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Representing Bicycle Accident Victims in Citrus Heights, CA

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Citrus Heights

Bicycle Accidents Lawyer

Bicycling is popular in the Citrus Heights area and throughout California. Many people have taken to riding bicycles instead of driving to and from work, and bicycling has been a favored exercise and outdoor activity for many years. While California may offer some of the country’s best weather for bicycling, it’s vital for everyone who rides a bike in the Citrus Heights, CA, area to understand the risks they take when they bike alongside motor vehicles on the road. They should also know what to do when a bicycle accident occurs and their legal options for recovery when another driver is liable for their damages.

The Kreeger Law Firm strives to provide our Citrus Heights clients and prospective clients with helpful information they may need if a bicycle accident occurs. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries and economic losses due to the negligence of a driver while riding your bicycle in the Citrus Heights area, our team can help you evaluate your legal options and determine the best available path to recovery.

After a bicycle accident, it’s natural to feel frustrated and confused about recovering from your medical bills, missed time at work, and other losses. The attorneys at the Kreeger Law Firm can provide the guidance and clarity you need to approach this difficult situation with confidence and peace of mind. If you have suffered because of another party’s negligence, we can help you hold them accountable.

Why Should I Hire a Citrus Heights Bicycle Accident Lawyer?

Do not make the mistake of believing that you can handle your personal injury claim on your own. When a motor vehicle collides with a bicyclist, the bicyclist has a very high chance of sustaining serious injuries, some of which may cause permanent medical complications and disabilities. Some bicyclists do not survive their accidents, leaving their families distraught and facing complex legal issues they must address while grieving. Attempting to navigate the legal aftermath of any bicycle accident is extremely difficult for anyone who does not have professional legal experience.

Your Citrus Heights bicycle accident attorney can help you manage the procedural requirements your claim entails and allow you to focus on your recovery. They will handle court proceedings such as necessary filings to ensure your claim receives the attention it deserves and crafting your initial complaint. Once your case has begun, your attorney will help you gather evidence, obtain witness statements, and explore every available channel of compensation open in your claim.

Ultimately, hiring an attorney can lead to much more substantial compensation than you may have initially expected. If you are daunted by the idea of the legal fees, you will owe to your legal team, remember that you stand to lose much more if you attempt to handle your case without legal counsel. You could settle for much less than you deserve and be left with no further legal recourse against the party responsible for causing your bicycle accident. You may also encounter problems with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or you could make a procedural error that has your case thrown out before it ever really begins. Do not take these risks when you are facing painful injuries and significant economic losses.

Commonly Cited Bicycle Accident Injuries

Whenever a motor vehicle hits a bicycle, the bicyclist is likely to suffer severe injuries, even if they are wearing an appropriate helmet. Some of the most commonly reported bicycle accident injuries in California include:

  • Broken bones. Bone fractures are extremely painful, and some of them may require extensive recovery time. Minor bone fractures may only require a few months of healing, while more severe compound fractures could entail multiple surgeries, nerve damage, and permanently impaired range of motion.
  • Head injuries. A brain injury requires immediate medical attention, and some brain injuries are life changing. Unfortunately, it often takes several months before the full effects of a brain injury are discernable. Some brain injuries like concussions may heal entirely but leave the victim susceptible to more brain injuries in the future, and other brain injuries cause permanent disabilities.
  • Spinal injuries. The spinal cord cannot repair itself from injury. If a bicyclist sustains a spinal cord injury, they could face full or partial paralysis, loss of sensation, and neurological effects. Any spinal injury a bicyclist suffers is permanent and will affect them in many ways for the rest of their life.
  • Soft tissue damage. Tendons, muscles, and ligaments can sustain damage in an accident, and the victim may have reduced mobility or require surgery to repair the damage. Most soft tissue injuries can heal completely, but they are typically very painful and debilitating in the early stages of recovery.
  • Internal organ injuries. Bicycle accidents can easily cause severe damage to the victim’s internal organs. Some internal injuries do not cause immediately noticeable symptoms, so it’s vital to seek prompt medical care after an accident, even if you believe you only suffered minor injuries.
  • Secondary impact injuries. A bicycle accident typically causes two significant impacts that can injure the bicyclist: the primary impact of the vehicle hitting the bicyclist and the secondary impact of the bicyclist hitting the ground. Both impacts can cause tremendous damage, but the secondary impact of hitting the ground poses the risk of causing friction burns from sliding on asphalt or striking a curb or other solid object.
  • Facial injuries. Most bicycle helmets do not include full-face shields. As a result, when a vehicle hits a bicyclist, the bicyclist could suffer facial injuries that cause permanent scarring or dental injuries that require extensive restorative treatments.
  • Fatal injuries. Unfortunately, not every bicycle accident victim survives their accidents. When a fatal bicycle accident occurs, the victim’s family can pursue a wrongful death claim instead of a personal injury claim.

