This three-part article addresses the question of what legal remedies exist for the surviving family of a bicyclist who is killed by a negligent driver. Part one of this article discusses proving fault, and the distinction between wrongful death claims and a survival action. Part two discusses the classes of plaintiffs who may bring a wrongful death action. Part three explains the types of damages that are available to them.
There are two basic categories of damages in a personal injury case: special damages and general damages. Special damages refer to the direct, quantifiable pecuniary loss that can be traced to the accident. General damages, on the other hand, refer to other, less readily quantifiable losses such as pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and emotional distress.
As the insurance industry pumped millions of dollars into tort reform by way of advertising and politics, life changed for consumers, including bicycle crash victims. Currently it’s common place to see a settlement offer of only $1,000.00 on a $3,000.00 case, with an offer to pay only your medical bills. Attorney fees and victim pain and suffering have taken a big hit.
What can you do when hit and seriously injured by a motorist you believe should not be driving to due to age or a mental or physical disability in order to protect others using the roads in the future? Following a fatal or serious injury accident, the Department of Motor Vehicles has authority to investigate and require a re-examination to determine whether the negligent drivers driving privileges should be revoked, suspended, restricted, or placed on probation.
While most states and Federal law only require the consent of one party to record a conversation, California and a handful of other states goes a step further. The California Invasion of Privacy Act (Penal Code §§630-637.5) requires the consent of all parties to a conversation before recording it.
This information is a thumbnail sketch of what an experienced bicycle trial attorney looks for in the form of evidence to prove your case – either for settlement or trial purposes. Insurance companies respond in kind to valid evidence and proof. So do Juries. Go on the offensive in your case, collect the evidence and win!
When cyclists hit their heads in accidents there are numerous ways that the brain can be damaged, and just as many ways for this damage to manifest itself. The following provides a brief explanation of what may happen and how your attorney can prove it in court.
Another way to change your experience is by including a different type of cycling in your routine. Are you a commuter? Maybe now is the time to start training for a weekend race. Are you dedicated to dirt? Consider giving commuting a spin. Even just for a cup of coffee.