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Bicyclist At Fault: Contact A Bicycle Accident Attorney

By Expert Author: R. Klettke

When a bicycle accident with injury occurs between an automobile and a bicycle, it is imperative that the injured party consults a bicycle accident attorney. Also known as a personal injury lawyer, a bicycle accident attorney is one especially skilled in the investigation of these types of accident, as well as experienced in arguing these cases in court.

A bike accident that leaves the bicyclist seriously injured or dead is of course a catastrophic event. Bicyclists rightly deserve respectful treatment for navigating the streets and avenues of our towns and cities without burning fossil fuels and reducing congestion on the road. But drivers of cars and busses often fail to provide due caution around bicyclists, and severe traffic accidents involving bicyclists and motor vehicles happen in Los Angeles every day.

Fault for the accident often falls squarely on the operator of the motor vehicle and its driver (and the insurer for that driver), who then is responsible for economic and non-economic (i.e., pain and suffering) damages inflicted upon the bicyclist. Sometimes, however, bicyclists make their own driving errors. When an accident is due to the cyclist’s error, the question posed to the attorney) is: Does that mean the injured biker is due no compensation for his or her injuries and losses?

As any qualified bicycle accident lawyer can explain, the California principle of shared responsibility always needs to be considered.

Shared responsibility is when vehicle A (here, the bicycle) and vehicle B (a car) are in an accident where both bear some fault. If vehicle B is found by a judge to be 60 percent at fault, and the bicyclist losses were $200,000, the auto driver’s insurance company should compensate the rider with $120,000. Note that in cases of paralysis injuries, expenses for medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering and mental anguish can total several million dollars.

To determine the degree of fault, the bicyclist almost certainly needs the support of an experienced trial attorney who specializes in bicycle accidents. The burden is on the injured party to prove both that degree of fault – through accident investigators and other expert witnesses – as well as the amount of damages. This would include a health care economist who can project the costs of care for a bicyclist with severe, life-long (or multi-year, when there is a chance of eventual recovery) injuries.

Work with a bicycle accident attorney on a contingency fee basis

Legitimate, qualified and skilled personal injury attorneys working on behalf of injured bicyclists, pedestrians, motorists and motorcyclists do not typically charge clients for their work until they achieve a satisfactory financial judgment. Use caution in paying an attorney upfront for such counsel.

R. Klettke is a freelance writer. He writes about personal injury and medical malpractice law and other matters of jurisprudence.

Important Advisory: This article is not intended to provide legal advice upon which you or anyone else should rely in making any decisions regarding the instituting or prosecuting of a legal claim. Laws and rules relating to the bringing of a claim vary widely from state to state. You should always contact a personal injury attorney to obtain information as to the rules and the laws pertaining to any claim you might have.

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