Sacramento Bicycle Injury Lawyer
California is the most dangerous state in the country for bicyclists, having had the highest number of bicycle accident fatalities in 2016, according to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you or someone you know has been injured or if a loved one has lost their life in a bicycle accident, Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger can help you seek compensation for your losses. Our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyers are here to help you recover payment for any damages you suffered, regardless of the type or severity of your bike injury.
Over 98 percent of our cases have resulted in successful outcomes. The following two cases are examples of the compensation we have recovered on behalf of clients:
- $15M Settlement: Cyclist v. Forest Products Distributor – Big Rig Negligence
- $9.5M Settlement: Cyclist v. Alameda County – Defective Roadway
Injured cyclists have been choosing us to represent them for nearly 60 years. Our Sacramento personal injury attorneys are among the most highly recognized in Northern California.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Sacramento
These are some of the most frequently cited causes of bicycle accidents:
Thirty percent of all bicycle accidents are caused by distracted drivers in vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Failure to Yield
Many accidents occur due to drivers and bicyclists not being fully aware of when they are responsible for yielding the right of way on the road.
Bicyclists can easily veer into oncoming traffic or fail to stay in the designated bicycle lane when distracted and end up being involved in an accident. There is little to no protection when riding a bicycle, which is why riders must exercise extreme caution when sharing the road with vehicles.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Although cities are obligated to maintain roadways, including bicycle lanes, the NHTSA reports that 13 percent of bicycle accidents causing injuries are due to hazardous road conditions.
Riding at Night
The NHTSA warns that the most bicyclist deaths occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Cyclists may not be visible to drivers, especially without the use of reflective gear while riding.
Who is Liable for my Bicycle Accident Injuries?
If a driver can be proven reckless or negligent in causing the bicycle accident, they will be liable for any injuries caused by the collision.
California has negligence laws in place, enabling the victim, or plaintiff, to pursue compensation by either filing a claim with the driver’s insurance company or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
In order to recover damages, the plaintiff will need to show the driver was negligent by proving:
- Duty: the driver owed the cyclist a duty of care (obligation to drive safely and obey traffic laws).
- Breach: The driver breached the duty of care (ex: running a signal light, speeding, etc.)
- Causation: The driver’s negligent actions caused the cyclist’s injuries.
- Damages: The cyclist suffered injuries and losses as a result of the driver’s actions.
Negligence can also be demonstrated if a police officer cited the driver for a traffic violation.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents often lead to severe injuries. Even when a bicyclist is wearing a helmet. The average passenger vehicle weighs approximately 4,000 pounds, and there is a high probability of them sustaining an injury when impacted by a vehicle. It is not uncommon for Sacramento bicycle injury lawyers to help clients who have sustained the following:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations
- Severe road rash or torn skin
- Internal organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Each of these injuries requires immediate medical care. Many bike accident victims incur major medical bills, especially if they are facing long recovery times with extended rehabilitation and physical therapy. If a bicycle accident victim cannot work while they recover, they could lose the income they need to support themselves in their family.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered?
There are various types of compensation a bicycle accident victim in Sacramento may be entitled to. This includes both economic and non-economic damages such as the following:
- Coverage of medical expenses (past, present, and future)
- Recovery of lost wages if the victim cannot work while they recover
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against the negligent party
There is no set amount of compensation a person is awarded in a bicycle accident case. Each incident is different, and the total amount awarded will depend on several factors. These factors can include the severity of the injury, how long it takes a victim to recover, whether they are disabled or disfigured, and more. In California, there are no caps on how much compensation a person can receive in a bicycle accident case.
The Importance of a Skilled Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle accident cases can become incredibly complex and require extensive investigation. Most injured victims do not have the resources and experience necessary to achieve maximum compensation for their case. A skilled Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer will understand exactly what is needed for your case. Your attorney will:
- Gather all evidence necessary from the accident. This includes any photo and video surveillance from the incident, eyewitness statements, police reports, and more.
- Ensure that you are evaluated by a trusted medical professional who will set you on the path to recovery.
- Properly calculate your total losses with help from medical and economic experts.
- Negotiate with insurers and other parties involved to obtain a settlement that will cover all of your bicycle accident injuries.
- Prepare your case to go to trial if that is what is necessary to obtain the compensation you deserve.
The defendant’s insurance carrier and legal team may try to place some (or all) of the blame for the accident on you. Your attorney will work to combat these tactics and ensure liability is correctly assigned.
It is important to note that California has placed limits on how long a person has to file a bicycle accident injury case. Victims have two years from the date the injury occurred to file a personal injury claim. Any claims made after this two-year timeframe will be dismissed. Your attorney will work to make sure all deadlines are met in your case.
When you are focused on recovery from a bicycle accident injury, your attorney will be your tireless advocate and handle all of this for you.
Do I Need a Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Bicycle accident victims typically have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit following a collision with a vehicle. Contact Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger so our bicycle accident attorneys may immediately evaluate your case for free and discuss your options for pursuing compensation. Call (415) 981-7210 or fill out our online contact form.