Los Angeles Bicycle Accident Lawyers
The roadways in and around the Los Angeles area are filled with major traffic congestion. Rush hour is crazy, and the traffic just seems to be getting worse. Campaigns to encourage people to get out of the car and on a bike, have been successful. More and more people are parking the cars and grabbing a bike for their commute to work.
More Bikers Means More Accidents
Seeing bikers on the roads now has become commonplace, however, many still do not respect them. Car/bike collisions are becoming all too common in this region. A cyclist, like a pedestrian, always has the right of way. A car must yield to those on a bike. When a driver gets their license, this is one of the first things they learn. However, most people forget this rule when they are on the roadways. They view bikers as a burden. People in LA are always in a hurry to get where they are going, and they seldom slow down for bikers. Many try to go around and accelerate to avoid bikers.
Bikers Have No Protection
A car provides the driver with a great deal of protection. Should the car be in an accident, the metal exterior will shield them, not to mention all the safety features in cars. Consequently, a biker has no protection. Though helmets are advisable, many do not wear them. There is no physical protection of the skull, back, or anything else. Therefore, so many of these accidents take a life or leave someone with serious injuries. Surprisingly, most accidents occur because a motorist does not give the biker the respect and room they need.
Getting Legal Help
If you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident, you have rights. To protect your rights, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer. To effectively try a bicycle accident case, you need an attorney that has years of experience handling a wide range of personal injury matters. They must be fluent in the language of California’s automobile, insurance, and liability laws. All avenues of resolution must be explored for a favorable outcome in bicycle accident cases.
Understanding The Process
First, you call into your office and schedule a consultation. During this session, we will go over the facts regarding your potential case. There must be proof of the other parties’ negligence. Keep in mind that not every accident is grounds for a lawsuit, we must examine the facts in the case. This session will not cost you anything. All work done through our office is done on a contingency basis. That means if we do not win, you do not owe us for our time. Because of our fee structure, we only take cases that we feel confident we can win. If you agree to let us handle your case, then we will draft the necessary documents and have you sign. As your retained counsel, we will begin the research part of the claim to get our facts in order.
The next step in the process is to negotiate with the other party. In almost all cases, we will do our dealings with an insurance company and not the person driving the car. Many claims can be resolved without going to court. We use specific formulas to come up with the total value of your claim. This number is comprised of lost wages, pain and suffering, quality of life, type of injuries, and other factors. Next, we write a demand letter and submit our request for compensation. This is the point where we begin negotiation back and forth. Since we have so much experience with insurance companies, we know who is eager to settle and those that will likely go to court.
Most insurance companies want to settle for as little as possible. It is very costly to go to court and litigate. Thus, they will usually present some settlement offer, even if it is laughable amounts at first. The more severe the injuries, the more apt they are to try to settle for a fair amount. However, if they feel that compensation is not warranted, they will fight hard to keep from paying anything. If negotiations are unsuccessful, we file a claim in court.
Things That You Should Know
One of the most important things you can do after any accident is to seek medical care. A medical professional must assess the extent of your injuries. These findings will become paramount in our case. Even if you do not feel hurt after the incident, you still need to be checked out. In many cases, injuries will not present themselves till a few days later. This is especially true when there are muscular damages. If you do not go right after the accident, make sure to see someone at least within the first 24-hour period.
Another thing to keep in mind is that anything you say will be used against you during court. Never speak to anyone but your attorney. The other insurance company may call you and want to record a statement. They can use this statement to try to twist your words. For instance, if you tell the agent that you are fine, they may take this as you are feeling great and use it in court. Let the attorney talk to the insurance company. When you retain counsel, you let them handle everything from that point forward.
Know that these cases may take some time to settle. It depends on the complexity of the accident and the injuries. Some cases can be settled in as little as two months while others may take a couple years. The law dictates how long you have to file a personal injury claim, two years, but they do not dictate when a case must be settled by.