Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in California; Do You Need One?

A Cyclist's Guide to Left Hook Accidents

What to Expect During a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in California

It is both a frightening and injurious experience to be hit by a car while riding your bicycle. After receiving proper medical treatment, you may wonder if you can file a compensation claim against the driver.

The best way to determine if you have a lawsuit is by discussing your case with a bicycle accident lawyer in San Francisco, CA. He or she can provide feedback regarding your options as well as offer information as to how you can move forward if you have a valid claim.

If you are wondering what it takes to file a personal injury lawsuit in San Francisco County, you may find the timeline below helpful in navigating the process:

Phase 1: Petitioning the Right Court

The first step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is to submit a formal petition with the right court. Every court venue and jurisdiction carries different requirements and rules.

Your attorney is going to file your case in one of three places with the Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco divisions:

  • Claims below $10,000: Small Claims Division
  • Claims between $10,000 and $25,000: Limited Superior Court
  • Claims above $25,000: Unlimited Superior Court

The petition is the first document your attorney files with the Civil Clerk’s Office along with the necessary forms and supporting documentation. Filing fees for filing a petition are:

  • Small Claims Division: Up to $181
  • Limited Superior Court: Up to $370
  • Unlimited Superior Court: Up to $450

Keep in mind that there are surcharges for unusual circumstances. Therefore the above-listed numbers only apply to typical bicycle accident lawsuit cases.

In addition to filing fees, you must pay around $100 for a process server to file the suit against the named defendant. He or she must file a response to the court within 30 days of being served.

Phase 2: The Discovery Process

After petition and answer phase, the next step in the process is discovery. Discovery is the phase by which both parties inspect and question the allegations and defenses of both sides regarding the bicycle accident.

Both attorneys ask questions of the parties to gather information about the case from each person’s perspective. There is also potential for statements and information shared in discovery to become pieces of evidence later on in the process.

It is typical for both parties to ask questions and make requests for supporting documentation. All parties come together during this time for depositions in most cases.

Phase 3: Negotiation and Mediation Process

Once discovery ends, both parties work together to find an acceptable resolution before going to trial. If you have a compelling case, then the case may be over at this point.

However, this scenario does not always happen. You, the defendant, and your respective attorneys try to negotiate through formal discussions or mediation.

Phase 4: The Trial

If mediation and negotiation do not yield positive results, then the court schedules your case for trial. A trial can last one day or a week, depending upon its complexity. It is an opportunity for you and your lawyer to present the facts and opinions of your case to a jury.

Hiring a Bicycle Accident Lawyer in San Francisco, CA

You do not have to choose between handling a lawsuit and carrying for your health.

At Deldar Legal, our bicycle accident lawyers in San Francisco, CA know that you have a right to safety when obeying the rules of the road on your bike. You can schedule a free case review by phone at (844) 335-3271 or by sending us a message through our request form.

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Posted in: Bicycle Accidents

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