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El Centro Bicycle Accident Attorney

An El Centro bicycle accident can cause devastating injuries, often with lifelong consequences. Even bicycle riders wearing appropriate protective gear, including helmets, have little protection from a vehicle that strikes them or from the pavement.

If you suffered serious injuries in an El Centro bicycle accident, an attorney can help you seek compensation for your injuries. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to learn more about your legal rights and to receive a free consultation on your bicycle accident claim.

At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our El Centro personal injury lawyers have substantial experience in a wide range of accident claims, including a bicycle accident in which our client received $5 million in compensation for injuries sustained in the accident.

Injuries After an El Centro Bicycle Accident: The Potential Impact

Whether you suffered injuries due to a direct strike from a car or ran into a car door because a driver or passenger failed to adequately check his or her surroundings before opening the door, you may have serious injuries from a bicycle crash, many of which can cause an ongoing, lifelong impact.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Helmet use reduces the risk of head injury by 48 percent and the risk of traumatic brain injury (TBI) by 53 percent. Unfortunately, helmet use does not eliminate the risk of TBI. In a bicycle accident, your head may strike the pavement or the vehicle. If you lose consciousness for even a moment, it could represent a sign of traumatic brain injury. You can also suffer traumatic brain injury even if you do not lose consciousness.

Victims of even “mild” traumatic brain injuries may still show some symptoms more than a year after the accident, so even a “minor” TBI is still a serious injury. Other victims of TBI may suffer from lifelong complications that prevent them from taking on normal tasks.

Traumatic brain injury may cause the following effects:

  • Memory problems. Most people associate traumatic brain injury with amnesia. In addition, however, traumatic brain injury can cause problems with short-term memory. A TBI victim might not remember something said to him or her only moments before, or might have trouble remembering simple facts, like the contents of cabinets or why he or she went to a specific location.
  • Focus and concentration challenges. Many victims with traumatic brain injury struggle to focus or concentrate. This may cause extreme difficulty in completing work tasks or finishing household chores.
  • Emotional regulation difficulties. Victims of traumatic brain injury may have extreme mood swings or struggle to keep control of their emotions. They may react entirely out of proportion to the situation at hand. Often, this emotional overreaction can cause relationship difficulties or make it harder for victims to handle customer service positions or challenges at work.
  • Changes in sleep habits. Some victims with traumatic brain injury may struggle with insomnia, making it difficult to get adequate rest. Others may sleep too much as the brain tries to heal itself.
  • Changes in sensory perception. Victims with traumatic brain injury may have ringing in their ears, tunnel vision, or blurred vision. They may also suffer more extreme responses to sensory stimuli, including lights, sounds, and temperature differences.

Spinal Cord Injury

If a car strikes a rider on a bicycle, the impact can send the rider flying through the air. Not only does the car strike the victim, often directly, with some force, but also the victim may land hard on the ground. The spinal cord is not designed to take this kind of abuse and may break as a result. Incomplete spinal cord injury, in which the spinal cord does not sever completely, can leave a victim with decreased mobility. Complete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, can leave a victim completely paralyzed below the site of the injury.

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Spinal cord injury does not just affect the limbs. Organs located below the site of the injury can also face impact from spinal cord damage.

The victim of a spinal cord injury may need a wheelchair to get around. Many work tasks may grow more complicated or impossible to complete due to a spinal cord injury. A spinal cord injury victim may also lose mobility in the hands and arms, requiring substantial occupational therapy and ongoing rehabilitation to return to normal job responsibilities.

Amputation

The force of a bicycle accident, especially if a limb gets trapped between bicycle and car, can cause severe damage to the limb. In some cases, the limb gets severed immediately due to the force of the accident. Other times, doctors may decide that removing the limb will help the patient ultimately have the best quality of life, or doctors must remove the limb because crushing damage prevented blood flow for so long that the limb died as a result. Amputees often use prosthetic devices to compensate for the lost limb; however, prosthetics represent an ongoing expense for the patient throughout a lifetime.

Not only do many patients require extensive physical and occupational therapy to learn how to cope with a missing limb, but patients may also need to replace that prosthetic as frequently as every three to five years—an incredibly expensive proposition for which an experienced El Centro bicycle accident lawyer will try to account for during settlement negotiations.

Road Rash

Many cyclists, especially on hot, summer days, choose to minimize clothing while biking and working out to help increase airflow and prevent overheating. Unfortunately, this lack of clothing can also mean a significant lack of protection from the road in an accident. Road rash, or a friction burn that occurs as the skin drags across the pavement, can leave the victim with substantial scarring.

Some victims struggle with the psychological ramifications of that scarring, especially if it occurs on the face or a highly visible area of the body. If debris does not get removed properly from the wound, it can also lead to severe infection.

Broken Bones

In some cases, broken bones can heal quickly, with relatively minor inconvenience to the victim. Unfortunately, sometimes, broken bones can cause long-term difficulty for bicycle accident victims. Not only can broken bones create immediate challenges, including mobility issues, but also victims may have ongoing pain or loss of sensation from a severe break, even after making a recovery.

