Bike Accidents in California – An Overview
Committed to excellence when representing injured bike riders.
Riding a bicycle is a popular method of transportation in Southern California, serving as both a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to heavy traffic. Regrettably, motorists are not always careful when they are near cyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, bicycle accidents have been on the rise since 2009 across the country. In 2018 alone, 857 cyclists lost their lives in traffic accidents.
Cycling has become increasingly popular across the State of California because of its health and environmental benefits. More people are opting for the use of bicycles as means of transportation for school and work, but also for recreational purposes. Although there has been a sudden surge of bicycle safety laws, the number of bicycle accidents have also increased.
Regrettably, bicycle accidents rarely result in insignificant injuries. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2018, there were 857 bicycle-related fatalities. Even when the accident does not result in death, the cyclist is likely to endure life-altering injuries.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, discuss your case with a well-versed personal injury attorney who will help you determine if you have a viable case.
A bicycle accident can have devastating consequences for the injured rider for a variety of reasons. Aside from physical pain caused by the injury, injured bicycle riders are prone to emotional distress and even economic difficulty. When a bike accident occurs, rarely does a victim consider long-term hardships; nonetheless, bike accidents usually result in a variety of complexities. If you have been injured in a bike accident, speak to an experienced attorney for support.
Discuss Your Case With a Knowledgeable Attorney Today
Even when cyclists take proper safety precautions, such as wearing reflective clothing and using proper lighting, cyclists are still susceptible to the dangers of the road. When a motorist is not paying attention to the road ahead, striking a cyclist can occur in an instant. Unfortunately, cyclists can sustain significantly serious injuries when struck by a moving vehicle, including life-threatening and life-altering injuries.
If you were injured in a bicycle accident, discussing your case with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney should be one of your top priorities. A well-versed attorney will ensure you obtain the compensation you are owed from the negligent driver.
Attorney Justin H. King has helped many bicycle riders in the aftermath of a life-changing accident. He has an established reputation of taking on tough and challenging personal injury cases, with tenacity and vigor to advocate on behalf of severely injured clients. After a serious bike accident, consider contacting the support of Attorney Justin H. King. Contact the Law Offices of Attorney Justin H. King by calling (909) 297-5001 today.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
A bicycle accident can be caused by a number of factors, including: Driver distraction, Poor weather conditions, Defective bicycle parts, Defective bicycle design, Driver that has drift into bicycle lanes, Accidents caused by deteriorated roads, Driver that fails to yield the right of way of a cyclist, Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or A cyclist hitting an opening car door when riding parallel to parked cars.
Like all traffic accidents, there are a wide range of causes for bike accidents. Unfortunately, because bike riders are far less protected than motor vehicle drivers, they face a greater risk of sustaining serious injuries. Bicycle accidents can occur as a result of multiple factors, such as being struck by an opening car door or a collision with a pedestrian. When it comes to bicycle vs. automobile accidents, the most common forms of accidents occur as a result of the following:
- Intersection Dangers
When a cyclist makes a stop at an intersection, he or she runs the risk of being struck from behind by a speeding driver. Often, motorists drive too fast and follow too closely to a bike rider, which affects their ability to brake on time.
- Collisions That Occur When a Driver Makes a Left Turn
Drivers making a left turn on a green light can fail to recognize an oncoming cyclist, particularly during the night hours or when there is low visibility. According to the NHTSA, most bicycle-related deaths occur during the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Right-Hand Turn Collisions
Right-hand accidents are commonly referred to as “right hook collisions”. These accidents can occur when a cyclist and a driver are both stopped at an intersection or are traveling alongside one another when the driver decides to make a right turn without first checking for the cyclist.
Proving a Bicycle Accident Claim
Drivers in the State of California owe a duty of care to those they share the road with, and this includes bicyclists. Part of a driver’s duty of care involves following traffic laws, where failing to follow traffic laws and engaging in reckless behaviors can result in driver negligence. When a driver is found negligent in a bicycle accident case, he or she can be held accountable for the bicyclist’s injuries.
The following list includes dangerous driving behaviors. Depending on the case, these behaviors can amount to negligence in a bicycle accident case: Driving while texting, Driving too fast for weather conditions, Failing to signal when making a turn, Aggressive driving or engaging in road rage, Cutting a bicyclist off, Driving while under the influence of an intoxicating substance, and failing to check for a cyclist before merging into a bicycle lane.
