Expert Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyer
We can help you get maximum compensation for your bicycle accident.
Insurance companies may try to reduce your compensation by:
- Implying you were responsible for the bicycle accident
- Offering a premature settlement before the full extent of your injuries is clear
- Being unresponsive or difficult to reach, in hopes you abandon your claim
At Blair & Ramirez LLP, we specialize in securing maximum compensation for bicycle accident victims. Our skilled team is committed to protecting your rights, ensuring you receive equitable treatment and the necessary financial support for your recovery. Reach out to us at (213) 568-4000 for a free consultation, and start your path to recovery following a bicycle accident in Los Angeles.
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The Importance of Consulting a Lawyer First
Before engaging with an insurance company after a bicycle accident, it's crucial to consult a lawyer first. Insurance companies often aim to settle for less, but a lawyer will strive to secure a just amount that aids your recovery.
- In-Depth Legal Expertise: Lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of bicycle and traffic laws, along with legal procedures, ensuring your case is expertly handled.
- Navigating Insurance Tactics: They adeptly handle complex negotiations with insurance companies, fighting for rightful compensation on your behalf.
- Maximizing Your Settlement: A lawyer can precisely evaluate your claim, considering medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering, to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
- Managing Legal Challenges: They oversee all legal details of your case, from initiating claims to representing you in court, freeing you to concentrate on your healing process.
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"Assessing a bicycle accident claim is challenging, given the many variables. Let us answer your questions - it's free!"
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5 Critical Actions to Take Following a Bicycle Accident in California
Prioritize Safety and Assess the Situation
Move to a safe area away from traffic if possible. However, do not leave the scene of the accident. Assess your physical condition and that of anyone else involved. Be cautious with movements; adrenaline after the accident can mask pain from injuries, making them less immediately noticeable.
Call Emergency Services
Dial 911 to report the accident. Request medical assistance even if you feel okay, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent due to adrenaline.
Document the Accident Scene
Take photos or videos of the scene, including your bicycle, the vehicle involved, any visible injuries, and the surrounding area. Note down the time, location, and any contributing factors like road conditions or obstructions.
Exchange Information but Limit Discussion
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other party involved, but avoid discussing fault or details of the accident. Stick to basic information exchange.
Before contacting any insurance provider, it's advisable to consult with a lawyer who specializes in bicycle accidents in California. They can offer essential advice on how to effectively handle your claim.
Bicycle Accident Insurance Claims Procedure
Notice of Intent:
You or your attorney will inform the insurance company of the opposing party involved in the bicycle accident about your intention to file an injury claim. The insurance company will then issue a claim number and assign an adjuster to your case.
The adjuster may ask for a recorded statement from you. Exercise caution, as adjusters are adept at prompting responses that could be used against you. Always consult with your attorney before providing any statements.
The insurance of the responsible party should cover the repairs or replacement of your bicycle, including any associated costs. If you have relevant insurance coverage, you might also choose to have your own insurance handle the property damage claim.
Initial Settlement Offer:
You might receive an early settlement offer from the adjuster, typically aimed at resolving the claim quickly and inexpensively. It's advisable to wait until your medical treatment is complete before considering settlement discussions.
After completing medical treatment, begin negotiation by sending a demand letter and supporting documents to the insurance company of the party at fault.
Achieving Final Settlement:
After a series of negotiations, a settlement agreement is often reached. Once you sign this agreement, expect to receive the settlement payment within a few weeks.
Alternative to Failed Negotiations:
Should negotiations not result in a settlement, other options include arbitration or filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party for personal injury.
Estimating Compensation After a Bicycle Accident
Here's a basic method to estimate your compensation from a bicycle accident:
Tally All Expenses: Begin by calculating all your incurred costs due to the bicycle accident. Include medical expenses, income lost from being unable to work, and any additional costs directly stemming from the accident.
Pain and Suffering: For the distress and discomfort caused by the bicycle accident, apply a multiplier of 1 to 2 times to your total expenses (from the first step). For more severe injuries, this multiplier may be greater.
Overall Calculation: Add up your total calculated expenses and the estimated amount for pain and suffering. This sum provides a preliminary estimate of the compensation you could anticipate.
Key Factors Affecting Compensation in a Bicycle Accident
Fault and Negligence: In the event of a bicycle accident in Los Angeles where you're partly at fault, it's possible that your compensation could be reduced. In California, if your level of fault exceeds that of the other party, you might be ineligible for compensation.
Evidence of Costs: Demonstrating your expenses, such as medical bills from a bicycle accident, is crucial. The more comprehensive your proof of costs, the more compensation you're likely to secure.
Injury Severity: For a bicycle accident in Los Angeles, the severity of your injuries plays a significant role. Minor injuries often result in lower compensation, especially in terms of pain and suffering. In contrast, serious injuries necessitate detailed evaluation, typically by a legal professional.
Insurance Limitations: If the party at fault in your bicycle accident has inadequate insurance coverage, it could affect the amount of compensation you receive. In such cases, exploring compensation through your own insurance might be a viable option.
Understanding Your Case
Types Of Bicycle Accidents In Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, bicycle accidents range from collisions involving vehicles, often leading to complex injury scenarios, to sudden collision with car doors opening into the bike lane. Unseen road hazards that can be jarring, while pedestrians and dogs can unpredictably step into a bicyclists path can be life altering.
Here are a few types of impacts:
What is the economic impact of bicycle accidents?
A bicycle accident resulting in serious injuries can lead to significant medical expenses, from immediate healthcare costs to lost income during the cyclist's recovery period. If the accident tragically results in the cyclist's death, their family may face funeral and burial costs, as well as the loss of the deceased's financial support.
In California, a state practicing comparative negligence law, insurers can reduce compensation to bicycle accident victims based on their degree of fault. This rule, coupled with potential biases against cyclists, often results in victims receiving less compensation than they deserve for their injuries.
As your Los Angeles bicycle accident lawyer, Blair & Ramirez LLP's attorneys are committed to supporting you and striving for maximum compensation for the injuries you endured as a bicycle accident victim. For a free consultation, contact us at (213) 568-4000.
Collisions involving a vehicle and a bicycle, regardless of speed, can be perilous and even life-threatening for the cyclist.
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