Multiple broken bones can make it difficult or even impossible for a victim to engage in adequate self-care or necessitate considerable rehabilitation. Many victims with broken bones may need to miss work at least temporarily while recovering, which can lead to mounting lost wages and medical costs.

Did You Suffer Injuries in an El Centro Bicycle Accident? Retain an Attorney to Help You Seek Compensation.

Many people have questions after suffering injuries in an El Centro bicycle accident. How much compensation do you deserve for your injuries? Who pays for your medical bills? An attorney can help answer your questions and provide reassurances about the claims process. An attorney can also help collect evidence about your accident, which can help establish a strong legal argument for your case.

Potential Compensation for El Centro Bicycle Accident Victims

An attorney cannot guarantee how much compensation you will receive following a bicycle accident. How much compensation you ultimately receive will depend on who caused your accident, the extent of your medical bills, and the limitations you face as a result of your injuries.

Most victims, however, can seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses. From traumatic brain injury to broken bones, severe injuries can leave you with severe medical expenses. In addition to your direct medical costs, including emergency transport and treatment, surgical treatment, and the cost of any follow-up visits with the medical professionals covering your case, you should also include the cost of any durable medical equipment, physical and occupational therapy following your injuries, and modifications you must make to your home to increase your independence despite your injuries.
  • Lost wages. Your bicycle accident injuries may prevent you from returning to work: immediately, while receiving treatment, and as you recover. Some employers will provide accommodations to help you get back to work as soon as possible, whether that means allowing you to work from home or providing modified equipment to help make your job easier. Others may require that you stay home until you make a full recovery. Contact an attorney to learn more about how to include those lost wages in your claim.
  • Your pain and suffering. Pain and suffering may not cause a quantifiable expense, but it does make up a substantial part of many personal injury claims. An attorney can help define how pain and suffering, including both physical and emotional trauma, may impact your claim.

Determining the Liable Party in an El Centro Bicycle Accident

To file a personal injury claim, your attorney will help identify the party or parties that caused your accident. Often, the driver that caused your accident may be the only liable party. A distracted or inebriated driver, one who ignored the rules of the road, or a driver who simply “did not see you” may bear full liability for the accident.

Likewise, if a driver or passenger opens a door into you as you travel down a sidewalk or street, causing you to wreck your bicycle, that individual may bear liability for your bicycle accident. Your attorney, however, will also consider other parties who may share liability for your injuries.

Consider the following potentially liable parties:

  • The driver’s employer, in the case of a driver working at the time of the accident. Employers bear liability for the actions of their drivers on the clock, especially when those actions pose a danger to another party or parties. Not only must the employer properly maintain all fleet vehicles to decrease accident risk, but also the employer must have reasonable standards for a driver, including when a driver may refuse to drive. Employers must also prevent commercial drivers from exceeding the legally limited number of hours such drivers can spend on the road.
  • A vehicle manufacturer, or your bicycle’s manufacturer, if a mechanical defect caused or contributed to the accident. Mechanical flaws can lead to catastrophic injuries, both when they cause accidents and when they contribute to the severity of an accident. If a mechanical flaw contributes to your bicycle accident, you should seek compensation from the manufacturer of the defective vehicle or component part, including the manufacturer of your bicycle, the manufacturer of failed protective gear that did not serve its purpose as intended, or the manufacturer of a part of a vehicle, including the vehicle’s tires, that led or contributed to the accident.
  • A mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle that caused the accident or on your bicycle, but that failed to properly manage a repair. A mechanic that certifies a vehicle or bicycle as road-worthy indicates that the vehicle or bicycle no longer has any mechanical challenges in the area the mechanic worked on that could cause an accident. If the mechanic improperly repairs the vehicle, ignores a problem, or fails to notice a problem in the same general area of the repair that he should have noticed during the repair, the mechanic may share liability for the accident.

A Note About Insurance Companies

After your El Centro bicycle accident, you may receive a settlement offer from an insurance company soon after the accident. You may feel tempted to immediately accept that initial offer, rather than consulting with an attorney. Do not accept this offer without going through at least a free consultation with an attorney. In many cases, insurance companies will attempt to limit their financial liability after an accident, rather than providing fair compensation to the injured party.

If you accept the initial settlement offer, it could ultimately limit the amount of compensation that you receive for your injuries.

El Centro Bicycle Accident Attorneys: Helping You Seek Compensation After an Accident

An El Centro bike accident attorney can provide you with valuable information about your legal rights after an accident, guide you through the claims process, and help collect critical evidence about your claim. The sooner you get in contact with an attorney, the sooner you can decide on a course of action or invite the law firm to start working for you (assuming the attorney agrees to take your case). Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at (619) 237-3490 for your free consultation.

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“I know firsthand that Gomez Trial Attorneys is a professional and compassionate law firm. The entire office is a family and they treat their clients like family as well – these people truly care. Not only that, but they strive to make a positive difference in the community through their outreach efforts. Highly recommend.


 
Gomez Trial Attorneys
2299 West Adams Avenue, Suite 102
El Centro, CA 92243
(760)-259-2166

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