A bicycle accident in Huntington Beach can be problematic and confusing. Although Huntington Beach is a massive town, it is common to see people riding their bicycles around it. Therefore, bicycle accidents are relatively common in Huntington Beach. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, it is essential to contact a personal injury lawyer to help you with your bicycle accident claim. Dealing with a bicycle accident can be a headache if you try to go it alone; therefore, contacting a professional law firm to help you with your claim will make things easier for you.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
These are some steps that need to be taken if you have been in a bicycle accident in Huntington Beach.
1) Call the Police
Whether you are suffering from severe injuries or not, a police officer must be called to the scene of the accident. When the officer writes a report, it will include who was involved in the bicycle accident, what happened to make the accident occur, witness testimonies, and the names of those involved.
2) Seek Medical Attention
You need to make sure that you seek medical attention at the accident scene. You may have clear injuries, but you also may have injuries that are not readily apparent. A professional EMT will recognize if something significant is wrong with you better than a self-diagnosis can. Along with seeking medical attention at the scene, you may want to see a doctor as soon as possible after the bicycle accident since some injuries may not be apparent when the accident first occurs, but appear later after the shock and adrenaline have worn off.
3) Collect Information
Collecting the driver’s information is an essential step when you have been in a bicycle accident. You will want to get their driver’s license information, insurance information, and license plate number. Getting the driver’s information will make it easier if you have to talk to their insurance or your insurance companies. Collecting information can be done while you are waiting to seek medical attention.
4) Gather Evidence
While you are waiting for the ambulance to get to the scene, you should start gathering evidence at the scene of the bicycle accident. Gathering evidence can include taking pictures of the driver’s car, your injuries, and pictures of your bicycle. They will be useful in your personal injury claim. Of course, a personal injury law firm can help gather all the evidence you have and talk to the insurance company for you, and relieve you from the stress of not knowing what to say or how to handle the claim.
5) Get Witness Testimonies
If there is anyone in Huntington Beach that stuck around after the accident and witnessed what happened, it is in your best interest to get their contact information. Collecting their contact information can be helpful in the future when you are talking to your bicycle accident lawyer because they can talk to the witness about your Huntington Beach bicycle accident. Witness testimony can help a personal injury lawyer represent bicycle accident victims due to having more evidence about what occurred during the accident.
6) Hire Professional Help
Dealing with an insurance company can be a time-consuming task, but getting the compensation you need is essential. Therefore, it is necessary to hire a Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer to talk to the insurance company for you and deal with negotiations. Professional and experienced help will ensure that you get the compensation you deserve and that the insurance company does not make a lowball offer. Plus, a skilled Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer knows what to say to the insurance company to help your case and not harm it.
A Huntington Beach personal injury lawyer has to prove that the driver was negligent. A negligent driver who causes a bicycle accident is not taking enough care when it comes to bicyclists on the road. Therefore, your Huntington Beach lawyer needs to prove a couple of things to prove that the driver was negligent.
- The driver was obligated to follow a duty of care towards others on the road. Duty of care means that the driver should follow the rules of the road towards bicyclists and other drivers.
- Next, it must be proven that the driver did not follow the duty of care while on the road with other bicyclists and cars. For example, the driver did not keep the right distance from the bicyclist on the road or made a right turn while the bicyclist was in the crosswalk.
- Your Huntington Beach lawyer must prove that since the driver did not follow the duty of care, it resulted in an accident.
- Lastly, the victim has sustained losses due to the accident, which include pain and suffering, loss of wages, and medical expenses.
Remember, for your Huntington Beach lawyer located in Orange County to prove that you are not at fault for this accident, you need to prove that you were following all rules and regulations for bicyclists in the Huntington Beach area.
Now that we know what negligence is, we can explain the process further.
Orange County Bicycle Accident Case Steps
If you have suffered serious injuries or fatal injuries from a Huntington Beach bicycle accident in the Orange County area, then there are several steps that need to be taken to file your Huntington Beach bicycle accident claim. A professional Orange County personal injury lawyer can help you perform these steps. Remember, you do not have to go through the process alone.
1) Demand Letter
The first process in a personal injury case is to have the injured party write a demand letter to the insurance company. Your lawyer can help you draft a demand letter to the insurance company. The demand letter will explain why the insurance company should pay for the damages that have occurred due to the accident and explain why the driver is legally responsible for the accident. There are several damages that can be stated including,injuries, the cost of medical treatments and doctor visits, if you have lost income due to missing work, and any pain and suffering you experienced.
After the demand letter is sent, the insurance company will either approve or deny the settlement offer. For most cases, the insurance company may come back with a counteroffer, and the lawyer will negotiate back and forth until the victim receives the compensation they deserve. In other cases, the insurance company may deny the offer, which would bring you to the next step.
2) Filing a Complaint
Filing a complaint informs the insurance company and the courts that a lawsuit is being filed for compensation. The formal complaint will include all parties involved, the court’s jurisdiction over the case, evidence that supports the claim, the driver’s legal claims, and the amount the victim is seeking.
Once the formal complaint is drafted, the letter must be presented to the driver in person; this is usually done via a process server. The driver—aka the defendant— will have thirty days to respond to the letter; if they do not respond, then the claim is decided in the plaintiff’s favor. In most cases, the defendant replies, and it’s on to the next step.
In the discovery phase, both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s lawyers will gather evidence, investigate the claim, question both parties, and speak to witnesses. The discovery phase is where all the evidence you gathered, including police reports, witness testimony, contact information, photos, and the defendant’s contact information, will come in handy. Your lawyer will also gather any documentation, including medical bills, proof of lost wages, or therapy appointments you attended. The lawyers from each side of the argument can file motions while in this stage, as well, where they can get the case dismissed, delayed, or ask the courts to make a decision.
Most cases will not reach the trial phase because the lawyers go through mediation to reach a settlement that the plaintiff is happy with. But, in the rare case that they cannot come to an agreement, the next step in the process is a trial.
Again, in the rare case that both parties cannot come to an agreement, the two parties will go to trial. In the trial, the judge will hear both sides of the argument and decide whether the plaintiff is owed the compensation they are asking for.
It is essential to remember that going to trial can be costly, time-consuming, and take a lot of energy from you and your lawyer. The point in a personal injury claim due to a bicycle accident is not to go to court but to reach a settlement agreeable to both sides. And, most of the time, both parties can reach an agreement. But, that is why it is essential to hire an experienced lawyer who can help you achieve that settlement as fast as possible, without the headache of a trial. Thankfully, there are professional lawyers in Huntington Beach that can help you get to the decision you need to receive fair compensation.
Huntington Beach Bicycle Accident Attorney
Our law firm office is here to help if you or someone you know has been the victim of a bicycle accident in Huntington Beach. We offer the experience and knowledgeable staff to get you the compensation you deserve. You do not have to go through the process alone because professionals are willing and able to help you with your case. Do not wait. Contact our office today to get the help you need and be on the way to financial healing for the pain and suffering you have been through due to the unfortunate accident. We will do everything in our power to ensure that you have the best experience.