Bicycle accidents are a frequent occurrence in the narrow streets of Chula Vista. The problem is not just in this city but is seen throughout the entire San Diego metropolitan area. Many drivers overlook bikers’ presence on the road and instead focus their attention on bigger vehicles. Since bicycles are smaller in size and lack the protective features of a car, bikers are at a higher risk of injury in case of accidents.
Cities like Chula Vista and Escondido each average about 55 bicycle accidents yearly; this number might seem less to some, but several lives are affected by just one incident. Likewise, it’s important to note that bikers can also contribute to causing serious accidents through their own negligence.
That said, if you find yourself in such a situation, seeking the assistance of a bicycle accident lawyer can be beneficial. For example, our Law Firm, Shamon Law, has a team of Chula Vista bicycle accident lawyers to provide a concise overview of all aspects of a bicycle accident in the city and also represent your case in the most strategic manner.
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California and National Bike Accident Statistics
On average, about 5 bicyclists and 20 pedestrians are killed every year in car accidents in San Diego. However, the county experiences roughly 500 car and bicycle collisions each year. In a typical year, approximately 25 of these collisions lead to serious injuries, 300 to visible injuries, and 150 to minor injuries and pain. In 2021, out of 659 bicycle crashes, there were 9 fatalities and 681 injured victims, according to the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) report by the Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS).
The stats indicate that San Diego City experiences the most bicycle accidents annually in San Diego County, with Chula Vista having a comparable number of incidents, averaging about 55 each year.
California Bicycle Accident Laws & Regulation
The city of Chula Vista incorporates several California Vehicle Codes developed by the authorities for Bicycle accidents. Vehicle Code 21200(a) requires bicyclists to obey all traffic regulations that apply to other motor vehicles on the roadway.
Vehicle Code 21200.5 prohibits bicyclists from consuming alcoholic beverages or other intoxicating substances before operating a bicycle. Doing so constitutes a traffic violation, which can result in a $250 fine. And Vehicle Code 21201(a) states that a bicycle must be outfitted with appropriate brakes and handlebars positioned below the rider’s shoulders. Additionally, the bike’s size should allow riders to place their foot on the ground to stop it safely.
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Do I Need a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident Claim in Chula Vista?
Although California permits you to handle your case independently by filing a claim or lawsuit, there are better choices than this one, as each case consists of numerous variables and complicated processes. Therefore, it’s considered crucial to seek advice from a Chula Vista bicycle accident lawyer, and Shamon Law is a viable option for anyone seeking guidance.
Insurance companies frequently exploit victims’ vulnerability and inexperience to minimize the settlement amount paid by the defendant. They collaborate with professional lawyers to create strategies that manipulate you into thinking the proposed settlement is fair and that you may be at fault. It can be extremely challenging to face such industry leaders on their own turf; therefore, self-representation may only be fruitful in very few cases.
We at Shamon Law aim to assist you in every way possible, either by fending off these malpractitioners through direct intervention or simply guiding you to deal with them throughout your bicycle accident case. It is often challenging to identify these wrongful practices and hold the insurance companies accountable; Shamon Law stands as a helping hand in such tough times.
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How Can a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Chula Vista Help?
There are many ways a bicycle accident attorney puts value to your case; the help one can get by just a counseling session is immense. Once you contact an accident lawyer, they will determine if your case requires an attorney or if a consultation is sufficient. It greatly helps you to gauge the complexity of the case; if it involves intricate fault among several parties or severe, long-term injuries, it is advisable to retain an attorney.
The attorney also gathers evidence, conducts investigations, and negotiates with the defendant’s insurance company on your behalf. Additionally, their expertise in managing the paperwork, including completing application forms, documenting evidence, communicating with the insurance company, and attending meetings, comes in handy. This direct intervention saves time and effort and decreases the chances of devastating blunders.
At Shamon Law, we also represent you during settlement negotiations, and if an agreement is reached, we will assist you with the release forms and disbursement of the settlement funds. If no settlement is reached, our experts will guide you through filing a lawsuit and provide representation throughout the pre-trial, trial, and post-trial stages. Ensuring you of accurate compensation for your losses.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycling is one of the most popular modes of transportation in Chula Vista, but it can also be dangerous. These accidents can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Understanding the common causes of bicycle accidents in Chula Vista can help cyclists take precautions and avoid potential dangers on the road.
- Accidents are often caused by riding or driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Distracted riding or driving is another common cause of bicycle accidents.
- Being tired or fatigued can also contribute to bicycle accidents.
- T-bone crashes, head-on collisions, and rear-end collisions are all types of accidents that can involve bicycles.
- Speeding is a significant factor in most accident cases.
- Poor road conditions and adverse weather can increase the risk of accidents involving bicycles.
Common Injuries Bicyclists Suffer in Accidents
Bike accident victims often suffer severe injuries as there is no extra layer of protection between them and the forceful impact made upon them by a larger automobile vehicle.
Some common injuries sustained by bikers in Chula Vista, CA, are:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Damage or tearing of muscles
- Internal bleeding
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What to Do After you get into a Bicycle Accident in Chula Vista?
If you experience a bicycle accident, it can be overwhelming and unsettling. Knowing the right steps can help protect your safety and legal rights. The experts at Shamon Law are offering practical advice for those involved in a bicycle accident in Chula Vista, California. Below we’ve covered essential steps to help you navigate your accident’s aftermath.
- Step 1 is to prioritize seeking medical assistance. If your injuries are severe, call 911 for emergency medical help. If your injuries are less severe, it is still important to visit a doctor as soon as possible to identify any hidden injuries that could cause long-term damage. It is advisable to consult with a doctor even if you do not feel any pain or injuries.
