I’ll talk about the injury part. Obviously, there’s property damage, your clothes can get damaged, your bike could get damaged. That’s recoverable as well. Tthe most important usually is the personal injury. Personal injury damages a bike accident start out the same as in any personal injury claim. They are your special and your general damages, your past and future medical expenses, your past and prospective income loss or diminished earning capacity, and your pain and suffering. That’s all recoverable.
Causing the accident means they were at fault for causing the accident, but just because they’re at fault for causing the accident doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to recover for all your injuries that were caused in the accident. For example, even if there’s no legal requirement that you wear a bicycle helmet, failure to wear one if you have a traumatic brain injury or some kind of a head injury that could have been reduced or eliminated had you been wearing a helmet, the other side will put up the argument that even though it’s not a legal requirement for you to be wearing a helmet, if you were a reasonable and prudent person careful for your own safety, you would have been wearing a helmet and your failure to wear a helmet is what caused that head injury or brain injury.
And then there’s going to be an argument as to whether the driver who caused the accident is going to be 100% responsible for compensating you for the medical expenses and income loss you experienced; forgetfulness, memory loss, headaches, drowsiness, difficulty sleeping, whatever it may be from that head injury, to the extent that it could have been prevented or reduced if you had been wearing a helmet. There’s just going to be an argument there. There’s no law that says you must be wearing a helmet unless you’re a minor in California, but the defense is always going to argue that you should have for your own safety and that they shouldn’t have to fully compensate you for the injury to the extent that you could have avoided it by being more careful for yourself.