Orange County Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bike riding is a popular mode of transportation in Orange County and the rest of California. The area offers an impressive network of bike trails and biking lanes for fitness enthusiasts and commuters to enjoy daily. However, many motorists don’t understand how to safely share the road with bicyclists, which leads to thousands of serious accidents every year.
Unfortunately, when motor vehicles and bicycles collide, cyclists often bear the brunt of the force, making them vulnerable to serious injuries and even death. This is true even when a cyclist is wearing a helmet. When a bike rider suffers an injury as the result of an accident, it might be necessary to contact a bicycle accident attorney for legal help.
Common Types Of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle crashes can be caused by many factors, including distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, and inclement weather. However, statistics show that certain kinds of bicycle accidents occur more frequently than others. Here are some of the most common types of cycling crashes:
These accidents happen when a driver makes a left-hand turn in front of a cyclist who is riding through an intersection, causing the cyclist to smash into the side of the vehicle. This often happens because the driver is distracted and fails to notice the approaching bike.
These crashes happen when a driver makes a right-hand turn at an intersection or the driveway of a home or business and cuts off a cyclist traveling in the bike lane. This can happen during a green light or when a driver makes a right-hand turn on red. Drivers who fail to use their turn signals are often to blame for these crashes.
Rear-end collisions at intersections
These collisions occur when a driver runs into the back of a cyclist who has stopped for a red light. This frequently happens because drivers are speeding, tailgating, or not paying attention.
Collisions with car doors
These accidents happen when a vehicle occupant opens his or her door without looking for bicycles approaching from behind, causing the cyclist to slam into the door. Again, inattention by the driver is typically to blame.
Collisions with vehicles pulling out from driveways or parking spaces
These crashes take place when a vehicle suddenly pulls out of a driveway or parking space and hits or cuts off a cyclist. These incidents can be caused by poor visibility or inattention on the part of the driver.
Driver hitting a cyclist with the side-view mirror
This type of accident occurs when a vehicle drives by a cyclist and clips them with the side-view mirror. This can happen when drivers are impatient and fail to leave enough space between their vehicle and the cyclist as they pass by.
Cyclists who have been injured by a driver could contact a bicycle accident attorney for advice. The attorney could review the victim’s case and recommend the best course of action.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents can cause a variety of catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical treatments, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Abrasions and lacerations
Unfortunately, bicycle crashes frequently lead to fatalities. When a bike rider is killed due to the negligence of another party, surviving family members have the right to file a Wrongful death claim seeking financial compensation for their loss. A bicycle accident lawyer could help families file a Wrongful death claim and push for the largest settlement possible.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
In 2017, there were 3,602 traffic fatalities in California. Of those, 3.4% were bicyclists or other pedal cyclists, which was the fourth-highest percentage in the nation. Between 2003 and 2013, 76 bicyclists died and 8,506 bicyclists suffered non-fatal injuries while riding in Orange County.
How To Avoid Bicycle Accidents
While bicyclists have legal recourse following an accident, it’s always better to avoid a crash than to seek compensation for injuries after they occur. Here are some tips to help cyclists reduce their risk of injury while on the road:
Obey all traffic laws
Following traffic laws can keep cyclists safe and provide them legal protections in the event of an accident. In California, these laws include:
- Wearing a bike helmet
- Obeying all traffic signals and speed limits
- Riding to the right when going with the flow of traffic
- Using lights and reflectors when riding in the dark
- Using a bicycle lane if traveling slower than traffic
Having a well-maintained bike will significantly reduce the chances of a collision. Cyclists should make sure their brakes, gears, tires, and lights are all in good working condition before going on a ride.
Be smart and alert
Cyclists should always focus on the road and pay attention to their surroundings. While bike riders can’t predict the illegal actions of drivers, they can spot and avoid many potential dangers by remaining alert.
Avoid riding at night
Statistics show that most bicycle accidents occur after dark. As a result, it is safer for cyclists to ride during daylight hours. However, if cyclists choose to ride at night, they should wear bright clothing and make sure their bike has lights and reflectors.
What To Do Immediately After An Accident
Getting into a bicycle crash is scary and stressful. However, there are a few things cyclists can do to help themselves in the aftermath of an accident, including:
- Remain calm
- Call 911
- Get contact and insurance information from the driver involved
- Don’t admit fault to anyone
- Request a copy of the police report
Call a bicycle accident lawyer for advice
A lawyer could protect the rights of bicycle accident victims and make sure they get the compensation they deserve.
- This article should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship with anyone. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney in your community.