California boasts stunning landscapes for bicycle riders to enjoy. However, whether you are commuting on the streets of Riverside or enjoying a long-distance trek along the San Bernadino mountains, bicycle accidents are an ever-present danger. You might know that you have a right to claim compensation for your injuries if another road user is to blame for an accident. But what if you were partially at fault? Are you still eligible to file a claim? Understanding how California’s negligence laws work will help you know what steps to take if you share some fault for a bicycle collision.
California’s Pure Comparative Negligence Laws
A successful compensation claim rests on your ability to prove that another party’s negligence led to the accident that caused your injuries. However, this process is not always as straightforward as it seems. In many bicycle collisions, more than one party engages in negligent behavior. California’s comparative negligence laws address an individual’s right to receive compensation even if they were partially to blame.
According to these laws, a person who was partially at fault for an accident is still eligible to receive compensation. However, the payout they receive will be reduced by their percentage of blame in the collision. For example, if an insurance adjuster or a jury determines that a cyclist was 30 percent to blame for the crash, their settlement or verdict amount will be only 70 percent of what they would have received if the other party had been wholly at fault.
The Importance of Working with a Bicycle Accident Attorney
When you file a claim for bicycle accident injuries in California, you will begin by requesting compensation from the other party’s insurance company. Yet insurers are for-profit entities that are always seeking to reduce the amount of money they pay out on claims. The other party’s insurance adjuster will argue that your actions contributed more to the accident than may have been the case. Without solid legal representation, you may ultimately receive far less than you deserve.
Working with a seasoned Riverside bike accident attorney can maximize your chances of recovering full compensation. An experienced lawyer will:
- Conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to determine who was at fault
- Negotiate aggressively with the other party’s insurance company, demonstrating why your fault was less than they are claiming
- If necessary, take your claim to court to argue your case before a judge or jury
A skilled legal team will work tirelessly to protect your rights so you can secure fair compensation that will cover your losses.
Possible Compensation in a California Bicycle Accident Claim
While each case is unique, your attorney may be able to recover compensation for losses such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income due to missed time at work
- Reduced earning capacity due to disability or disfigurement
- Physical and psychological pain and suffering
- Property damage
Contact Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP, Today
Bicyclists are particularly vulnerable on California’s busy roads and highways, and accident-related injuries can often be life-altering. You should not have to bear the financial costs of an accident if another party’s negligence caused you harm.
The experienced Riverside personal injury lawyers at Wagner Zemming Christensen, LLP, have been fighting for the rights of injured Californians for nearly 30 years. If you have suffered a bicycle accident in California, our team has the skills, tenacity, and knowledge to optimize your chances of receiving the maximum possible compensation for your losses. Call us today at 951-686-4800 or contact us online for a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can help you.