Riding a bike is a fantastic way to get around; it’s good for your health, inexpensive, and sustainable. However, there are also many risks, especially when cycling alongside the road. Even with full protective gear, being stuck in a vehicle can be catastrophic and may lead to lifelong physical pain, emotional distress, and financial hardships. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in California, you can claim compensation within the two-year statute of limitations.
California Statute of Limitations
After suffering an injury in a bicycle accident, the most important thing is taking care of recovery, which can be a long and arduous journey. However, if you want to claim compensation to cover damages, you’ll have to get the ball rolling on putting a claim together. In California and many other states, the statute of limitations (time limit) on personal injury claims, including bicycle accident claims, is two years after the accident date.
Following medical assessments, the very first thing we recommend is contacting Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys for a free consultation with an expert bicycle accident injury lawyer. There will be zero obligation and all you need is relevant evidence and a willingness to answer personal questions.
When Does the Statute of Limitation Not Apply?
There are only three circumstances that will set aside the two-year statute of limitations, and these are:
- Minors. If the victim of a bicycle accident is considered a minor (under 18), the statute of limitations is put on hold (tolled) until their 18th birthday, and then the two years begin to count down.
- Government negligence. If your bicycle was hit by a driver working for a governmental entity, there’s a completely different legal process to follow. Instead of the two-year statute of limitations, you will have only six months to file a claim with the government.
To find out the deadline for your individual circumstances, you’ll need to use an experienced bicycle accident law firm like Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys. Our professional team will let you know what the deadlines are as well as provide you with tailored legal advice, and that’s all part of the free consultation.
What to Do Following a Bicycle Accident
Being involved in a bicycle accident can leave your brain feeling scrambled, and the last thing on your mind will be seeking compensation. However, the actions you take after the incident can impact your chances of filing a successful claim.
The very first thing you need to do following a bicycle accident is get to a safe place away from the road – if your injuries allow and it’s safe to do so. Once safe, you need to call 911 and report the incident to the police.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, quickly assess your wounds and collect essential information and evidence. To start with, you need to have details about the negligent driver including registration number and insurance details. We also recommend taking this time to talk with potential witnesses and collect their contact details. As well as this, you should take pictures of the scene from different angles.
The police will have likely arrived by now, at which point you need to tell them everything you remember in as much detail as possible. Make sure you note down the incident number because your bike accident lawyer will need it to build your case.
When the police tell you it’s okay to leave, the first thing you need to do is attend a medical assessment and collect any medical records. This is essential because we need to prove you were injured, the extent of the injuries, and how long they will impact your life.
Next up on your list of tasks is contacting Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. We recommend doing this before getting in touch with your insurance company, as it allows the opportunity to discover the extent of the claim and decide which actions to take. As well as this, if you decide to work with our bike accident attorney, we will talk to any parties on your behalf.
Types of Recoverable Compensation in Bicycle Accident Cases
After being involved in an accident and suffering injuries, you will be able to claim compensation for a number of different damages. Aside from the obvious physical damage, the purpose of compensation is to cover medical expenses, which can be phenomenally high depending on the extent of the injuries and the recovery time.
If your injuries are serious enough to leave you out of work, compensation will account for any loss of earnings. This isn’t only up to the date of claim; it will cover any future loss of earnings if your rehabilitation extends the two-year period. We will liaise with medical professionals and your employers to prove the expense of your financial loss.
You can also claim for pain and suffering, which is the non-financial impact of your bicycle accident. This may include discomfort, a loss of enjoyment, the inability to do activities, and anything else impacted by the accident. Alongside this, you can claim damages for emotional trauma including PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
In cases where the victim sadly dies, certain remaining family members can bring those responsible to justice by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
To make sure you get the compensation you deserve, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney backing your corner. We will investigate the accident from every angle possible, and we’ll guide you through the complex legal system to make sure you’re not coerced into taking a subpar settlement.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident in California, get in touch with Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys now for a free consultation.