When you’re on your bicycle, you have to trust that the other motorists will keep an eye out for you. Even if you’re on a busy street, you shouldn’t have to worry about a car running you and your bicycle off the road. Our Santa Ana bicycle accident lawyers have handled more than their fair share of serious bike accident cases.
Can Your Santa Ana Bicycle Accident Lawyer Prove the Other Driver Was at Fault?
For you to pursue the other driver for damages, your accident attorney in Santa Ana must be able to prove fault. In almost all cases, this requires that they show the driver was negligent.
Depending on the facts surrounding your case, this may be difficult or easy. For example, if you were driving in a bicycle lane when the other car hit you, it’ll be hard for them to argue that they weren’t at fault. However, since each case is unique, it will depend on the circumstances of your accident.
Your Accident Attorney in Santa Ana Must Prove Negligence
To prove negligence, your Santa Ana accident lawyer will have to show that the defendant didn’t behave the way another driver would have given the circumstances.
There are four (4) elements to negligence in California. Your bicycle accident attorney in Santa Ana must prove all four.
- The other driver owed you a duty of care. This won’t be hard to prove. All drivers owe a certain duty of care to other motorists. In fact, it can be argued that they owe an ever greater duty to bicycle riders.
- They breached this duty. Your Santa Ana accident lawyer will have to submit specific evidence to prove the driver didn’t follow his/her duty to drive safely. For example, the driver may have been speeding at the time of the crash.
- You suffered injuries. It’s not enough that you were involved in a bicycle accident. You need to show that you suffered specific injuries. The best way to do this is by submitting a copy of your medical records.
- Finally, your accident attorney in Santa Ana must prove causation. To receive damages, you need to demonstrate that your injuries were directly caused by the defendant’s behavior.
If your Santa Ana accident lawyer can prove these four elements of negligence, there’s a good chance you’ll be entitled to damages.
You’ll Also Have to Prove Your Damages
If you’re able to prove that the defendant was at fault, you’ll move on to prove your damages. The only reason your accident attorney in Santa Ana pursues a claim like this is so you can receive the compensation you deserve.
In most of the bicycle accident cases we handle, our Santa Ana accident lawyers demand the following:
- Medical bills and future medical bills
- Lost wages and lost future income
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
The problem is that, if the defendant doesn’t have insurance, you may have a hard time covering these expenses.
If the Other Driver Has No Insurance, Your Options Are Limited
Usually, if you are in any sort of accident, the other driver will have insurance. Since it’s against the law to drive without insurance, it is rare that you’ll find yourself in this position.
Your Santa Ana bicycle accident lawyer will have to negotiate other ways to pay your damages. For your immediate medical care, your private insurance may take care of it. If you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, it may cover the damage to your bicycle.
Hopefully, Your Private Health Insurance Will Cover Your Medical Care
When you first go to the hospital, you’ll have to fill out a ton of paperwork. One of the questions they’ll ask you is if your injuries are the result of a bicycle accident. You have to tell the truth, even if the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
You’ll also have to provide your personal health insurance information. Typically, your insurance will cover your medical treatment. They will then seek reimbursement from the other driver’s insurance carrier.
In this case, since there is no insurance, your primary health insurance will have to cover your care.
Your Property Damage May Be Covered by Your Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
It is unusual, but if you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, it may cover the damage to your bike. Now, if your bike is an inexpensive one, you may have to repair or replace it yourself.
You may find that the deductible on your policy is more than the replacement value of your bicycle. If that’s the case, buy a new bicycle and keep a receipt. This way, if your accident attorney in Santa Ana does sue the defendant, you can include this in your demand for damages.
Your Santa Ana Accident Lawyer Can Sue the Other Driver Personally for Damages
While it’s a last resort, your Santa Ana bicycle accident lawyer may have to sue the other driver personally. Unfortunately, while your lawsuit may be successful, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be paid.
When you sue somebody personally, you have to hope that they have enough assets to cover your damages. By the time your judgment is actually paid, it can be years later.
You’ll Still Be Entitled to Damages for Lost Wages and Lost Future Income
As part of your lawsuit, you’ll demand damages for any lost wages you experienced. In addition, if you can no longer do the same work you did before your bike accident, you may be entitled to damages for lost future income.
The Defendant Should be Liable for Your Pain and Suffering Damages
As with any other lawsuit, if your injuries were severe, you may be entitled to damages for pain and suffering. These usually make up a lion’s share of your settlement. With your bicycle accident, your Santa Ana accident lawyer will demand pain and suffering damages equal to three times your medical expenses.
Sit Down with an Experienced Accident Attorney in Santa Ana Right Away
If you’re injured in a bicycle accident, you’re at the mercy of the other driver. Even if they’re responsible, if they don’t have insurance, you don’t have many options. That’s why it’s a good idea to meet with an experienced Santa Ana accident lawyer so they can help you decide which avenue to pursue.
It would be one thing if you caused the crash. At least then, you could understand being responsible for your own care. However, when the other driver is the one who crashed into your bike, it just doesn’t seem fair.
We recommend that you call our office today and schedule a date and time to come into the office. You can take advantage of your free, initial consultation with a seasoned bicycle accident attorney in Santa Ana.