California Bicycle Accident LawyersWe Partner with You to Achieve the Best Results.
Riding a bicycle is a popular way to commute as well as relax or exercise for many Californians.
It certainly offers a healthier alternative to battling traffic in many areas of the state. However, bicyclists have to watch for numerous perils, including vehicles on the road.
If you were injured in an accident while riding a bike, you need a California bicycle accident lawyer who can protect your rights and help you fight for the compensation you are owed.
Wells Call Injury Lawyers has been in business for nearly 40 years, helping injured clients just like you.
We strongly believe in helping every client get the best settlement possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our seven offices to learn more about how we can help.
Do You Need a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
Just because you are riding a bicycle and are involved in a collision, it doesn’t mean you will automatically collect compensation from the other driver’s insurance. You must prove your case first.
Proving liability isn’t necessarily easy, which is why you should consider hiring an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer.
We’ve successfully recovered over a half-billion dollars for our personal injury clients during our nearly four decades of business. We work tirelessly for every one of our clients because your case outcome is important to us.
We want you to get the best settlement possible. And you aren’t likely to get the most compensation without the assistance of a skilled attorney who knows how to negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company.
One thing is for certain—no matter how much the insurance company tells you they are on your side, they are not. Their loyalty is to the people they insure and to their company’s bottom line.
Insurance adjusters negotiate claims daily, so they have many advantages over you. They have plenty of tricks up their sleeves that they use on unsuspecting first-time claimants who don’t know what to expect.
They offer lowball settlement amounts to get you to settle before you even know what your case is actually worth. And in their efforts to minimize your claim they may treat you as though you are exaggerating or even lying.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
There are many types of bicycle accidents. One of the most common is a car door accident. This is when a vehicle occupant opens their door on a bicyclist as they are riding by.
Car door accidents are especially common on small streets where vehicles are parallel parked, and bike lanes run alongside these spots. People open their doors quickly without looking, making it easy to slam into a bicyclist.
Vehicles or even bicycles that try to exit private driveways, alleys, or side streets can find themselves in an accident because one party was not looking when exiting. And bicycle riders are expected to ride with the flow of traffic, not against it.
Although some people think it’s better to ride against traffic, this can cause accidents and should be avoided.
Drivers illegally entering bike lanes can also lead to accidents. Drivers may get too close to a bicyclist and sideswipe them. And sideswipe accidents can happen anywhere, not just in bike lanes.
Drivers like to complain that bicyclists ride too close to the left-hand side of the bike lane, but bicyclists have a greater risk of getting hit by a door if they stick to the right.
California Statistics on Bicycle Fatalities
Bicycle fatalities hit a 25-year high in California when researchers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) looked at the data from 2016-2018.
This was the highest three-year period since the mid-1990s. 455 cyclists lost their lives during this period, which is about 3.9 bike accident fatalities per million people.
This figure is disturbing since the next highest period was in the mid-1990s, long before many cities added extensive bicycle networks.
During this period, most bicycle fatalities involved middle-aged men, ages 45-54, followed by those aged 55-64. In third place were men ages 35-44.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Drivers need to be vigilant and always watch for more than other vehicles. There are pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists in harm’s way when a driver is not paying attention.
Distracted driving accounts for a large percentage of all accidents, not just those involving bicycles. Distracted driving is more than texting and driving as well.
Anything that diverts a driver’s attention can result in an accident. Examples include eating or drinking, looking at the GPS, changing the radio station, talking to a passenger, putting on makeup, etc.
Other common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Drunk driving,
- Traffic law offenses,
- Road rage,
- Road hazards,
- Opening car door, and
- Adverse weather.
As people become more interested in greener ways of commuting, the risk of accidents could increase as more bicyclists hit the road.
Comparative Fault in California
California is a pure comparative negligence state. That means even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you could collect a portion of your damages.
Even if the police report puts you primarily at fault, don’t give up your right to pursue compensation. The police report is not binding in court.
There are situations where police relied on inaccurate information, and the investigating officer reached the wrong conclusion.
With comparative liability, your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. So for example, if you were deemed 20% at fault, you could collect up to 80% of your damages.
Common Types of Injuries in a Bicycle Accident
Injured victims can suffer a wide variety of injuries, but some are more common than others. Many bicyclists suffer catastrophic injuries such as:
- Bone fractures,
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs),
- Internal injuries,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Road rash,
- Hemorrhage, and
Because bicyclists are not protected against an impact with a vehicle that weighs significantly more, catastrophic injuries are common. Many victims are left with pain for the rest of their life.
Others sustain permanent damage that prevents them from ever walking or taking care of themselves again.
Potential Compensation in a Bicycle Accident
Depending on the accident circumstances, you could be entitled to collect compensation for your losses. Some of the most common injuries we see in bicycle accidents include:
- Medical expenses to date;
- Future medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Disability or disfigurement;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Wrongful death.
There may be some situations where you could be entitled to receive punitive damages as well.
Punitive damages are generally limited to intentional misconduct or grossly negligent behavior. Examples can include drag racing or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Contact a California Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Don’t leave your bicycle accident claim to chance. Let a skilled California bicycle accident lawyer at Wells Call Injury Lawyers help.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation at one of our seven conveniently located offices. Let us protect your rights and fight for the total compensation you deserve.
Over $500 Million Recovered
And 40 Years in Practice The case results listed are actual settlement and verdict results from cases recently handled by us. Because the facts and circumstances of every case are different, the results of other cases are not a guarantee of similar results in other cases. The results below do not include all cases, but they include a sample of different types of cases and show how much those results can vary.
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