In recent years, bicycling has become much more popular as people try to improve their fitness, avoid heavy commute times, and be more environmentally friendly. Though there are many benefits to an increased use of bicycles, bicycling is an inherently risky activity that, even with proper riding technique, safety equipment, and cautious behavior by bicyclists, accidents can result in serious or fatal injuries – and those risks only increase as more bicycles make their way onto trails, bike paths, and city streets. These accidents can be costly, and if someone else is responsible they should be held liable for your damages. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you should contact a Perris Bicycle Accident Attorney to see if you could be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries.
Perris Bicycle Accident Facts
Though it has a relatively modest population of nearly 79,000, the city of Perris is incredibly supportive of bicyclists and promoting the increased use of bicycles in the community. The city currently has the popular East Mountain Bike Path near Lake Perris and numerous bicycle lanes on roads like May Ranch Parkway, Ramona Expressway, and Walnut Street. There are also 75 proposed new and expanded bike lanes and on-street bike routes intended to capture many of Perris’ short distance commuters, and the city promotes bicycle safety and educational programs for children, adult cyclists and pedestrians, and motorists alike.
In 2015, California had more than 140 bicycle fatalities and often tops the country in fatalities annually. Perris is no exception – in recent years one bicyclist was killed by a motor vehicle in a hit and run on State Route 74 near Navajo Road and another was killed riding towards oncoming traffic on 4th Street near A and C streets; both accidents took place in clear conditions during daylight hours. Just last year, another bicyclist was killed early in the morning at Ramona Expressway and Perris Boulevard. This goes to show that even though bicycle accidents can occur due to bicyclist error, collisions with motor vehicle accidents cause most injuries and deaths These accidents are often caused by:
- Distracted driving including texting while driving;
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Defective bicycles; and
- Negligently maintained roads.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you should contact a Perris Bicycle Accident Lawyer if you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party.
How Do I Recover for My Perris Bicycle Injuries? Establishing Negligence
Victims of bicycle accidents in and around Perris commonly wonder how they go about recovering damages and what compensation they will receive. Most victims try to recover damages in court by proving their injuries were caused by another party’s negligence. To prove negligence in California, a victim must prove the defendant owed them a duty of care, breached that duty through either an act or a failure to act, and the breach caused their harm. If the victim can prove this, unless the defendant has a valid legal defense, they are responsible for the victim’s damages. Proving breach of duty and tying that breach to causation of the injuries can be difficult, so it’s wise to seek help from a skilled Perris bicycle accident attorney.
After a victim proves negligence, they are entitled to compensatory damages they prove in court. Compensatory damages are meant to make victims whole for harms they suffered due to their bicycle accident. These damages can be economic in nature and address quantifiable harms such as:
- Lost wages,
- Medical expenses,
- Burial and funeral costs, and
- Property damage.
Compensatory damages can also address noneconomic harms – more abstract harms without a fixed price tag caused by psychological, emotional, and mental trauma like:
- Emotional distress,
- Disfigurement, and
- Pain and suffering.
Some victims may also be able to recover punitive damages, which a defendant’s bad behavior and are meant to dissuade the offender and others from engaging in similar behavior in the future. A victim must show by clear and convincing evidence defendant acted with oppression, malice, or fraud. If they can prove this, a judge or jury has the discretion to award punitive damages and decide the amount. Because the standard of proof is much higher than when establishing negligence, consulting an experience Perris Bicycle Accident Attorney can help prevent costly missteps during litigation.
What if I am Partly Responsible for My Bicycle Accident?
In Perris, like the rest of California, even if you were partly responsible for your accident you may still be entitled to compensation. Comparative negligence allows a victim to can be used to recover damages if more than one party caused the injury-causing accident. A victim’s award will be reduced by the percentage of fault they are assigned for the accident. For example, if a court assigns you 40% fault and defendant 60% of the responsibility and you were awarded $100,000, you only recover $60,000.
What Steps Do I Take if I Was Involved in a Perris Bicycle Accident?
Even though it can seem overwhelming, it’s important to take a few simple steps after a bicycle accident to care for your health and protect any future legal claims you decide to bring. Seek immediate medical assistance even if you believe you weren’t injured – some injuries only present symptoms days or weeks after an accident. Notify the police and give a detailed statement when they arrive. Get copies of your accident report (if one was created) from the police department involved, and keep copies of all medical records, receipts for expenses incurred, and paystubs showing lost wages. Take photographs of the accident scene and your injuries if possible. Finally, speak to a Perris Bicycle Accident Attorney to understand your options and how best to proceed.
Contact a Perris Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, contact the skilled Perris Bicycle Accident attorneys at Walton Law today. Our attorneys have years of experience delivering professional, personalized representation to victims like you and have recovered millions of dollars in damages for their tragic, avoidable 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. You pay nothing until we win your case and there is no obligation. Let the dedicated attorneys at Walton Law evaluate the facts of your case and help you recover maximum compensation so you can focus on your recovery.