Many citizens in San Mateo and throughout California enjoy bicycling for leisure, exercise, or as a healthy alternative method of transportation. While bicycles are environmentally-friendly and inexpensive, they can still lead to serious financial troubles when bicycle accidents happen. Bicycle accidents that occur due to negligence often lead to civil actions against the responsible parties. Injured bicyclists can recover their medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost income after an accident through a San Mateo personal injury lawsuit.
Success in a personal injury case, specifically for cycling accidents, will depend on the plaintiff’s ability to prove the defendant’s negligence. To accomplish this, the plaintiff must show the court that the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care, violated that duty, and the plaintiff’s damages resulted. Depending on the nature of a bicycle accident, the subsequent compensation amount could be substantial.
Calculating Damages in Bike Accident Claims
Bicyclists must follow the rules of the road like any other driver. When bicyclists engage in high-risk behaviors like cutting through lanes of traffic, failing to signal turns, or disregarding traffic signs, they may sustain severe and often life-threatening injuries. Depending on how the accident occurred, California’s comparative negligence law states that bicyclists may incur partial liability for their accidents, and subsequently lose money from their case award.
A judge will assess the facts of the case and determine if a bicyclist’s actions contributed to the accident. If so, the judge will assign the plaintiff a fault percentage and reduce his or her case award by that percentage. For example, if a car strikes a bicyclist who was traveling against the flow of traffic and the bicyclist sues the driver, the judge may deem the bicyclist 25% at fault for the accident and reduce the case award by 25%.
It’s crucial for San Mateo bicyclists to follow the rules of the road, wear the right attire and safety equipment, and always exercise caution near other vehicles. Any negligence on the bicyclist’s part could significantly reduce a future case award, and the damages sustained in bicycle accidents are often serious. Damages in bicycle accident lawsuits typically include:
- Medical expenses. An injured plaintiff can sue for the cost of medical treatment following an accident. This can include emergency transportation, surgical costs, hospital bills, prescription costs, and any other fees or expenses resulting from medical issues. It’s important to note that the plaintiff may only sue for the medical expenses directly related to the accident.
- Pain and suffering. The courts understand that a victim’s experiences are often much worse than the financial burden following an accident. Pain and suffering damages aim to compensate injured plaintiffs for their physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress resulting from a defendant’s actions.
- Property damage. A bicycle accident will typically destroy the bicycle involved and possibly other personal items. Plaintiffs may sue for the costs of repairing or replacing anything damaged in the incident.
- Lost income. If an accident leaves a plaintiff unable to work, the plaintiff may sue for wages lost during that time. Additionally, if an injury prevents a plaintiff from returning to work permanently, he or she may sue for the future income he or she would have reasonably expected to earn.
Success in bicycle accident cases often depends on the skill of the plaintiff’s attorney. Injured cyclists in San Mateo can contact the legal experts at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger for comprehensive legal representation in personal injury claims. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning plaintiffs pay no legal fees unless we win the case. Follow up with us today for more information about bicycle accident lawsuits in San Mateo or to schedule your consultation today.