Commuter Bicycle Accidents
Living in the Bay Area comes with many perks, including weather good enough to ride your bicycle to work most days. The benefits of riding a bike to work include fresh air, exercise, environmental friendliness, and saving money. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous, and sometimes there are accidents in which a motorist strikes a cyclist. If you are hit by a car or truck while riding to work, the first thing that you need to do is seek medical attention. After you have received any emergency medical services that you need, your next call should be to a skilled Palo Alto bicycle accident lawyer. At Ziff & Cohn, we have represented many victims of commuter bicycle accidents against defendant drivers and insurance companies, working to recover the compensation that they need to move forward with their lives.Establishing Liability for a Commuter Bicycle Accident
If you are hit by a car on your way to work or for personal use, whether or not you are entitled to compensation will depend on who is at fault for the accident. In order to recover compensation, you need to prove that the other party was acting negligently. This means that the driver did something that a reasonable person would not do. For example, perhaps they were texting behind the wheel, or perhaps they veered into a bike lane without paying attention. However, it may not always be immediately clear who was at fault, and both parties may be at fault to some degree. Even if you were partially at fault, however, California law allows you to recover a reduced amount of damages. In a case in which the total damages are $100,000, and the biker is 20% at fault, while the driver is 80% at fault, the driver would then be responsible for paying 80% of $100,000, or $80,000.
Proving fault is an important and fact-specific part of your case. Ziff & Cohn attorneys who are experienced in commuter bicycle accident cases can help you gather evidence and plan a legal strategy that highlights the driver’s fault. Once you prove that the other party bears at least a share of the fault for the accident, you then need to prove the amount of damages that you are entitled to receive.Assert Your Right to Damages
There are many different kinds of damages that bicycle accident victims can potentially receive for their injuries. These damages are divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are damages that you are entitled to obtain because the accident caused you to lose or spend money. They include things like medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, property damage (e.g., the bicycle), loss of ability to provide services (for example, if you are no longer able to clean the house, you may need to pay the costs of housecleaning), and expenses for things that you can no longer do (such as needing to cancel a non-refundable vacation).
The other category of damages that bicycle accident victims commonly receive is non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Loss of consortium is applicable when you have a spouse or partner. It is meant to compensate for the loss of companionship, care, and other things that partners provide for each other. These damages tend to be less tied to a specific dollar amount than economic damages. However, a skilled attorney can make a strong case for a non-economic damages award by gathering and persuasively presenting many forms of evidence.Contact an Experienced Bike Accident Lawyer in the Palo Alto and Mountain View Areas
If you or a loved one has been injured while riding a bike, you should contact a skilled bicycle accident attorney as soon as the immediate danger has passed. They can help you hold the driver who hit you accountable and recover all of the damages that you deserve. The attorneys at Ziff & Cohn have ample experience obtaining many settlements and verdicts for commuter bicycle accident victims, as well as college students struck by careless drivers. Ziff & Cohn represents accident victims throughout the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Stanford, Portola Valley, Woodside, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, San Jose, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Redwood City, Burlingame, San Mateo, San Bruno, Daly City, San Francisco, Alameda, Berkeley, Castro Valley, Fremont, Hayward, Oakland, Pleasanton, San Leandro, and Union City. Call (650) 329-0851 or use the contact form on this website to schedule your free consultation today.