How soon do I need to bring a case after a bicyclist accident?
- March 29, 2017
Statistically speaking, bicycle accidents often end up causing more serious injuries to the bicycle rider than other types of accidents involving vehicles, collisions and pedestrian riders. Sadly, many bicycle accidents even result in fatalities for the rider.
In general, the state of California considers bicycle accidents and bicycle injury claims as types of personal injury cases. A personal injury case is a case in which the negligence and carelessness of one party causes the serious mental, emotional or physical harm of another. The person or business who is negligent is considered the defendant, and the person or party who is injured is considered the plaintiff in the case.
If you have recently been involved in a bicycle accident and have incurred physical, mental or emotional harm because of the careless negligence of a driver, you may be entitled to damages and compensation from that party. Because of a serious bike accident, the accumulation debt from medical bills, loss of wages, the inability to continue employment and pain and suffering can cause thousands of dollars in loss. And you may deserve these damages to compensate your financial losses and suffering.
With that being said, it is essential that you file your personal injury claim as soon as possible when you’ve been in a bike accident. In the United States, statutes of limitations are laws that require plaintiffs to file their bicycle accident personal injury claims within a set period of time. Every state has different statutes of limitations for different types of personal injury cases.
In the state of California, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases such as bicycle accidents is two years. In other words, you have exactly two years from the date of harm or the date of the bicycle accident to file your claim against the negligent party. Still, there are certain caveats that must be understood when it comes to this specific type of personal injury case. Certain situations may shorten the statute of limitations, making it even more crucial that you file as soon as you can.
Bicycle accidents that involve a government-controlled or public vehicle
Certain types of vehicles are considered differently by the state when it comes to accidents involving vehicle collisions. First, there are privately owned vehicles. If you have been in a bike accident with a privately owned vehicle driver, the statute of limitations on filing a claim remains at two years.
On the other hand, if your accident was with a government owned and operated vehicle or a public vehicle like a bus, the statute of limitation changes. Instead of having two years, the plaintiff will have just six months or 180 days to file their damages claim. It is important to note here that a damages claim is different from an official lawsuit. You’ll have six months to file a damages claim after you’ve been in a bicycle accident with a government or public vehicle. You will then have two years from the date of the accident to file your official lawsuit.
Talking with a lawyer about your bicycle accident personal injury case
It is important to contact a reliable lawyer who you can trust in the event of a bicycle accident. Not only do you need them to help you file your lawsuit as soon as possible, but you’ll also want to make sure that there are not other statutory limitations that you may be unaware of that could do eliminate or reduce your compensation rights.
Unlike other types of lawsuits, lawyers who handle personal injury cases will generally meet with you for a free, in-person consultation to discuss the accident, your situation and your eligibility for damages and compensation. This initial meeting is free of charge, and you can find out valuable information about whether or not your case can be brought to court and whether or not your inquiry for damages is legitimate.
Finally, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner they can help you navigate the often hard-to-understand legal system and deter defendants and insurance agencies who would have you settle immediately and receive much less damages than you deserve. If you have recently been in a bicycle accident, contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to get the compensation that is due to you.