If you or someone close to you has been injured or worse in a bicycle accident in California, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Because cyclists often share the road with much larger vehicles, when crashes involving bicycles happen, they can often be severe. If you were involved in a cycling accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve someone in your corner who can advocate for you and get the compensation that you need to recover.
Contact the California personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC today at (314) 963-9000 for a free, no-pressure initial consultation.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer, and Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
A lawyer can often mean the difference between a successful bicycle accident claim and one that gets you nothing. A lawyer will have the skills and knowledge of the law necessary to navigate legal processes and can aggressively defend your rights against the insurance company’s self-interest, giving you the best opportunity possible to get compensation for your claim.
Unfortunately, cyclists can often face an uphill battle in obtaining compensation. Even when another driver is at fault, biases against cyclists on the part of drivers, insurance companies, and law enforcement can make getting fair payment for your injuries difficult. While most recreational and casual cyclists follow the rules of the road, those few who don’t encourage the stereotype of careless bike riders. Your OnderLaw, LLC lawyer understands how to work through these prejudices that can show themselves in the legal system.
The legal system is complex enough as it is, and you should never have to go it alone. The knowledgeable and experienced California bicycle accident lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC have experience working on a wide variety of personal injury cases in California. Since the firm’s founding, we have recovered over $3 billion in compensation for accident victims. While we have been listed in several prestigious legal organizations, such as Super Lawyers, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and National Trial Lawyer’s Top 50 Trial Lawyers, we are the most proud of our success in recovering compensation for personal injury accident victims.
We understand that you may be in a devastating financial position just after a bicycle accident and that hiring a lawyer may seem like a luxury. It’s our position that everyone should have access to high-quality legal representation, no matter the size of their bank account. For this reason, we work on a contingency basis. That means there’s no upfront cost to you, and we don’t get paid until we obtain compensation for you. If you get no money, we get no money.
Bicycling Laws in California
If you are riding a bicycle in California, it is critical that you understand the rules and regulations surrounding bicycling. As you are a road user, you primarily share the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. However, there are some important differences and cycling-specific provisions:
- You are generally required to ride your bike as close to the right side of the road as is practicable except when passing, preparing to turn left, avoiding hazards, or if the lane is too narrow for a vehicle to pass.
- If a bike lane is provided and you are traveling slower than traffic, you are required to use it, except when turning left, passing, avoiding hazards, or approaching a right turn lane.
- All bicyclists under 18 must wear an approved helmet when riding a bicycle.
- All bicyclists may not ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Causes of Bike Accidents
Because bicycles and bicyclists often have a lower-profile presence on the road, the causes of cycling accidents frequently come from drivers not seeing cyclists until the last second or not expecting them to be on the road. Often, bicyclists are taking the proper precautions, and the driver is at fault. Following the bicycle laws in California makes you less likely to be in an accident but also makes you less likely to be found at fault if you are involved in an accident. The common causes of bike accidents include:
- Right-hook accident: This occurs when a car pulls in front of a cyclist and then turns to the right in front of them.
- Rear-end accident: These types of accidents often occur if the cyclist needs to stop suddenly, or there is something else obstructing the free flow of travel, and the closely following motorist crashes into the cyclist.
- T-bone accident: These types of accidents can be particularly problematic for cyclists, as they are often caused by drivers running red lights, stop signs, or breaking other traffic laws.
- Intentional negligence or “buzzing”: This can occur if a driver displays bias against bicyclists. This behavior includes a driver trying to run cyclists off the road, blasting them with exhaust, or otherwise taunting a bicyclist from their vehicle.
- Distracted driving: Drivers may not be paying attention while on the road and can overlook a smaller vehicle such as a cyclist. Drivers should refrain from using their cell phones or performing other tasks while driving.
- Driving under the influence: Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs severely increases the risk of an accident because of delayed reaction times and impaired cognitive processes.
- Faulty mechanical parts: If a vehicle has a brake failure or other mechanical issue that leads to a bike accident, the vehicle manufacturer or mechanic could potentially be held liable.
- Failure to yield: Drivers must yield the right-of-way to cyclists, just as they would to cars, when required. Failure to yield the right-of-way can result in an accident.
- Dooring: If a cyclist is riding on the right side of the road, particularly in residential areas, it is likely that there are vehicles parked alongside the road. If you are a driver and parallel park your vehicle, be sure to check for cyclists before opening your driver’s side door. Cyclists having a car door opened into them as they pass or hitting an open car door is known as a “dooring” accident.
Whether your accident was caused by one of the above factors or by something else, you need a trusted California bike accident attorney in your corner for your bike accident claim. The California bicycle accident attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC have experience handling a wide variety of bike accident and personal injury cases, and we are ready to go to work for you.
Common Injuries Suffered in Bike Accidents
While bicycling accidents can cause severe injuries, the relative lack of protection afforded to cyclists means that there are some injuries that are more common in cycling accidents. Some of the common injuries in bike accidents include:
- Road rash
- Concussions or traumatic brain injury
- Collarbone injuries and other broken bones
- Muscle tears, sprains, and strains
- Psychological trauma
- Injuries to internal organs
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Ligament tears
- Internal Bleeding
Whether your injuries include any of the above, a knowledgeable and experienced California bike accident lawyer will be your advocate, holding those who have injured you through their negligent actions accountable and will work to obtain the compensation that you need to recover. Give the California bike accident attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC today at (314) 963-9000.
Compensation for Bike Accident Injuries
Bicycling accidents can involve life-changing and life-threatening injuries. A skilled California bicycle accident lawyer can review your case to help you arrive at an appropriate value for your claim. Some factors that go into the computation of that value include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost work due to disability
- Permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma
- Property damage
Bicycling accidents can be the source of severe mental and physical trauma, and some injuries may linger for the rest of your life. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bicycling accident, a qualified California bicycling accident lawyer can work with the legal system and fight for you, leaving you more time to focus on your recovery.
California Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to a 2018 report from the California Department of Public Health, based on 2007-2013 data, bicycle travel across both the United States and in California rose 71 percent in the 2007-2013 period. Unfortunately, bicycling fatalities have risen from 1.7 percent of traffic fatalities in 2007 to 2.3 percent of traffic fatalities in 2013. Furthermore, the percent of total traffic-related injuries attributed to cyclists rose from 3.9 percent in 2007 to 5.9 percent in 2013.
Among age groups, 15-24-year-olds are the most likely to suffer a non-fatal bicycling injury, with an injury rate of 64.6 per 100,000 people. Those 65 and up are the least likely to suffer a non-fatal injury, with an injury rate of 12.4 per 100,000 people. Unfortunately, however, 45-64-year-olds have the highest bicycling injury fatality rate, with 0.6 fatalities per 100,000 people/ Finally, there were 4,815 bicycle accident injuries and fatalities in the period 2007-2013 in which alcohol played a role.
Call OnderLaw, LLC Today for a Free Initial Consultation
The aftermath of a bicycle accident can be devastating, and you may be feeling overwhelmed. Between medical bills, insurance companies that are often acting in their own best interest rather than yours, and other stressors in the wake of an accident, you should not have to go it alone. The dedicated cycling accident lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC will help you through your bike accident claim, utilizing their knowledge of the law and legal processes to help get the compensation that you need to help take care of your family, recover lost wages, and recover from your injuries.
Call the California bike accident attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC today at (314) 963-9000 for a free, no-pressure initial consultation.