Fresno Personal Injury Lawyers | Accident Attorneys
Fresno Bicycle Accident Attorneys
In an effort to make the roadways more hospitable to bikers, the city of Fresno has designated numerous bike paths so riders don’t have to share lanes with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, even when cyclists make every effort to avoid collisions, all it takes is one negligent driver to cause a tragic wreck. If you or a member of your family was struck by a vehicle while riding, our bicycle accident attorneys may be able to help you obtain compensation for medical bills, lost income, and other damages.
It is not unheard of for insurance companies to undervalue these claims or to leave certain damages out of the settlement entirely. Our lawyers won’t let the claims adjuster take advantage of you. We will aggressively pursue the funds you deserve, and we won’t shy away from a fight if the opposing party refuses to pay a fair settlement. To set up a free consultation, call us today at 1-800-GO-HARRIS.
What Elements Must I Prove to Win a Settlement or Verdict?
There are three elements that must be proven to prevail in any personal injury claim: liability, causation, and damages. Proving liability will require your Fresno bicycle accident lawyer to demonstrate that the defendant was legally responsible for the crash that caused your injuries. While liability is usually established by proving negligence—i.e. proving that the defendant breached the duty of care—it may also be established by proving strict liability. If, for example, the accident occurred due to a manufacturing defect in an auto part or bicycle part, the manufacturer might be held strictly liable for your damages, meaning that a finding of negligence or intent will not be needed to impose liability.
After proving liability, it must be shown that your injuries would not have happened but for the defendant’s misconduct. This is called proving “causation.” While proving causation is sometimes straightforward, you might face a dispute if you assert that the accident has aggravated a pre-existing injury. In this scenario, the defendant might say that you would have incurred the medical bills and other damages regardless of the crash. Your attorney might counter such a defense using your medical records from before and after the accident as well as the deposition of medical experts and your treating physician.
Finally, you will have to prove the damages you have incurred and their value. You may also be able to collect compensation for future damages such as lost earning capacity and future healthcare costs. The evidence needed to prove damages will depend on the kinds of damages you intend to pursue, the types of injuries you’ve sustained, and many other factors. But generally speaking, the following evidence often plays an important role in proving damages after a bicycle accident:
- Photos of injuries;
- Diagnostic images;
- Other medical records;
- Financial documents;
- The victim’s personal injury journal;
- Receipts for necessary expenses arising from the accident or injury;
- Medical, financial, and vocational expert witness deposition; and
- Percipient witness deposition.
What Factors Might Influence the Potential Value of My Case?
You might already be aware that your claim can account for any medical costs, lost income, and property damage caused by the tort. These are called “economic damages.” You may also be entitled to non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost enjoyment in life. If the defendant’s misconduct involved malice, oppression, or fraud, punitive damages might also be available.
If your injury wasn’t that serious, you’ve already made a full recovery, and you didn’t miss any work, calculating damages might be fairly straightforward; however, there are many factors that could complicate matters. For example, if you have suffered a permanent disability, you may be able to collect compensation for future damages such as ongoing medical care and loss of future income. Calculating the value of such damages may involve complex formulas, and it is likely that the deposition of various expert witnesses would be needed.
There are also many circumstances when a defendant might argue that the award of damages should be reduced. For instance, if you were violating a traffic law at the time of the crash, the defense might assert that you should be held partially liable for your damages under California’s comparative negligence standard. If you somehow disobeyed your doctor’s orders—for instance, by returning to work too soon or participating in strenuous activities—the defense might assert that you have failed to mitigate your damages.
Our bicycle accident attorneys in Fresno can identify any potential weaknesses in your case that might lead to a damages dispute. With many decades of combined experience in personal injury litigation, our lawyers are able to anticipate, avoid, and counter such disputes should they arise.
Speak with a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in Fresno Today
Nobody should have to face an uncertain financial future due to an injury or wrongful death that someone else caused. If you intend to bring a bicycle accident claim, turn to Harris Personal Injury Lawyers for representation. The consultation is free, and we work on a contingency fee basis. Dial 1-800-GO-HARRIS or message us online to set up a case review.