You’ve had the accident. Perhaps you go to the hospital. The first thing you should do is call an attorney and get the attorney involved early. This way, you can preserve evidence, photograph the scene, talk to witnesses, take statements, and take photos. We’re trying to nail down liability in favor of our client and against the other side.
The client should immediately pursue his medical care. I always say that clients should have reasonable care and do what it takes to get better. However, don’t think that just because there is a lawsuit, you can go to the doctor 300 times if it’s not helping you.
Thusly, reasonable and thought-out medical care is important. The client can communicate with the attorney on the amount of care, the type of care, or the type of expert doctor he’s going to.
If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet, Will That Make it More Difficult for Me to Win?
This depends on your injury. If you’re injuring a body part other than your head, wearing a helmet probably made no difference at all. If you fall and you break your shoulder or your hip, a helmet wouldn’t have prevented that.
Assuming your injury is head-related, causing brain damage, the first question is, “Did you have a legal obligation to wear a helmet?”
Right now, in California, as an adult, you do not have this obligation. The other side will argue you should have been wearing one anyway. They will say a reasonable person would wear a one.
However, we would develop expert testimony on whether the person would have sustained the same injury, even if he or she has been wearing a helmet. If the force of impact is so great, it may not matter if you had a helmet on or not.
This is when we utilize the expert testimony to prove that. Thusly, it’s not fatal to a case. It can make the case harder, but it’s something we deal with frequently.
Can You Provide Any Relevant Case Studies?
I am going to tell you about an interesting one that doesn’t quite answer your question. This is a typical case. Bikes are riding along. The person changes the lane and picks the cyclist off. The person is hurt as a result.
I had a case recently in which a bike entered a construction zone. The bike was going fast. It was going 25 to 30 miles an hour, and a flagman waived the bike through. At the same time, a large big rig was exiting the construction site. It pulled out in front of the bicycle, creating very severe injuries.
The construction company was involved, the flagman was involved, and the general contractor was involved. It was a very complex case, one that required a lot of money to pursue. We received an excellent settlement.
There’s a tragic one. A lady went on her first competitive bike race. This was an open course, which means there is traffic on the roadways. They don’t close the highway, but there’s regular traffic.
The cyclists go off in flights, and the fastest flights go first. The slower ones go behind. She was in a third or fourth flight of riders.
In her group, they had a car to help them if they broke down. For example, if somebody has a flat tire, this car pulls up and hands out a new wheel. You change it, and you keep going.
They were on a two-lane highway out in the middle of nowhere. The car stopped in the traveled portion of the lane to help somebody. The riders came along, including the client. All the riders went around this vehicle. The woman rider, the client, didn’t see the car till the last moment. She hit the left rear of the car, and she crashed.
Several bikes ran over her, and people were moving at pretty high speed. She was killed in the accident, from the bikes going over her.
The tragedy was that this was a Mother’s day ride, and her husband and a couple of children were waiting at the finish line. It was just horrible. You just can’t make this up.
The case was against the people who put on the race and the people who were driving the control car. There were issues of comparative fault. Why didn’t she see the car when others did?
Then, there were issues of why the car pulled over in the lane. If the car could have gone another 100 yards and pulled off under a turnout to clear the roadway completely, the accident never would have happened.
There were issues with the promoter that put on the race, as well. Again, a simple, tragic bike crash resulting in a death became a very complex case.
For more information on Things To Do After A Bicycle Accident, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (916) 565-2100 today.