Bicycle Accidents: An Overview
The climate is great for bicycling and that may be one reason for the explosion of bicyclists throughout Southern California. Unfortunately, the number of bicycle accidents continues to rise across the state as more people are riding bicycles and 27% of California’s bicycle accidents happen right here in Southern California. According to the Southern California Association of Governments, pedestrians and bicyclists make up 12% of all trips taken, but they are involved in 25% of all serious traffic injuries.
These accidents seem to often relate to motor vehicles not knowing the rules of sharing the road with bicyclists or because they simply to choose to ignore bicyclists’ rights on the road and when bicycle accidents happen, it is the bicyclists that typically sustain the most serious injuries.
Important Factual Details You Should Know
When bicycle accidents occur, knowledge of certain facts is important in order to help bicyclists make their claims, such as:
- Where was the bicycle traveling at the time of the accident? In a designated bicycle lane or in a traffic lane going with the flow of traffic?
- What were the road conditions like at the time of the accident? Were the roads dry and were there any dangers such as potholes or cracks in the pavement?
- What was the driver doing at the time of the accident? Was he or she distracted with a smartphone? Had he or she been drinking?
- What did witnesses, including the driver, say after the accident?
- How did the accident happen? Was the bicyclist sideswiped by a vehicle passing too closely? Did the vehicle turn in front of the bicyclist? Was the vehicle following the bicyclist too closely resulting in hitting the bicycle from behind?
Bicyclists may not be able to answer these questions right away and as time passes, details of the accident will not be as fresh and as easily recalled. This is why it is important to speak with a bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident who will discuss the accident with you and then begin to gather data and evidence in order to build your case against the defendant driver.
Other Types Of Bicycle Accidents
Other types of bicycle accidents are also common that do not involve colliding with a motor vehicle such as the following:
- Bicycle accidents can happen when there is no physical contact between the bicycle and motor vehicle, but a bicyclist is forced off of the road by a motor vehicle.
- Bicycle accidents can be caused by dangerous road conditions including obstructions, potholes, cracks, and debris in the road.
- With the rise in popularity and availability of electric scooter rentals, there has also been a rise in bicycle/electric scooter accidents.
Bicycle injuries are serious, and our attorneys at The Hayes Law Firm are bicycle law professionals who feel strongly about the rights of bicyclists on the road and holding automobile drivers accountable when their negligent conduct causes bicycle accidents.
Since bicyclists are the most vulnerable and unprotected group of people that must share the road with larger vehicles, California law imposes hundreds of rules to ensure the safety of cyclists and minimize the risk of bicycle accidents.
Unfortunately, not all drivers in Los Angeles and Orange counties follow these rules, which is why nearly 90,000 bicyclists got injured in California in the period between 2007 and 2013. California also accounts for the highest number of cyclist deaths in the nation.
A severe bicycle accident can change the rider’s life forever and leave him or her with a permanent disability. A severe injury can prevent a bicyclist from enjoying his or her life the way he/she once did, which is why it is vital to seek legal help from our team at The Hayes Law Firm to get compensated for your injuries.
What Happens If A Bicycle Accident Was My Fault?
First of all, who told you that? Second of all, were you partially or fully at fault for what happened? Just because the other motorist says that you, as a cyclist, caused the crashed does not mean that this is what actually happened. It is best to leave determining liability to the professionals.
We will investigate to establish fault in your case and gather compelling evidence proving that the car driver was speeding, distracted, ran a red light, or violated any other traffic rule in California, which makes him or her fully or at least partially at fault for causing the collision.
You may be eligible to get compensation if you were partially at fault for your bicycle accident because California follows the pure comparative negligence doctrine. Under the pure comparative negligence rule, parties are entitled to get compensation for the amount that corresponds with the percentage of the other motorist’s fault.
What To Do If The Car Driver Flees The Scene?
Unfortunately, it is not rare for car drivers to flee the scene after colliding with a bicyclist. Following this type of hit-and-run bicycle accident, it is of paramount importance to:
- Get medical attention
- Call the police to document the accident
- If possible, memorize the fleeing car’s model, make, color and license plate number
- Talk to eyewitnesses and get their phone numbers and other contact information
- Take photos and videos at the scene
Or, if your injury makes it impossible to do any of the above-mentioned, call our team at The Hayes Law Firm to get help.
Should I See A Doctor If I’m Just A Little Sore After The Crash?
Soreness, exhaustion, numbness and headaches are common delayed injury symptoms associated with motor vehicle accidents. Many cyclists refuse to seek medical attention simply because they think their injury is not serious enough. That’s a No. 1 mistake that could hurt your personal injury claim if you end up taking legal action against the at-fault driver.
After all, it makes sense to see a doctor after a bicycle crash since a collision with a motor vehicle can cause severe damage to the bicyclist’s unprotected body. That damage is not always visible, which is why requesting medical attention right away is critical for not only your well-being and health but also your legal case.