If you’ve been injured in a Los Angeles bicycle accident and believe that another motorist was at fault for the accident, you’re likely wondering if they’re responsible for paying your medical expenses. When riding a bicycle, there’s always a risk that you could be involved in an accident with another car, so it’s essential that you’re aware of your rights when riding in California.
What to Do Directly After the Bicycle Accident
If you believe that a motorist was at fault for the accident you were in, the best way to prove your claim and to ensure that you receive the money and compensation that’s owed you is by taking the right steps immediately following the accident. First, you’ll want to call the police and wait for them to arrive. When they arrive, make sure that you report any injuries, as small injuries could turn into larger ones in the future. It’s important that you write down the driver’s information as well as the information of any witnesses. When writing down the details of the accident, record everything that occurred, including the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident, how the accident happened, and any other detail you feel might be important.
Once you’ve recorded all of the necessary information, obtain medical treatment immediately. If you’re not taken to an emergency room by an ambulance at the scene of the accident, schedule an appointment at your doctor’s office as soon as possible so that the extent of your injuries is properly detailed by a trained medical professional, the details of which can be very helpful when you file a lawsuit against the motorist who caused the accident. Make sure that you preserve as much evidence as possible that could identify who was at fault for the accident. You also want to avoid talking to any insurance adjusters after the accident, as doing so will only hurt your claim in the long run.
Who Pays Your Medical Expenses
Most of the laws pertaining to bicycle vs. car accidents are the same as car vs. car ones, which is also the case when determining who was at fault for the accident at hand. Once you’ve identified fault, you can focus on obtaining compensation for any medical expenses that were incurred because of your injuries. As a bicyclist, you’re kept to the same rules of the road as car drivers. If the motorist was at fault for the accident, it’s possible for you to obtain compensation for the injuries you received and the medical expenses that followed.
The driver at fault will be required to pay for at least some of your medical expenses in the event that you were injured. Fault isn’t always determined on a basis of allotting 100 percent of the blame to one driver and 0 percent to another. In some cases in California, 50 percent of the blame will be allotted to both drivers, which means that you likely wouldn’t receive much compensation for any injuries that occurred in the accident. However, if the other driver is determined to be at 70 percent fault or higher, you should be able to obtain a hefty amount of compensation.
In accordance with California law, you have exactly two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the motorist in question, though this time period is reduced to six months in the event that the individual who caused the accident works for the government. Even though you were riding a bicycle, if a motorist caused an accident, you are due compensation for any injuries you’ve received and can recover money in a wide range of categories, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Any physical pain you’ve received in the past or expect to in the future
- Emotional suffering
- Wage loss
- Property damage
- Loss of the ability to earn money in the future
In order to get the total compensation that you believe you deserve, thorough documentation is essential, as is not making any mistakes throughout the case, which is why you should seek the services of an experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney, who will represent your case to the best of their abilities.