Many people in San Bernardino ride their bicycles to commute to work, while others consider it a preferred form of exercise or leisure. Regardless of what brings you out, riding a bicycle can expose cyclists to an increased risk of getting injured. Cyclists do not have the same protection drivers have when they are in a collision, and as a result, are likely to suffer far more severe injuries. In 2019, bicyclists and pedestrians made up five percent of all traffic victims in San Bernardino.
If you or someone you love was injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to seek legal assistance. An experienced attorney at Hanson & Mouri can help you recover full compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.
If you have suffered injuries or losses from a bicycle accident, you need an experienced attorney who can help you secure the compensation you deserve. Our team will:
At Hanson & Mouri, we are experienced litigators and trial lawyers who have handled thousands of personal injury cases and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We have the resources, experience, and knowledge necessary to take on your bicycle accident case.
In the aftermath of a bicycle accident, you may have suffered serious injuries that limit the next steps you are able to take. In many situations, an injured bicyclist will need to call 911 and seek immediate medical assistance and have a police officer file an official report. If your situation allows it, you can also take the following actions:
Although drivers are most commonly thought to be responsible for bicycle accidents, any party that contributed to causing the crash can be liable. Motorists are typically held to a higher level of care that they must provide to keep bicyclists safe when operating their vehicles. Still, bicyclists must follow traffic laws and the same rules of the road. For an injured bicyclist to hold another party responsible will require demonstrating that their carelessness caused the collision. Therefore, their case must contain proof of the following four elements of negligence:
There are times when both a driver and a bicyclist will share responsibility. In those cases, California’s rule of pure comparative negligence will apply. Under this law, each party can recover compensation, but it is reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 and found 40 percent at fault, you will receive 60 percent or $60,000. Because of this law, it is imperative to work with an attorney who can ensure liability falls on the appropriate party.
It is important to contact an attorney and get started on your case as soon as possible, as there is a time limit, or statute of limitations, on when you can file a claim. In California, personal injury victims have two years from the time of the incident to file a claim. If you miss the deadline, you may completely lose your right to recovery.
In addition, you have even less time to file your claim if the accident was caused by a government agency. If you were hit by a government-owned vehicle, you have six months to file a claim. Get in touch with a San Bernardino accident attorney immediately to ensure that your claim is filed on time and any related evidence is preserved quickly.
Negligent or careless drivers are often the cause of bicycle accidents. Drivers may be distracted while driving due to cell phone use, and not see you on your bicycle right away. Vehicles may also drive too closely to bicyclists when sharing the road, or make right turns without properly checking for oncoming bicyclists. When a driver makes a fast turn, they may knock over a cyclist or collide with them. Unfortunately, in these situations, it is always the bicyclist who suffers the vast impact of the injury.
Bicyclists are highly vulnerable to devastating injuries in an accident because of their lack of protection. Injury claims are commonly filed due to:
Every one of these injuries and the many others that occur often result in extensive medical bills and considerable lost income.
The most severe bicycle accident injuries occur when the following risk factors are present:
Nearly 1,000 bicyclists are killed, and over 130,000 are injured in crashes that occur on roads in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, many of them are preventable, but accidents can still happen no matter how careful a bicyclist is
As a bicyclist, you cannot predict dangerous or reckless behaviors by drivers, but you can stay a little safer by wearing protective gear such as helmets and clothing that is visible to others. In a majority of bicyclist deaths, the most serious injuries were to the head and the highest percentage of bicyclist accidents happened between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. – when there is less daylight. As a rule, never assume that a driver sees you. Make eye contact, and use hand signals to let other vehicles know what you are doing before turning.
When another person or party is responsible for causing your accident and injuries, you can recover compensation for your losses through a bicycle accident claim. An experienced attorney can help you receive compensation for both your economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are losses that can be easily measured, including:
Non-economic damages are losses that are more difficult to measure and include the emotional distress or pain and suffering you have as a result of the accident.
In cases where a defendant’s actions were extremely reckless, punitive damages may be available.
Most personal injury lawyers in San Bernardino, including Hanson & Mouri, take bicycle accident cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay upfront to retain representation or for any case-related expenses. Instead, your attorney will cover the costs of handling your claim, and you will only owe your attorney their contingency fee if you win. In other words, if you do not receive compensation, you do not have to pay legal fees.
An attorney’s contingency fee is often between 33 to 40 percent of your settlement or award, plus court costs. However, some bicycle accident lawyers may reduce or increase their fees based on the extent of work required to resolve your case. For example, an attorney may require 25 percent as their contingency fee if your case settles before filing a lawsuit, 33.3 percent if they must file a lawsuit before your case is settled\, and 40 percent if your case goes to trial. While other lawyers may work on a sliding scale fee based on the amount of compensation you recover. For instance, 30.3 percent of any recovery up to $100,000 and 25 percent of any recovery over $100,000 up to $500,000, etc. Your contingency fee agreement will depend on the attorney you hire, so it is critical to ensure you understand the terms before signing a contract.
After a bicycle accident, you may suffer debilitating injuries, emotional distress, or other significant losses that could affect your job, your personal life, and your financial situation. An attorney understands the challenges you are facing and can help you protect your rights and maximize your recovery. If you or someone you love has been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the San Bernardino personal injury attorneys at Hanson & Mouri. We are experienced personal injury lawyers who are ready to litigate for you. Call today to schedule your free consultation and get started.