- Step 2 is to contact law enforcement. Under California Vehicle Code section 20008, any person involved in or witnessing a vehicle accident must contact the police or California Highway Patrol within 24 hours to report the incident. If the accident resulted in an injury or property damage exceeding $1000, it must be reported to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 5 days as per Vehicle Code section 16000. We recommend contacting law enforcement after seeking medical attention to ensure the accident is properly reported to the authorities.
- Step 3 is to seek advice from a Chula Vista bicycle accident lawyer. It is crucial to seek guidance from an attorney before disclosing your position in the accident to the other party’s insurance company. Making a mistake during this process can allow the insurance company to exploit your statement.
Once you leave the hospital, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They will assess your case, inform you of your legal rights, determine an estimated compensation amount based on insurance policies, and help you communicate with the insurance company.
- Step 4 is collecting evidence and Investigating the accident. In addition to medical and authority reports, other evidence can be crucial to your bicycle accident case. A personal injury lawyer can assist in gathering evidence such as photographs, video footage, and witness testimony. If the accident resulted in complex injuries, a medical expert may be brought in to provide further insight. All evidence will be thoroughly documented and used to investigate the accident’s fault sharing and determine a fair amount of compensation for your injuries or damage. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance company to secure this compensation.
- Step 5 is the settlement and filing of a lawsuit. If your evidence is strong and the negotiation with the insurance company is successful, a settlement amount will be agreed upon by all parties involved. You will need to sign a release form and should expect to receive your settlement check within 2 to 4 weeks. However, if the insurance company does not offer a fair amount, you can file a lawsuit with the help of your Chula Vista bicycle accident attorney. The lawsuit will be presented before a judge or jury, and the case outcome will depend on the verdict.
Compensation for Your Bicycle Accident Claim in Chula Vista
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident in Chula Vista, California, it’s essential to understand the types of compensation available to you.
Economic damages refer to the compensation for expenses that resulted directly from the accident, which you paid for out of your pocket. It includes medical bills, lost income, repair costs, therapy or rehabilitation expenses, and more.
Non-economic damages refer to compensation for intangible losses, such as pain and suffering or diminished quality of life, that cannot be easily quantified in monetary terms. The purpose of non-economic damage compensation is to offset the victim’s suffering with a different type of benefit.
The court may impose punitive damage compensation to penalize a defendant for their negligence or intentional harm. For instance, if the defendant deliberately put someone else in danger despite having the opportunity to avoid the accident, they will be held responsible for covering the punitive damage charges and the economic and non-economic damages awarded to the plaintiff.
Contact a Top-Rated Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
Recovering fair compensation after a bicycle accident can be challenging, especially since injuries can be severe. It can be overwhelming to navigate legal requirements and insurance policies in this vulnerable state while dealing with the insurance company. The solution is to have the best personal injury lawyer to represent you.
We are here to help you. Our law firm was established to ensure insurance companies are held responsible for compensating accident victims fairly. Our commitment to this goal remains unwavering. Chula Vista’s Shamon Law is home to a team of highly-skilled accident lawyers recognized for their successful track record and exceptional negotiation abilities. Our attorneys have access to various resources, which we use to build a strong case on your behalf.
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If you find yourself lost and helpless, or if the defendant’s insurance company is forcing you into an unsatisfactory settlement, a Chula Vista bicycle accident lawyer may be able to help you reach a fair and satisfactory resolution. It’s important to consult with a legal professional as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t compromise the losses you’ve experienced due to someone else’s fault. Contact us today for a free consultation, and determine the severity of your bicycle accident and the value of your injuries right now. Shamon Law is always eager to help out.
Chula Vista Bicycle Accident Lawyer FAQs
Regarding Bicycle Injury Claims in Chula Vista, the statute of limitations deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit is 2 years from the date of the accident. At the same time, property damage has a 3-year deadline. However, if the injury is discovered later, victims can file the case 1 year from the discovery date.
In Chula Vista, CA, it typically takes up to six months to complete the personal injury claim process, including negotiation with the insurance company, following a bicycle accident. If a lawsuit is filed, the process may take six months to two years, during which your lawyer will handle pre-trial procedures. Once a settlement is reached, a release form must be signed, and you can expect to receive your compensation within 2 to 4 weeks through your lawyer.
In case you disagree with the settlement offer made by the insurance company, you can either negotiate or take legal action. Hiring a skilled personal injury attorney can aid in bargaining for a better settlement, or you can file a lawsuit to obtain suitable compensation for your damages.
Although it is not mandatory, it is strongly advised to enlist the services of a bicycle injury lawyer or a law firm such as Shamon Law in Chula Vista. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can more easily navigate intricate legal procedures, negotiate with insurance companies, and receive just compensation.
The total value of your damage compensation is influenced by a range of factors, including the severity of the injuries sustained, the extent of the damage to the property, medical expenses, lost wages, and the level of pain and suffering experienced. Working with an experienced attorney firm like Shamon Law can assist you in determining or securing maximum compensation for your losses.
Bicycle accident cases in Chula Vista can be settled outside of court through negotiation and mediation to avoid trial expenses and time. The injured party and the at-fault party’s insurance company or legal representatives negotiate a settlement amount that compensates the injured party. However, settling a case outside of court requires careful consideration and expert legal guidance. Therefore, contact Shamon Law to assist you through the settlement process and protect your rights and interests during negotiations.
In case the driver responsible for your bicycle accident in Chula Vista doesn’t have insurance, you may seek compensation through your own insurance policy, which must include Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage as per California law. This coverage can protect you if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured and can’t cover your losses. To know more about this process, you can contact our team here.