Do you ride a bicycle for your health? Do you ride one to help the environment? Whether you ride a bicycle for exercise, as a mode of transportation or both, anytime you ride near traffic, your ride could quickly turn into a catastrophe. If an accident occurs, you could suffer serious injuries since riding a bicycle does not provide you much protection from the impact of a vehicle. Where a vehicle driver could walk away without an injury, you could end up facing a lengthy recovery, along with permanent injuries.
In California, even if you contribute to the accident, you might still recover damages. Therefore, even if you made a wrong move, the other driver might still owe you damages. First, you must prove that the driver involved also contributed to the crash that injured you.
What kinds of behavior on the driver's part prove negligence?
Some behaviors that contribute to negligence include:
- The driver veered into a bike lane.
- The driver was distracted.
- The driver drove above the speed limit or too fast for the road conditions.
- The driver ran a stop sign.
- The driver drove recklessly.
- The driver drank and then got behind the wheel.
The list of negligent acts on the road includes many more behaviors than these. An investigation into your accident should reveal the factors that led to it. These factors help prove the driver's negligence, but other elements of your personal injury claim require proving as well.
What elements do I need to prove?
The first part of most personal injury claims involves proving the following:
- The driver owed you a duty of care.
- The driver violated that duty.
- The violation caused your injuries.
Every driver, bicyclist and pedestrian owes a duty to others who share the roadways to act responsibly. The factors that led to the crash illustrate the violation of that duty.
Where do I start?
It might be beneficial to discuss your accident with an attorney. He or she provides you with an understanding of your legal rights, including the damages you could seek. After conducting an investigation into the accident, he or she could advise you regarding the next steps. An attorney should prepare to go to trial even while attempting to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Regardless of what else happens, you should have the freedom to recover from your injuries without worrying about dealing with insurance companies or the courts.