The mild weather, beautiful views, and pro-environmental culture of California lead many people to use bicycles. Whether it’s for commuting purposes or for leisure, bicycles are very popular in this sunny state. Though it is an economic and environmentally friendly mode of travel, bike riding is not without drawbacks. In 2015, over 800 people died in a bicycle accident that involved a motor vehicle. That’s more than 2 each day on average. Not including the severe tragedy of death while out for a ride, over 48,000 bicyclists were injured in a car collision in 2014. These statistics were provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the department responsible for highway and traffic safety. If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle related accident, consider speaking to an accident lawyer to learn what legal course of actions you can take.
As bicyclists try to share the road with other motor vehicles, they become vulnerable to colliding with these cars, trucks, and busses. Unfortunately, the open nature of bicyclists often leads to more serious injuries to the rider.
As bicyclists don’t have much protection from the external elements, they can incur very significant injuries in collisions that don’t seem so serious. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about one fifth of all fatalities occur between the hours of 6 PM and 9 PM – evening rush hour. Additionally, over 70% of bike crash fatalities occur in urban areas. This suggests that the presence of cars is a serious risk factor in bike riding and anyone involved in a bicycle accident should consult with an experienced accident attorney.
Because bicyclists lack the type of protection vehicles do, the injuries can range from mild to severe:
Even when a bicyclists does everything in his or her power to prevent colliding with a vehicle, a big factor in getting hit is that the car or truck simply isn’t paying attention and looking out for the bicyclist. Drivers are trained to look out for other large vehicles. They have a hard time perceiving and registering smaller moving objects such as motorcycles, bicycles, and even pedestrians. Bicyclists are simply a much smaller object than a shiny black four-door sedan that car drivers are used to paying attention to. It’s important for bicyclists to realize that even if you lock eyes with a driver, they may not actually register and understand that you are there. Be as visible as possible and don’t be afraid to make a little noise!
Whenever a personal injury occurs, such as slipping and falling in a store, getting hurt by a product or medication you purchased, or becoming injured in a vehicle collision, there are options for receiving compensation. Many people don’t want to be greedy or go through a long battle in court, but it’s important to understand that medical bills can be very expensive and the road to recovery can be much longer than anticipated. When someone acted recklessly or with negligence to your health and safety, they are responsible for your injuries. A lot of the time, an agreement can be reached without going to court at all. Make sure to contact a highly skilled accident attorney who can guide you through the best actions for your case in particular.
It’s important to take into consideration how this collision affects you and your family and what is fair given the circumstances.Potential areas of compensation for an injury resulting from a bicycle collision with a car include:
A major part of receiving compensation is understanding who was at fault. It’s important to seek legal representation for a personal injury accident lawyer as soon as possible since it can take a long time to establish fault and gather enough evidence to make a convincing case. Depending on the defendant, the state of California only allows two years after the injury-causing incident to file legal action (6 months if it’s a government entity).
The laws surrounding personal injury are complicated. Some of them include exceptions to the 2-year period, complexities when multiple parties are at fault, and various laws regarding bicycle requirements. Not only does having an experienced and knowledgeable accident lawyer on your side help make sense of all these details, it can make a huge difference in how seriously you are taken by insurance companies. As many cases aren’t actually decided by a judge but are resolved through a discussion process called litigation, having a convincing and experienced injury accident attorney who knows what their talking about is very useful. Be sure to at least get a review of your case as soon as possible so you can understand your options and next steps.
We understand how life-altering any type of accident is, especially a bicycle accident where bicyclists are susceptible to much more severe injuries. At The Choyce Law Firm, we work aggressively to get you the best results possible while also compassionately guiding you through this difficult time. If you’ve been injured in an accident, give us a call at (707) 422-1202 to speak to an experienced accident attorney.