San Bernardino Bicycle Accident Attorney
As many San Bernardino residents know, bicycle accidents are extremely common. While biking keeps you in physically good shape, an accident can cause lasting, debilitating injuries. If you have been injured, a bicycle accident attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Within a typical city, there are a few common ways that you might get into a bike accident. Collisions at intersections are incredibly common because the driver does not brake and hits the cyclist from behind. In many cases, the accident is worse than it should have been because the driver was speeding or driving too close to the cyclist.
Most bicyclists are also aware of the danger of car doors. Vehicle occupants rarely think about whether a bicyclist is there or not when they open up the door. Because of this, you may end up slamming into the door and becoming injured.
Left and right turns can also lead to a collision. The driver may approach from behind the cyclist or from the other direction. Sometimes, these kinds of accidents happen because the driver forgot to use their turn signal to show where they are going.
Bicycles are not designed to withstand the crushing weight of a vehicle, so an accident can leave you with a lifelong injury. If you were injured during a collision while you were riding your bike, you might have substantial medical costs to cover. Through the help of a qualified attorney, you can seek compensation for your injuries and lost wages.
Bicycle Accidents Are Incredibly Common
California is home to 3.4 percent of the nation’s bicycle accident fatalities. In just 2017, 3,602 car accidents resulted in at least one death. Out of this number, 124 of the deaths were bicyclists. While Delaware had the highest number of bicyclist deaths per million, California’s rate was still shockingly high, with 3.14 million bicyclists dying out of every million residents.
What Are Bicycle Accident Laws in California?
Since bicycle accidents are so common, San Bernardino residents need to learn what to do if they happen to get into an accident. If you are unfamiliar with the laws, a bicycle accident lawyer can help you figure out the best course of action. You should make sure that you are also following the state’s laws while you ride your bike so that you do not become the target of a lawsuit.
Bicycle-related laws are included within the California Vehicle Code. In general, you will have the same rights and responsibilities that vehicle drivers have. If you are moving at the same speed as the vehicle traffic, you can ride wherever you want. When your speed is slower than the rest of traffic, you can take over the lane if it is not big enough for a vehicle and bike to ride next to each other. You must ride as close as possible to the side of the lane except for when you are avoiding hazards or preparing for a left turn.
When riding your bicycle, you must bike on the right side of the roadway unless you are on a one-way street or are making a left turn. If there is a bike lane, you must use it. Bikes are never allowed on expressways or freeways. Depending on the city or county, you may be able to ride on the sidewalk.
How to Avoid Accidents
While your bicycle accident attorney can help you after an accident, it is always better to avoid an accident in the first place. If you are injured in a car-on-bike accident, you can seek compensation. As the bicyclist, you have a legal right to get your medical bills, lost wages, and similar costs covered.
To avoid a car-on-bike accident, make sure to follow traffic laws. This helps other drivers know what to expect and to avoid hitting you. It also means that you are legally protected. If you break the law and get into an accident, the court could consider you negligent. When your negligence contributes to the crash, it means you could end up paying for the other person’s costs. At the very least, being negligent could keep you from getting your injuries covered.
The average car is about seven times larger than a bicyclist, so try to be as conspicuous as possible. If it is easier for someone to see you, then it will be easier for them to avoid hitting you. You can also prevent an accident by paying attention to everything that is going on around you.
Most fatal collisions occur at night and involve alcohol. You can reduce your risks by avoiding alcohol and biking during the daytime. Also, practice extra caution around intersections since this is where most accidents happen.
What to Do After an Accident
After you are in a bike accident, the first thing you should do is wait for the police to arrive. The police need to take a report of the accident because you may not realize you are injured until hours later. Your police report will help you identify the at-fault driver and prove that the accident occurred. Do not let the driver negotiate with you. Instead, make sure that the police get your version of the events in the accident report.
Before you leave the scene, get contact information for the driver and any witnesses. Write the driver’s address, name, phone number, vehicle license number, driver’s license number, and insurance information. There is no guarantee that the police report will include all of this information. You should make sure to document everything you can by writing it down as quickly as possible. Take photos of injuries, damaged equipment, and property damages.
Why You Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bike accidents can involve complex legal problems. A bicycle accident attorney can help you gather evidence and file your case. While you prepare your case, do not talk to the insurance companies because they can use any communication with you later on in court. With the help of your attorney, you can successfully negotiate your settlement, file a lawsuit, and learn more about your legal options. Contact Rizio Lipinsky today for your free consultation.
- 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.