Have you sustained injuries in a bicycle accident in Carlsbad, CA? You may have a valid claim for compensation against the responsible party. Mission Personal Injury Lawyers can represent you during the entire process.
Our trusted Carlsbad bicycle accident lawyers can help you recover money for your doctor’s bills, lost wages, and trauma after a bicycle crash. Our team believes that bicyclists are entitled to safe roads, just like pedestrians and cars.
We offer a free consultation to review your case and provide legal guidance. Reach out today at (619)777-5555 to get started.
How Can Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Help You After a Bicycle Accident in Carlsbad, CA
Since 2010, Mission Personal Injury Lawyers has helped bicycle accident victims in Carlsbad and throughout the greater San Diego area. We know how accidents happen and the necessary steps to get compensation. Our Carlsbad personal injury lawyers have over 43 years of combined experience in personal injury law and have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients.
When you hire us to handle your personal injury case, we will determine the cause of the accident and find out who is responsible. Our team will collect evidence, file insurance claims, and negotiate to get you a fair settlement. If we can’t settle, we will file a lawsuit on your behalf and stand up for you in court and during trial.
Mission Personal Injury Lawyers aren’t afraid of a fight. You can rely on us to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our law office serving Carlsbad, California, today to learn more.
How Often Do Bike Crashes Happen in San Diego County?
The California Department of Motor Vehicles estimates that 10,000 bicyclists are injured in collisions annually, and 1,000 die as a result of their injuries.
Unfortunately, a large number of these accidents happen in San Diego County. In fact, from 2017 – 2021, there were 3,636 bike crashes and 47 fatalities. This is a significant number, especially when compared to the national average of 130,000 injuries annually.
What Causes Bike Accidents in Carlsbad?
There are many different causes of bike accidents around the county, including in Carlsbad, CA. The majority of accidents happen when a bicycle collides with a car. Usually, these types of collisions are caused by:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield
- Unsafe lane changes
- Running red lights
- Tailgating or aggressive driving
Sometimes, however, bicycle accidents happen because of an external condition that creates a dangerous situation for a biker. Examples may include:
- Unsafe road conditions (like potholes or debris)
- Improper signage
- Inclement weather or poor visibility
- Lack of bike lanes
- Unsafe construction zones
- Bicycle malfunction
The reality is that bicycle accidents happen very quickly. It’s normal to not fully understand what caused the crash, especially if there isn’t another car involved. Our team will help you investigate the cause of the crash so that we can hold the right party accountable. This may include visiting the scene of the crash or consulting with an expert.
Why Are Bicycle Accidents So Dangerous?
Bicycle accidents are particularly dangerous, especially when compared to a car crash. The reason may seem obvious. Bicycles only have two wheels, making them less stable than a car.
Furthermore, bicyclists are more exposed to serious bodily injury in a crash. There is no protection from the body of the car, airbags, or other safety equipment. In fact, most bicyclists are only protected by a helmet. While helmets are 85%-88% effective at preventing head and brain injuries, they do not protect a bicyclist from other serious injuries.
Typical Carlsbad Bicycle Accident Injuries
Unfortunately, many bicycle accident injuries are catastrophic and even deadly. However, the typical range of injuries can go from minor to severe. Most bicyclists will have more than one injury or a combination of multiple.
The most common types of injuries we see are:
- Brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Neck injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Facial injuries
Our team is knowledgeable about many different types of injuries. However, we always take the time to speak with your doctors so that we can fully understand your injuries, the treatment, and how it may impact your life. We never assume that every case is the same, and recognize that your case requires personalized attention to detail rather than a run-of-the-mill approach.
How To Ask for Damages After a Bike Accident in Carlsbad
After a bicycle accident in Carlsbad, there are two different options for seeking damages. A lawyer will help you figure out which course of action is the best for your legal case.
If you got into a crash with a car, you will probably file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver. The insurance company will decide if the policyholder is responsible for the accident. If so, they may pay for your damages up to the policy limit.
The insurance company will look at evidence when determining who is responsible for the crash. The evidence may include:
- Witness statements (including yours and the at-fault driver’s)
- Photographs of the scene
- Property damage
- Medical records
- Video footage
Unfortunately, most insurance companies are looking for a way to avoid paying the full amount. It’s in their best interest to avoid liability. You should be careful about your statements to their insurance company and make sure you don’t admit fault, even accidentally.
It’s common for insurance companies to deny claims or refuse to pay the full value. If they outright deny a claim, you should speak with an attorney; the next step is to file a lawsuit. If the insurance company accepts liability but refuses to pay your total damages, you can negotiate with them.
Ultimately, you have the choice to reject a lowball or inadequate settlement offer. If you can’t agree, you will also file a personal injury lawsuit. Again, it’s very helpful to have the help of a lawyer to negotiate with insurance and try to resolve the case without going to court.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you cannot agree with the insurance company, or if your case doesn’t involve an insurance policy, your will file a personal injury lawsuit. For an accident in Carlsbad, you will probably file the lawsuit in the North County Regional Center.
Filing a lawsuit includes preparing a complaint that mentions how the accident happened, why the defendant is responsible, and the damages that you are requesting. The defendant will answer the complaint, and then the legal proceedings will begin.
A bicycle accident personal injury lawsuit can resolve in as little as months but can also take longer. It depends on the complexity of the case. This includes the amount of evidence, the length of the discovery period, and the time it will take to prepare for trial.
Different Types of Damages Available to Bicycle Accident Victims in Carlsbad
Bicycle accident victims in Carlsbad can request three different types of damages depending on the circumstances of their case.
Economic damages are financial losses that happen because of an accident. Economic damages are easy to calculate because there is a definite value. The main difficulty is calculating future economic damages, which you are also entitled to after a bicycle crash.
Economic damages include:
- Doctors bills
- Emergency medical treatment
- Follow up appointments
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- In-home care
- Property damage (such as to the bike)
- Lost wages (past and future)
- Lost earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Your specific economic damages will depend on the scope of your injury and the required treatment.
Non-economic damages are compensation for non-monetary losses that happen after a bicycle accident. This is often referred to as pain and suffering damages. The purpose is to compensate you for the effect that the trauma has had on your emotional and psychological well-being, as well as your quality of life.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- PTSD, anxiety, depression
While you can recover compensation for non-economic damages, treatment for mental health issues (like therapy) is considered economic damages.
Punitive damages are far less common than the other forms of damages. That’s because the purpose is to punish the defendant for their conduct rather than to compensate the victim.
To recover punitive damages, you must prove that the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or oppression. Your lawyer will help you decide whether or not the defendant’s action rose to that level in your case.
How Long Do I Have To File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in California?
In California, you have two years to file a bicycle accident lawsuit. This applies regardless of if the lawsuit is based on an injury or wrongful death.
Two years can go by quickly after an accident, especially as you start to fully understand the impact of your injury. By getting a lawyer involved as soon as possible, you can ensure that you don’t miss the deadline and focus on healing.
Call a Carlsbad Bicycle Accident Lawyer for Legal Help Today
If you’re ready to speak with a Carlsbad bicycle accident attorney, contact Mission Personal Injury Lawyers for legal advice. We can schedule a free consultation to hear about your case and explain how we can help. Calling us is the first step on the path to getting justice.