Bicycle couriers have an inherently dangerous job, delivering and picking up messages across a busy city. Everyday countless courier bicycle accidents occur throughout the State of California. In many cases injured parties are not aware of their rights. Many feel that they are not permitted to file a claim since they were working at the time of the accident.Serious injuries can result from bicycle accidents including brain injuries, spinal cord damage, nerve damage, and permanent scarring. If you were injured you have a right to seek compensation for injuries in a bicycle accident
Read the following article to learn more about your rights. And feel free to contact our Law Firm if you have any further legal questions. All consultations are free of charge and handled by one of our personal injury attorneys.
Employer Liability for Bicycle Delivery Messenger Injuries
If you were injured during the course of your employment, a worker’s compensation claim will be filed by your employer. However, you will be able to pursue a independent cause of action against as well discussed under 3rd party liability.
Employers will be liable for the injuries sustained by employees during the normal course of business. This is often referred to as vicarious liability. Employers will be vicariously liable for the injuries sustained and caused by their employees during the normal course of business.
Under workers compensation laws an employer is required to carry workers compensation insurance for employees. This will permit an injured employee to file a claim for work related injuries, so long as they occurred while performing work duties.
if you were making a delivery and were struck by a vehicle, this would be considered a work related injury. However, injuries that occur outside the scope of your work are not covered under workers compensation benefits. Although, this does not prevent your ability to pursue a claim for the party responsible for your injuries.
3rd Party Liability for Injuries
What is 3rd party liability? This is liability for the party who caused the accident i.e. the driver of the automobile. A third party will be liable when they are responsible for your injuries. If you were hit by a automobile or truck you would be permitted to file suit for damages sustained.
This is a separate claim then a worker’s compensation claim. Filing a claim against a 3rd party is not relevant to your workers compensation claim. However, if you obtain a worker’s compensation settlement and personal injury settlement, a subrogation claim may be filed. Subrogation claims seek to reimburse the workers compensation claim and to avoid double compensation.
So why would you file a personal injury lawsuit if you already received compensation from a worker’s compensation claim? Because workers compensation is known to give you substantially less then what your claim is worth. In workers compensation claims you are not permitted to recover for pain and suffering. This is often the largest part of any settlement awarded. Instead they focus entirely on medicals.
Common Injuries caused by Bicycle Accidents
Courier injuries can be serious, here is a list of some of the injuries which can occur from impact.
- Traumatic brain injury
- Nerve damage
- Dental damage
- Facial lacerations
- Ocular injuries
- Brain damage
- Post Concussion syndrome
If you have been hurt seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
Types of Compensation Available for Victims of Bicycle Accidents
What are the different forms of compensation after a bicycle accident? Here is a list of the different types of compensation and recovery after your injury. Recovery is fact specific, make sure to speak with an attorney regarding your injuries to get a better understanding of your rights.
- Lost wages and earnings after an accident are recoverable;
- Recovery for any and all medical costs associated with the injury. Any medical bills will be recoverable so long as they stem from the accident;
- Pain and suffering, this is any emotional, psychological and physical trauma associated with your injury.
- Future loss of earnings are recoverable. If you were seriously injured and are unable to work, these potential earnings are recoverable.
- Future medical expenses if required are also recoverable under the law.
Independent Contractors Right to Recovery
What if you are an independent contractor? This may have some influence on your workers compensation benefits, but not on a personal injury claim. In fact it makes little to no difference whether you are an independent contractor, if you are pursuing a personal injury claim against a third party.
A claim will be filed against the party responsible, this is generally an automobile driver, so whether or not you are an independent contractor it will make little to no difference. However, this may make a difference with regards to a potential workers compensation claim. In order to determine whether you can pursue a claim if you are independent contractor we would need to evaluate all the facts to get a better understanding.
Steps After My Accident:
Which steps you take after an accident are important. Here, is a list of the 5 important steps to take after a bicycle accident.
- Seek immediate medical attention if needed. Never attempt to diagnose. Generally after an accident you are full of adrenaline, this will block out your pain receptors. As a result you may not experience the pain until the following day or a few hours later.
- If possible get names of witnesses after the accident. This will help with any potential claim you will decide to pursue.
- Make sure to get a copy of the police card or traffic information report. This report will need to be requested in writing. Generally your attorney will be able to get that information. The report will include very important information including the names of any witnesses if available.
- MAKE NO STATEMENTS TO THE OTHER PARTY OR INSURANCE ADJUSTER. Insurance companies will try and call you after the accident to get a statement. Decline to give a statement. You are not required to give a statement to the other parties insurance company. These statements will only be used to decline or limit your claim. Make sure to not give a statement.
- Speak with an attorney from the Downtown L.A. Law Group or your attorney. We offer free consultations on all personal injury matters and can help you better understand your case.