Generally speaking you have two years from the date of the accident to file your California bike accident lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. But there are some exceptions.

Bicycle accidents can be a harrowing experience, leaving victims with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial concerns.

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you might have questions about your legal rights and the time limits for filing a claim. In this article, we’ll discuss the process, deadlines, and considerations for filing a bike accident claim in California, as well as answer some common questions related to bicycle accidents.

A bicycle in the street next to the car that hit it
A car vs. bicycle accident in California

How Long Do I Have to Sue the Driver Who Caused My Bicycle Accident?

Statute of Limitations in California

The first thing you need to know is that there is a time limit, known as the statute of limitations, within which you must file a claim. In California, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including bicycle accidents, is generally two years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file a claim within this time frame, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations

There are a few exceptions to the general two-year statute of limitations:

  1. Government Entities: If your bicycle accident involved a government entity or employee, such as a city bus driver, the claim process is different. You must file a claim with the government agency within six months of the accident, and you may have additional time to file a lawsuit if the claim is denied.
  2. Minors: If the injured cyclist is a minor (under 18 years old), the statute of limitations is generally tolled (paused) until they turn 18, at which point they have two years to file a claim.
  3. Delayed Discovery: In some cases, the injured cyclist may not discover their injuries until a later date. In these situations, the statute of limitations may be extended to one year from the date of the discovery of the injury.

It’s essential to consult with an experienced bicycle accident attorney to discuss your specific situation and ensure that you meet all deadlines for filing a claim.

Questions People Might Have After Being in a Bicycle Accident

What Should I Do Immediately After a Bicycle Accident?

Your actions immediately following a bicycle accident can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation. Here are some steps to take after a bicycle accident:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health and well-being should be your top priority. Even if you feel fine, it’s essential to get a medical evaluation, as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  2. Report the Accident: Call the police and report the accident. Obtain a copy of the police report, as it may be crucial evidence in your claim.
  3. Gather Information: Collect contact and insurance information from the driver involved, as well as contact information for any witnesses.
  4. Document the Scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including damage to your bicycle, injuries, and any relevant road conditions or traffic signs.
  5. Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney: Consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and protect your rights. [Oakland Office] [San Francisco Office][San Jose]

What Compensation Can I Recover in a Bicycle Accident Claim?

If you’re injured in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for various damages, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Property damage

An experienced bicycle accident attorney can help you calculate the full extent of your damages and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

Call GJEL Accident Attorneys Today

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycle accident, it’s crucial to act quickly and protect your rights. The experienced bicycle accident attorneys at GJEL Accident Attorneys are here to help you 24/7 and we make home and hospital visits.

Call us at 415-986-4777 for a free case review or stop by one of our convenient bike accident law offices in California. We have office locations from Los Angeles to San Francisco.