All over the United States, Wildomar included, bicycles have recently shown a surge in popularity due to rising gas prices, more health-conscious Americans, and an effort to be more environmentally friendly. These reasons to use bicycles all benefit the riders as well as the community at large – but these benefits can be outweighed quickly when someone is involved in a bicycle accident. Even when taking all proper precautions, these accidents are often the most serious accidents for riders simply because of the lack of protection and, if a vehicle is involved, the disproportionate size between bicycle and motor vehicle. After an accident, riders may not realize they have recourse if someone else’s negligence caused their crash and their injuries. If you were involved in a bicycle accident in the Wildomar area, speak to a Wildomar Bicycle Accident Attorney to find out if you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
Bicycle Accident Statistics in Wildomar
Sadly, California leads the nation in bicyclist fatalities almost every year. In 2015, 141 fatalities occurred in California alone. Two years ago, In 2017, 783 bicyclists lost their lives in the United States and California’s share of this comprised 4 percent of the state’s total traffic death toll.
In Wildomar, with an inviting climate, relatively rural location, small-town feel, and copious trails such as the Alameda Del Monte and areas of the Santa Rosa Plateau, attracts many resident and tourist cycling aficionados to the area to enjoy the outdoors and spend time in nature. However, in the past few years alone at least 2 bicyclists have been killed on the Mission Trail – at Elberta Road and Sedco Boulevard, respectively – so the smaller town size and smaller traffic volume does not necessarily make bikers safer.
There are many situations which can result in accidents and catastrophic injury or death to bicyclists, but a large portion of that is due to motor vehicle collisions. Accidents often occur because of impaired or distracted motorists, loose animals, defective bicycles, other cyclists, poor roads, or distracted pedestrians. The common theme, unfortunately, is that in most of the cases the accident was preventable and due to someone’s negligent behavior. If you were involved in an accident, you should check with a Wildomar Bicycle Accident lawyer to see if you may have a claim for compensation.
How Do I Recover and How Much is My Case Worth?
It’s normal to wonder both how to go about recovering for your injuries and how much you are entitled to receive for your case. For Wildomar bicycle accidents, most victims seek compensation in court by arguing their injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence. To establish negligence in California, you must prove to a judge or jury that someone:
- Had a legal duty of care to you;
- Breached their legal duty to you by either an affirmative action or an omission – failing to act when they should have done so; and
- That party’s breach was the cause of actual injury to you, the victim.
If you can establish these facts, the other party will be responsible for damages you can prove to a court unless they can raise a valid legal defense. It can be tricky to prove another party’s behavior caused your injuries, so it’s helpful to seek assistance from an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Wildomar.
Recovering Damages Compensatory Damages
If you have established another party’s negligence and they have no legal defense, you may be awarded compensatory damages for your injuries. These damages are intended to make you whole for both concrete and abstract damages you may have suffered from your bicycle accident.
Economic compensatory damages are meant to redress harms you have suffered for concrete injuries such as lost wages, medical expenses, property damages, and funeral or burial costs. Noneconomic compensatory damages, on the other hand, are designed to address injuries you have sustained that do not come with a concrete monetary figure and are often related to emotional or psychological trauma from your accident – pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and scarring or disfigurement, to name a few.
In some circumstances, you may also be eligible for exemplary damages – known as punitive damages – meant to punish a bad actor’s reprehensible conduct and make an example of them to others to deter similar behavior in the future. If you can prove by clear and convincing evidence the injuring party’s actions were done with fraud, malice, or oppression, a judge or jury has the discretion both on whether to award them and the amount they will give. Such awards are often much larger than any compensatory damage amount, as they are meant to serve their punitive and deterrent purposes.
Different burdens of proof for different types of damages can be a legal minefield and tricky to satisfy, so it’s advisable to get help with your case from an experienced Wildomar Bicycle Accident Lawyer.
Can I Recover If I’m Partly at Fault for My Accident?
Even if you’re partially responsible for the Wildomar bicycle accident that brought about your legal cause of action, you may still be awarded damages. California employs comparative negligence, which means you can still recover damages from another’s negligence – but your award will be reduced by the percentage of fault you had in the collision. After reviewing the facts, a court will assign each party involved a percentage of fault for the accident. For example, if you were found 40 percent at fault for your bicycle accident and stood to receive an award of $100,000, you will only be able to recover 60 percent of that – or $60,000.
What Do I Do If I Was Involved in a Bicycle Accident in Wildomar?
If you were involved in an accident there are a few simple steps to take that will help you and any claims you may bring in the future. Your health is paramount, so seek medical assistance immediately even if you don’t believe you were hurt – many injuries do not show symptoms as soon as they occur, so it is best to be evaluated and look after your well-being. Cooperate with law enforcement and get copies of any accident reports they produce. If possible, take photographs of the accident scene and your injuries, and keep copies of all records and expenses you incur from your injuries. Finally, contact a skilled Wildomar Bicycle Accident Attorney to understand what your next steps should be.
Contact a Wildomar Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident – don’t delay. Contact the knowledgeable Wildomar Bicycle Accident attorneys at Walton Law to protect your health and the health of your legal claims. The Walton Law attorneys have years of experience representing injury victims like you in a compassionate, dedicated manner and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients’ injuries. 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, no obligation case evaluation today. The consultation is risk free, and you don’t pay until we win your case. Let our experienced attorneys review the facts of your case and help you get maximum compensation for your injuries so you can focus on recovery and getting your life back to normal.