Orange County Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycle accidents can cause riders to suffer from serious and even life-threatening injuries. Fortunately, Orange County bicycle accident victims have the right to file a personal injury claim for damages. These damages can be extremely helpful in paying for accident-related medical bills, compensating for lost wages, and even making up for your reduced earning capacity.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident call the Law Offices of John Rapillo for help. For more than 35 years, our Orange County personal injury lawyers have helped accident victims just like you recover millions in compensation for their injuries. We know that dealing with an unexpected injury can be difficult, and we will fight to make sure that you are fairly compensated for the harm you have suffered.
Bicycle Accidents in Orange County
Orange County Bicycle Accident Statistics
Orange County is a beautiful place, so it is no surprise that bicycles are a popular form of transportation among residents, workers, and tourists. In an effort to protect its bicyclists, Orange County has implemented at least 1,000 miles of designated bicycle paths and lanes. Unfortunately, these pathways have done little to curb the threat of danger to cyclists on the road. Each year, approximately 1,000 bicyclists are injured in Orange County traffic accidents. Some of these bicycle accidents are fatal. In 2016, 12 bicyclists were killed while pedaling around Orange County.
Causes of Orange County Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. However, some causes of bicycle accidents are more common than others. Common causes of bicycle accidents in Orange County include:
- Failure to obey traffic laws;
- Crossing intersections improperly;
- Riding outside of designated bike lanes;
- Driving or riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Riding at night without reflective materials;
- Aggressive drivers;
- Distracted drivers or riders; and
- Poor road conditions.
Orange County Bicycle Accident Injuries
Orange County bicycle accident attorney John Rapillo has helped accident victims recover compensation for injuries including:
- Broken bones and fractures;
- Lacerations and cuts;
- Traumatic brain injury;
- Internal organ damage;
- Paralysis; and
- Wrongful death.
When Can I File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?
In California, it is important to act quickly if you have been injured in an accident. While you have the right to take legal action, the state limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim. An invisible clock will begin to run the moment you are involved in an accident. In most cases, this clock will run for two years. If you do not file a personal injury claim for damages before this clock (the statute of limitations) expires, you will likely be prohibited from getting the money you really need to get better.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations
There are certain circumstances that will allow you to file a claim outside of the traditional timeframe set by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations can be extended if:
- There is a reasonable delay in the discovery of an injury,
- You are a minor at the time of your accident, or
- The defendant can’t be found or is in prison.
Statute of Limitation for Government Defendants
If you believe that the government is responsible (or partly responsible) for your bicycle injury you cannot waste any time. In order to recover compensation from the government, a special administrative claim must be filed within six months of your accident. The government will review your claim and either approve or deny your request for compensation. If your request is denied you will have an additional six months to file a formal civil claim against that government entity.
What Damages Are Available to Bicycle Accident Victims?
What kind of compensation can a bicycle accident victim recover after a crash? In California, personal injury victims are generally entitled to recover both economic and non-economic damages. The specific amount and type of damages that can be awarded will vary from case to case.
Economic Damages for Bicycle Accident Victims
Economic damages allow a victim to recover the verifiable out-of-pocket expenses they incur because of an unexpected accident. This includes current costs and projected future costs. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medically-necessary devices
- Physical therapy
- Nursing care
- Lost wages, and
- Reduction in earning capacity.
Non-Economic Damages for Bicycle Accident Victims
Some consequences of an accident may not have a direct financial cost. This doesn’t mean that these harms are any less serious or devastating. Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate you for these personal and hard-to-value injuries. Examples of commonly awarded non-economic damages include:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Loss of consortium.
Who is Responsible for My Bicycle Accident Injuries?
In California, you can recover compensation from anyone whose negligent or wrongful conduct contributed to your injuries. If more than one person is responsible, liability will be divided according to each person’s degree of fault. Under this theory of comparative fault, a victim can also be held financially responsible if they played a role in causing their own accident. If you are partially responsible for causing an accident, your ability to recover compensation will be limited.
There are quite a few potentially liable parties after an Orange County bicycle accident, including:
- Orange County drivers
- Other bicyclists
- Bicycle manufacturers
- Car manufacturers
- Employers, and
- The government.
What Should I Do After I’m Injured in a Bike Accident?
The decisions you make immediately following your bicycle accident will affect any future legal claims you decide to file. Keeping the following suggestions in mind after your accident will help to keep you safe and maximize any compensation you may recover.
Report the Incident. A police report may be admissible as evidence in court, but the information it contains will be invaluable to your attorney. These reports tend to document details and eyewitness accounts that are likely to get lost or forgotten over time. Your attorney will use these details as the basis for a thorough and in-depth investigation into your crash.
Get Medical Help. Some bicycle accident injuries can pose a serious threat to your health if they are left untreated. Seeing a doctor will help to make sure that you are safe. The report that your doctor creates during your visit will help to prove that your injuries were caused by your bicycle accident.
Don’t Talk to Insurance Companies. Insurance companies may be quick to offer you an early settlement. When you are trying to make ends meet and cover your medical bills, this immediate offer may be attractive. It is important to resist the urge to accept these early offers. Insurance companies aren’t on your side and don’t have your best interest at heart. These early offers won’t be enough to cover the full extent and costs of your injury.
Call a Lawyer. Your chances of recovering a meaningful settlement or award increase when you hire an attorney to handle your case. At the Law Offices of John Rapillo, our personal injury attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and passion necessary to get make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Speak With An Experienced Orange County Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in an Orange County bicycle accident call the Law Offices of John Rapillo for help. Our bicycle accident attorneys have more than 35 years of legal experience and have seen, first-hand, the impact a meaningful settlement can have on accident victims. We have helped thousands of accident victims recover millions in compensation, and we are confident that we can help you, too.
You have a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim for damages, so do not hesitate to call us today. During your free consultation, we will review your case, explain your rights, and answer the questions you have. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t have to worry about legal fees until we win.