defenses that may be raised, it is wise to consult a seasoned bicycle accident attorney in Murrieta to handle your case.
Common negligence arguments in bicycle accident injury cases often include claims of:
- Defective Products (Bicycle Parts),
- Negligent Motorists, and
- Hazardous Road Conditions.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
It is normal to wonder how much your injuries are worth – damages from a bicycle accident can be expensive, painful, and take a long time to heal. Once a victim has established they were hurt by another’s negligence, they may recover compensatory and punitive.
Negligence renders a party liable for damages they cause to a victim that can be proven. Compensatory damages serve to make a victim whole for their injuries and can be given for various types of harms. The value of economic damages, such as physical injuries and lost wages, can be established through medical bills, receipts, and paystubs. Noneconomic damages, such as loss of consortium, disfigurement, and pain and suffering, are harder to quantify and are left up to a judge or jury to award.
In Murrieta, if a victim can show their injuries were because of someone’s reckless, reprehensible, or intentional conduct, additional damages to punish the offender and discourage the repetition of such behavior may be awarded. If the victim is entitled to compensatory damages and can also prove a party acted with malice, fraud, or oppression and caused their injuries, they may be awarded punitive damages. There are no guidelines for these awards – they are considered on a case by case basis by the judge or jury and often are very large in comparison to compensatory damage awards in order to have their desired effect.
What If I Am Injured in A Bicycle Accident?
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Murrieta, there are several important steps you should take right away. It is important to attend to your health, preserve your legal rights, and begin gathering facts that may help you with your personal injury claim.
Get Medical Attention
Seek medical help as soon as possible. It is important to treat your injuries and screen you for others that may not be immediately noticeable. For your health and the health of any claim you may file, it is very important that you follow medical recommendations, take medication as prescribed, complete rehabilitation, and attend all follow-up appointments.
Document Evidence and Keep Records
Photographs, records, bills, and other documentary evidence can be very helpful in substantiating your claims and injuries in court. Photograph or document your injuries as well as the accident scene if possible. Obtain copies of police records, hospital records, and any other official reports created about the accident and your injuries. Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident. Keep medical treatment records, medical bills, receipts, and incurred expenses such as lost wages or property damage. Additionally, take your bicycle to a trusted mechanic to have it inspected for defects that may have contributed to the accident and your injuries.
Acting quickly is important, as California has a 2-year statute of limitations from the date of personal injuries arising from bicycle accidents for you to file a claim. If you do not act within that time, you are barred from pursuing your legal claim and recovering damages for your injuries in court.
Speak with A Bicycle Accident Attorney in Murrieta
If you were hurt in a bicycle accident, contact the experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Walton Law today. Our knowledgeable attorneys have handled personal injury cases for years and been using tailored, aggressive advocacy to obtaining favorable outcomes for our clients. We have recovered millions for our clients. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866) 338-7079 or Contact Us online to schedule a no obligation, free consultation –you do not pay until we win your case. Let us review your case, speak with you, and help you achieve the best possible outcome from a tragic event.