Below are answers to some questions concerning bike laws, cyclists’ rights, and specifics about accident attorneys and the cases they represent.
I have been an avid cyclist for over 40 years and since 1987 I have dedicated my personal injury law practice soley to protecting the rights of injured cyclists.
A few reasons you should choose me to represent you in your bicycle injury case include:
When your doctor releases you.
An initial consultation is conducted on a complimentary basis and, if the case is accepted, I work on a “contingency fee” basis. In other words, the fee is a percentage of the monetary recovery “if and when the case is resolved in your favor.” The percentage is usually between 33 1/3% and 40%.
No. I will have a candid discussion with you in the first interview regarding “costs” versus “fees.” Fees are contingent but costs are not. Costs during the initial phases of the case can run between $6.00 for an accident report to $500.00 for a private investigator. These costs are generally “advanced” by my office and repaid through the settlement. Obviously some cases are more complex than others and costs can accelerate rapidly. Nonetheless, I will always discuss costs with you before they are incurred. You should always have the final word. Remember, I work for you, not the other way around.
Hopefully, not much. This means you have a minor injury and will be back on your bike in a couple of days. However, if the injury is more serious such as a concussion, broken bone, separated shoulder, permanent scarring or torn cartilage, then the value increases accordingly. These cases typically require on-going medical care and sometimes surgery. It is hard to evaluate cases at the early stages because the costs of future medical care, loss of earnings, and disability or permanent injury are unknown. Nonetheless, assuming we can prove fault against the defendant, clients are advised in the first interview of a rough estimated value in the “thousands,” “tens of thousands,” “hundreds of thousands,” or more. It is impossible to be more specific until all the medical, loss of earnings, and disability records are reviewed.
The majority of the cases in my office will be resolved in the client’s favor within a year of the date of the accident. This may sound like a long time but keep in mind that cases proceeding to trial can take up to 3 years or more.
Fortunately, the property damage portion of the case can usually be resolved within the first two months of the case.
As soon as your doctor releases you.
Yes, if the case goes to Court. However, as indicated above, the vast majority of my cases are resolved prior to filing a lawsuit. Basically, a thorough early investigation and careful monitoring of the insurance adjuster will build a strong foundation that discourages the defendant from delaying the case. If the case does proceed towards a hearing, then it generally is resolved in a mediation or underinsured arbitration. These are new expedited procedures conducted by a retired judge or practicing attorney. The hearing usually takes about two to three hours as opposed to four or five days for a jury trial. Keep in mind that some cases still proceed to a full trial but they are clearly in the minority.
Yes. Although Gary Brustin is only licensed to practice law in California, various states allow him to associate with local counsel to handle cases outside of California