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02 Jun 2017

INJURIES FROM BICYCLE ACCIDENTS

If you have been injured while riding a bicycle in California, contact our Sacramento injury attorneys for free consultation and legal representation now.

Sacramento Injury Attorneys Explain Injuries From Bicycle Accidents

Bicycling is a very common and healthy method of travel in the state of California. Unfortunately, bikers are very vulnerable to outside elements and are integrated in vehicle traffic. This can make bicycling very dangerous, especially when the bicyclist is not very comfortable or the conditions are perilous, such as at night. Such conditions make accidents much more common. It’s important to contact Sacramento injury attorneys if you have been involved in an accident of any type.

Bicyclists are also not nearly as visible as a motor vehicle. They are much smaller and have little to no sound to announce their presence, unlike a motorcycle. Most drivers do not readily notice a bicycle because they are not expecting one on the road as they expect another car.

Common Causes

The majority of bicycle and car accidents occur when a bicycle cannot be seen or when a car can’t anticipate its movements. Below is a list of the most common bike and vehicle accidents.

  • Left turns – Many drivers don’t see an oncoming bicycle when making a left turn, though they are legally obligated to yield to all oncoming traffic
  • Colliding with an open door – Drivers don’t tend to look very carefully before opening their car door. The law states that no one should open their door on the side with moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe, such as on a low-traffic road with no other cars or bikes. Again, people just aren’t looking out for bicycles.
  • Turning right onto the street – Often, cars pulling out of a side street, parking lot, or driveway won’t notice a bicycle traveling in the lane they intend to join. There are two ways this accident happens – sometimes the car pulls out unexpectedly and the bicycle crashes into the side of the car. The alternative is that the car hits the bicycle as it is pulling out. Either can be very devastating to the cyclist.
  • Reversing – Cars reversing quickly without ensuring no one is behind them commonly cause accidents with bicyclists. This reckless habit can cause serious harm to someone riding behind them on a bicycle.
  • Intersections – Nearly half of all car and bicycle accidents occur at intersections. How can one prevent bike collisions and intersections? Make sure to follow the rules of the road and try to increase visibility by wearing reflectors and having a light on your bike. It’s also helpful to understand how to identify dangerous intersections.

If you have been involved in any type of accidents including the above, make sure to speak to Sacramento injury attorneys to determine the best course of legal action to take.

Bicycle Rules

There are a few general rules on riding bikes in the state of California. An individual riding a bicycle on a road is treated as a car including but not limited to the laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Bicycles are permitted on the following surfaces:

  • Roadways – bicyclists must ride as far to the right as possible when traveling below the normal roadway speed unless passing, making a left turn, or avoiding a hazard.
  • Bicycle lanes – these lanes must be used when a bicycle is traveling below the normal speed for the road adjacent to this lane except when passing, turning left, or avoiding a hazard.
  • Sidewalks – local ordinances determine whether this is legal. It is not in many municipalities.

Bicyclists must also yield to pedestrians with the right-of-way within crosswalk, marked or unmarked.

After a bicycle accident, you should:

  • Check for injuries and seek medical attention if necessary. Take note of any injuries that are lasting and keep a record of your daily suffering, such as pain levels and how it affects your daily life.
  • Call the police. Report any injuries, including minor ones. Some injuries take a while to show just how severe they are. Police can make an official report, which will assist you if you seek damages later.
  • Obtain the contact and insurance information of the driver.
  • Seek witnesses. Get their story and contact information.
  • Take note of everything you can remember about the accident. How fast were you traveling? The car? How did the accident seem to happen? Was there very much traffic? Was the weather bad? Etc. This will be useful for your accident lawyers.
  • Preserve as much evidence as possible. Take images of the damage, injuries, and general scene to reference later.
  • Do not talk to insurance adjusters. They may twist whatever you say for their benefit. Having the legal representation of Sacramento injury attorneys who will communicate with the insurance representatives is a good idea.

Legal action

Proving fault in an accident involving a bicycle and a car is just like proving fault in an accident with two motor vehicles. This can be complicated and take a long time. One of the best things you or your loved one can do after being involved in such an accident is to seek legal representation. Experienced Sacramento injury attorneys can help guide you through a difficult, complicated process and will work tirelessly on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve after such a traumatic event.

Speak to Personal Injury Lawyers Regarding Your Legal Needs for Your Accident Case

The Weinberger Law Firm has over 20 years of experience dealing with all types of accident cases, including bicycle accidents. If you have been hit by a car while riding your bicycle, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak to our injury attorneys for legal advice today.

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