As a cyclist, you are at an increased risk of injury than someone who is traveling in a motor vehicle. A bicycle is simply no match for an automobile weighing thousands of pounds. When you’re involved in a wreck caused by a negligent driver, you should be able to recover a portion of your losses from the at-fault party.
However, you can be sure that the defense is going to do everything they can to minimize the total amount they’ll be required to pay you. If you weren’t wearing a helmet, for example, your claim could be impacted dramatically, per California’s negligence laws. Continuing reading to learn more about how your claim can be affected by your lack of helmet use.
California Negligence Laws
The state of California practices comparative negligence in regards to personal injury claims. This essentially enables injury victims to file claims even when they are partially responsible for the cause of the accident. Now, you might be wondering how you contributed to the cause of the accident by not wearing a helmet.
The answer is: You didn’t. But, you did contribute to your injuries by making the decision to not put on a helmet. The defense will argue that this shows a disregard for your safety. You will still be able to file a claim, but your final award will be reduced based on the percentage of liability you are found to carry.
For example, if you were considered to be 10 percent culpable for your injuries and were awarded $250,000, your award will be deducted by 10 percent, or $25,000, and you’ll come away with a total sum of $225,000.
When you’re already at an increased risk when sharing the road with vehicles capable of causing catastrophic injuries, choosing not to wear a helmet simply isn’t worth the risk. If not for your personal safety, than for the risk of diminishing the value of your claim and leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses.
Obtain Full Compensation for Your Damages
The goal in pursuing a civil lawsuit is to obtain repayment for the damages you endured. Some of the different types of losses that could be considered when calculating the value of your bicycle injury claim include the following:
- Property damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Damage to your earning potential
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of household services
The amount that you’ll be awarded will largely depend on how significant your injuries were on your life. It stands to reasons that the more impactful your condition has been on your life, the more you can expect to be awarded. Your attorney will be responsible for quantifying your damages accordingly so that you can get the most out of your claim.
Contact an Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer
Are you ready to regain control of your life? If so, reach out to a qualified Orange County personal injury lawyer at Dickson Kohan & Bablove LLP today. Our firm will work diligently to secure maximum compensation for your suffering.
We are pleased to offer prospective clients a complimentary case assessment where we can examine the details of your bike crash in greater depth. To take advantage of this opportunity, simply complete the quick contact form we’ve provided below or call our office at 1-844-404-2400.