Riverside Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you are among the nearly 50 million Americans who cycle regularly, you know that Southern California and Riverside, in particular, are great places to ride. Plenty of bike lanes, heightened public awareness of how to share the road safely and ideal weather are just a few of the perks that make cycling so popular in the region. However, pedaling on two wheels alongside bigger motorized vehicle does have inherent risks, and sometimes accidents occur. If you have been injured in such an incident, a bicycle accident lawyer can provide the legal representation you need to pursue just compensation.
Recent Cycling Accident Statistics
With the exception of Florida, California had the highest number of bicycle accident fatalities in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you live in Riverside County or any other area of the state, this fact makes it vitally important that you take care to follow traffic regulations when going out on a ride.
The California Department of Public Health compiled the following statistics for bicyclist traffic injuries and deaths in 2018:
- About 30 percent of injuries occurred during the afternoon commute
- Four percent of traffic fatalities in California were bicyclists
- 77 percent of cyclists injured in traffic accidents were men
- The most injuries, over one-third of the total, happened during the summer months
If you have been injured in an accident during a bike ride, or if a loved one has been killed in a bicycle accident, contact a bicycle accident attorney. You need an experienced legal advocate with knowledge of California bicycle laws to help you plan your next steps.
California Bicycle Laws
The League of American Bicyclists ranks California as one of the top three bicycle-friendly states in the country. These rankings reflect the state funding and infrastructure for the sport plus the education, policies, and planning for cycling throughout the state.
Bicycle laws in California generally provide cyclists with the same rights as motorists as well as similar responsibilities. You must maintain your bike in good repair, and you must be capable of safely riding it. If you or your passenger is under the age of 18, you have to wear a helmet. Also, it is against the law to ride when you are over the legal blood alcohol limit or are under the influence of drugs.
At night, you have to have a headlight and visible reflectors. You must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when applicable. All of these laws are designed to help keep you safe on California roadways.
How to Avoid Accidents
Doing all you can to ride safely helps you avoid accidents. The following strategies are effective in making your pedaling adventures safer and more fun:
- Avoid riding in rush-hour traffic or on extremely busy roadways.
- Always follow traffic laws for bicyclists.
- Stay aware, especially if you are sharing the road.
- Make sure others can see you by using riding lights and wearing bright clothing during the day.
- Use a headlight and reflective gear at night.
- Do not drink and ride.
- Be prepared for an emergency by learning evasive maneuvers in advance.
When you are riding a bicycle, you are particularly vulnerable to being injured should an accident occur. Your best approach to this risk is avoidance. When that is impossible, and you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you should make contact with a bicycle accident lawyer who can help you determine whether you should pursue compensation.
What to Do After an Accident
If an accident occurs despite your best efforts, your next steps are the same as if you were driving a car:
- Collect yourself and check for injuries.
- Call 911.
- Get the other party’s contact information.
- Take photos of the accident scene and the vehicles involved.
- Speak to witnesses and get their contact information.
- Ask witnesses to email you a report of what they saw.
- Avoid accepting any responsibility for the accident.
- Remain at the accident site until the police arrive and gather the information they need.
- Get in contact with your bicycle accident attorney.
If your injuries prevent you from taking the above steps, ask your bicycle accident lawyer or a friend to follow through for you as your representative. Otherwise, you risk losing witness testimony and/or photos of the incident that will be useful later.
Rizio Lipinsky Can Help
At Rizio Lipinsky, we offer compassionate legal services to bicyclists who have been hurt in accidents caused by others. We also represent the loved ones of fatal bicycle accident victims. We care about your case and work hard to win the compensation you are entitled to by law. Get in touch with us today by calling 1-888-292-8888 or by filling out our online contact form to schedule your free initial 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.