Woodland Hills Bicycle Accident Lawyer

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Woodland Hills Bicycle Accident Attorney

Woodland Hills Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Experienced Legal Assistance for Injuries Due to Bicycle Accidents

For the last several decades our lawyers have been representing people with the most serious injuries and are extremely knowledgeable about how to get maximum compensation for our clients in such cases.

If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a bike in, call a Woodland Hills bicycle accident lawyer from Freeman & Freeman, LLP, for a free consultation: 818-992-2919.

Our attorneys know the complex vehicle laws pertaining to bicycle riders, and we have extensive resources for handling these cases: accident reconstruction experts, roadway design engineers, and bike design specialists who will help us determine if a bike manufacturer is in any way at-fault for your injuries.

Furthermore, we have handled thousands of car accident cases over the last several decades. We know how to use our expertise in both areas to pursue justice for you. The issues specific to bicycle accidents require particular resources.

Having proper legal representation is crucial to the outcome of your case. Over the years we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our injured clients. Our Woodland Hills bicycle accident lawyers may be able to do the same for you.

Injured Cyclists Do Not Have to Settle for Less

Many times bicyclists do not get all the compensation they need from insurance companies after an accident. Many studies show that settlements for injuries suffered in cars are 30% to 40% higher than for the same type of injuries suffered by cyclists.

You do not have to be one of the cyclists who settles for less than what you need and deserve. For a free consultation, call our lawyers now. We handle cases throughout the greater Los Angeles area, including Simi Valley and other Ventura County communities. If you cannot visit our office, we can come to you in your home, at your job or the hospital.

We are committed to getting each of our clients the maximum compensation that they deserve. We also only accept cases on a contingency basis; if we don’t win your case, you pay us nothing.

While our commitment to you is total, we also believe that by holding all parties responsible for your injuries accountable we can make the roads safer for all cyclists. Too often, the roads in Woodland Hills are filled with countless hazards.

Many cities now recognize the increase in bike traffic and have constructed special bike lanes and other accommodations. Parks make trails accessible to bicycles. Even some vehicle manufacturers offer bike racks as standard equipment.

However, many automobile drivers still do not respect the bicyclists’ rights to share the road. Uneducated and reckless drivers have been responsible for some staggering statistics:

  • A bike rider is fatally injured every 6 hours.
  • Nearly one million children are injured each year in bike-related accidents.
  • Nearly half of all bike fatalities occur to children under the age of 16.
  • 75% of all serious injuries and fatalities from such accidents are from head injuries.
  • While collisions with cars account for only one-third of all of these types of accidents, they account for the majority of catastrophic injuries and deaths.

What a Woodland Hills Bicycle Accident Lawyer Does

It’s the job of a Woodland Hills bicycle accident lawyer to represent their clients in civil cases. They work to seek fair and just compensation for the injuries that these clients have suffered due to the negligence of others. There are several ways that a lawyer can help your case.

Investigate the Incident

First, we need to perform a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident and the injuries that were sustained. Whether a collision with a car, another cyclist, or some other form of accident, we work to understand who may be liable for the situation. We also seek to collect evidence that can help prove liability in court, should it come to that.

Negotiate With Insurance Companies

Before a claim goes to court, there may be a possible attempt to negotiate a settlement, which could, depending on the details, be a better option for you. These negotiations will, in most cases, be with an insurance company that the other party has a policy with.

It can be a real advantage to work with a lawyer and have them negotiate on your behalf. These companies know that someone with the experience of a lawyer is not going to believe that a lowball offer is fair. They will also recognize that a lawyer being involved carries a credible threat of going to court. These factors could lead to a more willing negotiating partner.

Represent You in Court

If a settlement can’t be found, though, then it’s our job to represent you in court. We can make a case for the liability of the defendant and why you deserve the compensation that you’re seeking. We can also use our experience and understanding of the law to make sure that you’re given a fair hearing and an opportunity for just compensation.

Proving Liability in a Bicycle Accident Claim

The process of proving liability in a bicycle accident claim will be a little different in each case, but it still follows the general pattern of most personal injury claims. To prove liability, we can use evidence, eyewitness testimony, and even expert witness testimony.

We must be able to show that an error or negligence on the part of the defendant was the cause of the accident and the injuries that you suffered. This typically means proving three elements of negligence.

Duty to Care

The first element of negligence that must be shown is a duty to care. In a bike accident, it needs to be demonstrated that the defendant had a responsibility to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury or harm from coming to others around them.

For instance, if the defendant is the driver of a vehicle, they have a duty to operate within the rules of the road and in a reasonably safe manner. If the defendant is a manufacturer of a bicycle part, then they have a duty to produce a functional part that a cyclist can rely on when using the bicycle in a normal fashion.