It is common for bicycle accident victims to sustain more than one of these injuries, leading to expensive medical bills and long recovery times. These initial expenses can quickly evolve into worse financial problems, making it difficult for the victim to manage their everyday household expenses and bills, eventually leading to economic ruin unless they secure fair compensation for the results of the at-fault driver’s negligence.

What Compensation Can I Claim in a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit?

When you choose an experienced personal injury attorney to represent your bicycle accident claim, you may be surprised that your claimable compensation is much more than you originally anticipated. This is because California state law allows a personal injury plaintiff to recover all damages resulting from a defendant’s negligence, including:

  • All medical expenses, both immediately following your bicycle accident and long-term care costs you incur when your injuries require extensive treatment over time. Your attorney can help you gather the necessary documentation to prove the full scope of your medical expenses resulting from the accident.
  • Lost income, including lost future earnings. Your bicycle accident could leave you unable to work for an extended period, and you can claim any income lost during this time. In addition, if your bicycle accident caused permanent disabilities that prevent you from working at all in the future, your attorney could help you to secure compensation for your lost earning potential. This is typically done by multiplying your average income by the time you would have expected to continue working until retirement age.
  • Property damage, such as the cost of repairing or replacing your bicycle damaged in the accident. You can also claim replacement costs for other personal property destroyed in the incident.
  • Pain and suffering. Your attorney will typically aim to multiply your claimed medical expenses by a factor of two to five depending on the severity of your injuries and whether your bicycle accident caused any long-term or permanent medical complications. California does not limit non-economic damages claimable in personal injury lawsuits except for medical malpractice claims.

It’s possible you could receive punitive damages at the judge’s discretion as well. Judges award punitive damages to punish the defendant’s behavior. This is typically reserved for situations in which defendants acted outside the realm of general negligence or engaged in criminal activity when they caused the accidents in question. In addition, the amount the defendant pays in punitive damages typically hinges on their overall economic status, so wealthy defendants pay much more than those who only control modest assets.

How to Prove Fault for Your Bicycle Accident in Citrus Heights

Proving negligence is crucial in any bicycle accident lawsuit. The plaintiff and their attorney must identify the driver responsible for causing the accident and prove they were negligent in some way that directly caused the bicycle accident in question. The plaintiff and their attorney must also provide a complete and accurate list of all the damages resulting from the accident and provide sufficient evidence to show that these damages were the direct results of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.

Your Citrus Heights bicycle accident attorney should help you gather evidence, such as the police report from the officers who responded to the scene of the accident, the medical report from your doctor, and eyewitness statements. It’s also possible that your attorney may need to consult expert witnesses to help you prove complex elements of the case. For example, medical professionals, engineers, and accident reconstruction experts may all prove instrumental in establishing liability for your claimed damages.

What Is Pure Comparative Negligence in California Personal Injury Law?

If you plan to pursue any personal injury claim in California, it’s vital to understand how the state’s pure comparative negligence law may apply to your case. If a plaintiff bears any fault for causing their claimed damages, they will lose a percentage of their case award equal to the fault percentage assigned to them by the judge overseeing the case. For example, if you claim $300,000 in damages and the court determines that you were 10% at fault for causing the accident in question, you would lose $30,000 or 10% of your case award to reflect your comparative negligence. California does not limit comparative negligence at the 50% threshold as do many other states, where plaintiffs are barred from recovering compensation if they are equally or more at fault than their defendants.

How Can My Attorney Help My Case?

Hiring an attorney is an investment in the success of your bicycle accident claim. Your attorney can help you with the procedural side of your case, ensuring all of your court filings meet their required deadlines and helping you with necessary pretrial motions. They can also provide valuable guidance in preparing you for courtroom appearances, help you gather evidence, and coordinate expert witness testimony to support your claim. If the defendant you named in your claim is willing to settle, you can expect your Citrus Heights bicycle accident lawyer to prepare you for settlement negotiations and ensure you reach a fair and reasonable outcome. On the other hand, if settlement does not provide the outcome you deserve, your attorney can prepare you for trial and guide you through your court proceedings.

The right Citrus Heights bicycle accident attorney can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of your case. If you are concerned about the cost of legal fees, make sure you understand the attorney’s billing practices before agreeing to their representation. Remember that while you may need to pay attorneys’ fees, the amount paid will be much less than you stand to lose if you attempt to handle your bicycle accident claim on your own.

Secure Legal Representation as Soon as Possible

The Kreeger Law Firm has years of experience representing clients in Citrus Heights, CA, and surrounding areas in a wide range of personal injury claims. We understand the uncertainty and frustration that follows any accident caused by another party’s negligence and want to help you recover as completely as possible. If you or a loved one is struggling with the aftermath of a bicycle accident in Citrus Heights, we are here to help. Contact the Kreeger Law Firm today and schedule a consultation with our team. We’ll review the details of your situation and help you understand what to expect from our firm as we help you navigate your bicycle accident case.