It is important to note that reckless drivers are not the only parties that can contribute to a bicycle accident. For example, an employer can be held accountable for a driver’s negligence when the driver was on the job when he or she struck the cyclist. Other parties that can be held accountable for the injuries suffered by a cyclist include: The entity responsible for designing or maintaining the dangerous road where the accident took place, or the manufacturing company responsible for the bicycles defective components.
Risk Factors Among Bicycle Riders
Any person who rides a bicycle is at risk of suffering an injury, including experienced cyclists. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are a number of factors that can place a person at greater risk of injury or death when riding a bicycle. This includes the following:
- Sex – Men are six times more likely to sustain fatal injuries and four times more likely to sustain injuries when riding a bicycle than females.
- Age – Individuals with the highest fatality rates are those between the ages of 50 and 59. Riders with the highest rate of non-fatal bicycle accidents are those between the ages of 5 and 19.
- Intoxication – Over a third of all deadly bicycle accidents involve a driver or a cyclist who was under the influence of alcohol.
- Time – A majority of fatal accidents occur in the evening hours from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Land Use – A majority of fatal bicycle accidents occur in non-intersections and urban areas.
- Use of Helmets – Although a helmet will not prevent a bicycle accident, it will make a significant difference in preventing serious head trauma. The lack of the use of a helmet is a significant contributing factor in fatal bicycle accidents or non-fatal accidents that result in catastrophic injuries.
Damages Available After a Bike Accident
Any party who has caused the bicycle accident can be held accountable for the injuries caused by the accident. The available damages can vary based on the severity of the injuries as well as whether the injuries resulted in the death of the cyclist.
Generally, an injured cyclist can seek compensatory damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit, where the damages can include: Hospital costs, Ambulance costs, Costs of prescription medications, Costs of medical equipment, Future medical bills, Physical therapy, Counseling, Loss of income, Loss of earning capacity, Loss of limb, Disfigurement, Scarring, Pain and suffering, and The loss of quality of life.
When the cyclist has perished as a result of the accident, the decedent’s survivors can seek the following damages by filing a wrongful death claim: Loss of moral support, Loss of affection and rotection, Loss of companionship, Funeral and burial expenses, The value of household services lost, The financial support the victim would have contributed to the family in his or her lifetime, and The loss of benefits or gifts the survivors could have expected from the victim.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
When compared to other forms of transportation, bicyclists are uniquely at risk for serious injuries because of their lack of protection when on the road. When colliding with a moving vehicle, cyclists are prone to serious injuries, including: Hand and wrist fractures, Broken collarbone, Loss of limb, Road rash, Traumatic brain injury, Neck injuries, Eye injuries, Dental fractures, Bone dislocations, Muscle strains, Spinal cord injuries, Internal bleeding, and Facial disfigurement.
Defend Your Rights As an Injured Cyclist and Speak to a Well-Versed Personal Injury Attorney
In the State of California, drivers and cyclists alike are afforded the same rights to use the roads when bicycle lanes are not available. Motorists are required to provide cyclists the same right of way as they would other drivers on the road. Unfortunately, a vast majority of bicycle accidents are caused by driver negligence.
When a bicycle accident occurs, the injured cyclist can incur a great amount of losses. Depending on the extent of the injuries, a cyclist can require extensive medical treatment and lose the ability to return to work. If you or someone you know was injured in a bicycle accident, it is important to seek the immediate support of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Bicycle accidents demand a full investigation, a collection of critical evidence, and adept legal support. After a bicycle accident injury, discuss your case with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
After a Bicycle Accident, Obtain the Financial Compensation You Deserve – Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Attorney Today
Attorney Justin H. King has extensive legal experience in the field of bicycle accident cases. He has successfully represented clients who have suffered astounding losses, including accidents that result in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. Attorney King understands the impact a serious bicycle accident can have on a rider and his or her family. For this reason, Attorney Justin H. King advocates aggressively on behalf of his clients, ensuring they obtain the maximum compensation available. If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, consider contacting Attorney Justin H. King today.
Dedicated Law Firm, Helping Injured Cyclists Recover Compensation For More Than a Decade
If you or a loved one was injured while riding a bicycle, obtaining a monetary compensation may be available by pursuing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Discuss your case with an experienced attorney who can investigate the case and defend your right to a maximum compensation.