This duty involves behaving as a reasonably careful person would under the same conditions.

Breach of Duty

The second element of negligence is a breach of duty. Proving this involves demonstrating what the defendant actually did in the accident and showing how that behavior did not meet the duty of care that they had. Evidence and testimony regarding the accident may be used to establish what occurred and what the defendant’s role was.

This breach will look a little different depending on who the defendant is. If it’s a driver of a motor vehicle, it’s likely going to be a failure to follow the rules of the road or another form of recklessness. It will be similar if it’s another cyclist who’s to blame.

If, though, the problem was a faulty part, it could be the manufacturer’s breach, as they were not careful enough to ensure that it would function properly. Whatever the situation, though, the plaintiff’s lawyer must show that the actions or inaction of the defendant failed to meet the standard that could be reasonably expected of them.

The Breach Caused the Injuries

Lastly, the breach must be the direct cause of the injuries that you suffered. In a bicycle accident, that means showing that the breach was the cause of the accident and that the accident was the cause of the injuries. The importance of connecting the breach with the accident cannot be overstated, as there may have been other breaches that have nothing to do with the accident.

Imagine a cyclist turning left at an intersection, with traffic coming the other way because they have a green light. If the cyclist fails to take enough care and heads into oncoming traffic, a collision is not going to be a driver’s fault, even if they have a tail light out, which would technically be a breach.

The importance of connecting the accident and the injuries is a product of past attempts to defraud insurance companies. Some people have exaggerated their injuries, so being able to demonstrate the extent of the injuries is critical. Others have attempted to blame an accident for pre-existing conditions or injuries that were actually sustained after the accident.

Therefore, the plaintiff’s team will need to show a clear connection between the accident and the injuries suffered. Once this full link is shown, connecting the duty, breach, accident, and injuries, it would make the defendant liable for the costs of the injury.

Restitution Available for a Bicycle Injury

Restitution in a personal injury claim will be paid out in what is known as damages. To collect these damages, it needs to be proven that these costs are a direct result of the injuries that were suffered and not some other cause.

Often, evidence like doctors’ notes and medical bills can be valuable in proving this connection. The damages that could be awarded generally fall into three categories:

Economic Damages

Any loss with a clear financial component would be addressed through economic damages. This includes any medical bills related to your injuries. Property damage, such as damage to your bicycle, is also compensated through these damages.

If your injuries were serious enough to cause you to miss work, those lost wages will be covered. In the case of permanent injuries, future medical costs and any lost earning capacity can also be addressed through economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

There are a number of different, less tangible costs that victims of a bicycle injury may suffer. For instance, physical injuries are almost always paired with pain and suffering. There’s also the loss of enjoyment in life, mental anguish, and even the loss of a body part that could be included.

All the psychological and emotional costs are considered, and a value is given to them. The money won’t solve these issues, but it may be helpful in making them easier to manage.

Punitive Damages

Although not often awarded in a bicycle injury case, there is the possibility of punitive damages. These are a set of damages that act primarily as a punishment and deterrent for behavior that is particularly egregious.

If there was something malicious about the defendant’s actions in your bicycle injury, such as road rage, you may be awarded punitive damages in addition to the economic and non-economic damages.

The Impact of Comparative Negligence

One factor to be aware of in any personal injury claim, including bicycle accidents, is the possibility of comparative negligence impacting the damages that you’re awarded. How this doctrine works in practice is that the defendant will be given the opportunity to prove that you’re liable for your own injuries.

It will be necessary for them to prove the same components of negligence with regard to your actions.

If you are shown to be at fault for your injuries, perhaps by not wearing a helmet or checking to ensure that your brakes were functional, then you will be given a percentage that represents your share of the fault for the injuries that you suffered. In many states, if that share is greater than 50%, you will be barred altogether from collecting any damages.

Fortunately, California operates on a doctrine of pure comparative negligence. Therefore, you may still collect a portion of the damages, even if you are found to be 99% at fault for the accident and injuries.

How Comparative Negligence May Reduce Your Award

The percentage that the plaintiff is determined to be at fault will directly impact the damages that can be collected. The award that’s given will be reduced proportionately to the share of fault that the plaintiff received.

For instance, if a cyclist’s lack of a helmet was decided to be 25% at fault for the injuries on an award of $200,000, then the final compensation package that they receive will be $150,000.

A significant part of what your bicycle injury lawyer can do is try to identify and prepare for any attempt to show your fault and reduce your damages under comparative negligence.

Protecting Your Rights and Your Welfare

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, call Freeman & Freeman, LLP immediately to begin protecting your rights at 818-992-2919 or fill out our online form.

We can help you recover compensation for your medical costs, lost wages and, perhaps, pain and suffering. The injuries you have sustained may have far-reaching consequences. We can help you plan for your future and get the support you need.