Recovering Damages & Compensation After a Serious Bike Accident

Recovering Damages & Compensation After a Serious Bike Accident

Recovering Damages & Compensation After a Serious Bike Accident

When two vehicles collide, there is a high probability that all individuals involved will walk away unscathed. On the other hand, cyclists who are involved in an accident with a car will rarely have the same luck. A bicyclist who has been struck by a moving vehicle can sustain catastrophic injuries, which may include permanent disability or even death.

In spite of the seriousness of a bicycle versus auto accident, there are many reasons why a claim may be undervalued by an insurance adjuster, even when there is a clear indication that the vehicle driver was careless in causing the accident. Following a bicycle accident in California, speaking to a knowledgeable attorney can help in the support of obtaining a fair monetary compensation.

Bicycle Accidents Can Result in a Catastrophic Injury

The State of California, has specific laws regarding bicycles. Bicycle riders under the age of 18 are legally required to wear a helmet. Although the law does not apply to adults, adults should still consider wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle. One of the most serious, yet common injuries that result from a bicycle accident is a traumatic brain injury. A traveling cyclist who collides with a vehicle moving toward him or her will likely suffer a brain injury from the direct impact with the car, or subsequently upon falling on the pavement.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a traumatic brain injury can sometimes take several days to become apparent. Traumatic brain injuries are very serious, and have the potential to affect the cyclist in a variety of ways. Depending on their level of severity, traumatic brain injuries can lead to:

  • Numbness in the extremities,
  • Memory loss,
  • Slurred speech,
  • Loss of coordination,
  • Mental health disorders,
  • Unresponsiveness, and/or
  • Death

Although not every traumatic brain injury will have long-lasting consequences, it is important to note that even mild injuries can continue to develop.

Compensation is Available After a Bicycle Accident

After a bicycle accident, various types of compensation may be available to the injured party, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident and the applicable laws in the jurisdiction. Here are some common types of compensation that may be available:

  1. Medical Expenses: Injured cyclists may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, including hospital bills, doctor’s fees, surgery costs, medication, rehabilitation, and any future medical care related to the accident.
  2. Property Damage: If the bicycle was damaged in the accident, the at-fault party’s insurance may cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
  3. Pain and Suffering: Compensation for pain and suffering is intended to account for the physical and emotional distress experienced by the injured party as a result of the accident. This is a non-economic form of compensation and can vary widely based on the severity of the injuries and their impact on the victim’s life.
  4. Lost Wages: If the bicycle accident causes the injured party to miss work or suffer a loss of earning capacity, they may be entitled to compensation for their lost wages or income.
  5. Loss of Consortium: In some cases, if the injuries are severe, a spouse or family member of the injured cyclist may be able to seek compensation for the loss of consortium, which includes the loss of companionship, care, and support.
  6. Punitive Damages: In cases where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.
  7. Wrongful Death Damages: If a bicycle accident results in a fatality (see below), surviving family members may be able to pursue wrongful death damages, which can include compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.

It’s important to note that the availability and amount of compensation can vary greatly depending on factors such as the jurisdiction, insurance coverage, liability, and the specifics of the accident. To determine what types of compensation you may be eligible for after a bicycle accident, it is advisable to consult with a personal injury attorney who specializes in bicycle accidents. They can assess your case, help you understand your rights, and advocate on your behalf to seek the appropriate compensation.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim Following Bicycle Accident

Coping with the unexpected passing of a loved one is not an easy process, and this is particularly true when another’s careless actions caused the sudden demise. In the wake of this tragedy, the victim’s loved ones may be able to recover compensation for their loss. Although taking legal action in such circumstances can seem daunting, it is important to seek restitution from the culpable party. Damages awarded for a successful claim can include:

  • The victim’s medical expenses prior to his or her death,
  • Funeral and burial costs, and
  • Loss of companionship.

After a Cycling Accident, Obtain Professional Legal Counsel

As attorney Boone Callaway explains in this article on Lawyer Legion: “A collision between a bicycle and a motorist can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. Do not speak with any insurance adjuster directly, as any information you provide can result in a denial or undervaluation of what you are owed. Despite whatever they may say, there is absolutely nothing they need from you right away. Instead, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after the accident.”

It is not uncommon to have a catastrophic bicycle accident reach thousands of dollars or more in medical costs. Depending on the severity of the injuries, there is a high likelihood that the injured cyclist will need ongoing medical treatment and care. Unfortunately, filing a claim against the liable driver’s auto insurance is not easy. In fact, insurance companies will aggressively dispute the allegations, undermine the victims claim, and attempt to pay the least amount possible.

Contact an Attorney

If you or someone you love was injured in a bicycle accident, seeking a fair restitution requires the legal support of a knowledgeable attorney who has the right skills and experience. Consult a personal injury attorney who will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. is a highly localized attorney directory that includes comprehensive information about lawyers that we have verified are local to Orange County based on their profile with the California Bar.

Join Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our latest news and updates.

    Subscribe to our newsletter

    Join our private Facebook Group and

    ask local lawyers a question