More and more people are realizing that bicycles are a great alternative to automobiles. They reduce traffic congestion, eliminate gas and car maintenance costs, are eco-friendly, and allow you to exercise while you get where you’re going. Chula Vista is embracing bicycling as an option for local travel. In 2019, the city updated its bike laws and in 2020, finalized its Active Transportation Plan, a long-term city development program to facilitate bicycle and pedestrian traffic. And the city proudly touts its recognition as a “Bicycle-Friendly Community” by the League of American Bicyclists. As in many urban areas in the U.S., it seems that bicycles are a significant part of Chula Vista’s future.

Even with friendlier bike laws and more bike lanes, though, bicycle accidents on Chula Vista’s roadways are bound to happen. Sharing the road with cars, bike riders are at an immense disadvantage in case of a collision. The sturdiest bicycles weigh only a fraction of the smallest subcompact car, and bikes have no protective features. When an automobile collides with a bicycle, the cyclist is in grave danger of suffering serious injury. In fact, any time a rider comes off their bike, for any reason, they’ll be very lucky if they aren’t significantly hurt.

You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s negligence. If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident in Chula Vista that wasn’t your fault, call the Chula Vista personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw today for a free consultation. We’ll discuss the potential of your case with you to help you determine your next steps. And keep in mind that if we represent you, we won’t charge you unless we obtain compensation.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Your immediate responsibility, though, is recovering and healing from your injuries, and you shouldn’t have to pursue a personal injury case on your own. That’s why one of your first steps should be to contact an attorney with extensive experience in bike accident cases. The legal system can be difficult to navigate, and if you don’t have a good lawyer running point for you, maneuvering by your opponent’s lawyer or insurance company can easily bog down your case or derail it entirely.

A superior personal injury attorney knows all the tricks, can anticipate unexpected developments and will shepherd your case through to the best possible resolution. You’ll be able to focus your energies on getting better and on returning to normal life at your own pace, without any unnecessary anxiety and frustration. You’ll want OnderLaw on your side from the very beginning.

Why Choose OnderLaw ?

At OnderLaw , we’ve been successfully advocating for personal injury victims since 2002, securing over $3 billion in awards and settlements for our clients. With one of our attorneys handling your case, you have a thorough knowledge of the law on your side. You’ll also have someone to take care of all the details, the paperwork, and the many tasks that personal injury cases require. You will be our priority from the time we take on your case until the very end.

Bike Laws in Chula Vista

For bike riders in Chula Vista, state law defines most of the rules and regulations about bicycling. Essentially, cyclists in California have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. Of course, there are a few regulations specific to bikes, including the following:

  • Anyone under 18 who is riding a bicycle must wear a protective helmet.
  • When bicycles are traveling slower than traffic, they must ride as far to the right as possible. Bikes may “take the lane” if it is too narrow to accommodate a bike and car riding beside each other.
  • Bikes must always use a bike lane if one is present. If a bike lane is separated from traffic, for instance, by a partition or posts, it is then considered a “separated bikeway,” the use of which is optional.
  • When passing a bicycle on the road, motorists must allow at least three feet of clearance or slow down to a safe speed if a three-foot gap is not possible.
  • Chula Vista also has several bicycle equipment specifications regarding reflectors, lights, brakes, seats, bike size, and handlebar height.

California state law leaves a few regulations up to cities or other local jurisdictions, and Chula Vista has been active in reinforcing state law in its city municipal code as well as establishing local requirements. Chapter 10.72 of Chula Vista’s municipal code deals exclusively with bicycles, covering cyclists’ compliance with traffic laws, lights, and signs; prohibition of tampering with or removing bicycle serial numbers; and providing for bicycle parking zones. Chula Vista also does not allow riding on sidewalks in the city’s business districts. In 2019, in a cyclist-friendly move, the city adopted Ordinance 3451, which did away with bicycle licensing and the accompanying fee.

Causes of Bike Accidents

Because of size and speed disparities, bicycles in traffic with cars and trucks are susceptible to some unique kinds of accidents. Still, they share many of the typical causes of automobile crashes. The following list features the most common causes of bike accidents:

  • Dooring – when someone opens a car door into the path of a bicyclist
  • Bike lane violations – when a car turns into a bike lane in front of a cyclist or otherwise illegally drives in a bike lane
  • Failure to yield – drivers must allow bicycles the same right-of-way as any car or truck.
  • Road hazards – obstacles in a roadway or poorly maintained road surfaces can cause a bicyclist to lose control and crash.
  • Speeding
  • Aggressive driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Ignoring traffic signs or stoplights
  • Driving too close to a bicycle
  • Poor visibility (bad weather, darkness, bicycle in a car’s blind spot)

Common Injuries Suffered in Bike Accidents

With essentially no protection for their riders, bicycles can wind up in accidents that cause devastating injuries to the cyclist, even when traveling at low speeds. Whether the result of a collision with a car or a fall caused by an obstacle in the roadway, bicycle accident injuries can be severe and painful. Here are some of the most common:

  • Fractures / broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Dental injuries, broken teeth
  • Facial injuries and fractures
  • Foot and ankle injuries
  • Hand and wrist injuries
  • Joint injuries (knee, hip, shoulder)
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Other head injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Neck and spinal damage
  • Paralysis
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Amputation

Compensation for Bike Accident Injuries

There are two basic classes of compensation: economic and non-economic.

Calculating economic damages is fairly straightforward. They are injuries and damages that have a clear dollar value, and they can usually be proven using bills, receipts, or other financial documentation. There are four types of economic damages:

  • Medical expenses (hospital and doctor bills, physical therapy, medical equipment, etc.)
  • Damage to property (your bicycle, personal effects, etc.)
  • Loss of income from work missed
  • Loss of future income or earning potential

Non-economic damages are intangible and not easily quantified in cash value. The California Civil Code defines non-economic damages as “subjective, non-monetary losses” and lists the primary kinds:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Mental suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Injury to reputation
  • Humiliation

Your attorney will work with you to assign a dollar amount to these damages that accurately reflects their cumulative impact.

California and National Bike Accident Statistics

Males are six times more likely to be killed and four times more likely to be injured in a bike accident than females.

In San Diego County in 2019, there were 1.47 motorcycle fatalities per 100,000 residents.

In 2016-2018, bicycle fatalities in California were higher than in any three-year period since the mid-1990s. California averaged 3.9 deaths per one million residents from 2016 to 2018.

A meta-analysis of five well-conducted studies concluded that wearing a helmet during a bike accident can reduce the risk of head and brain injuries by 63 to 88 percent.

Contact the Chula Vista Bicycle Accident Lawyers at OnderLaw Today

From our founding nearly two decades ago, our personal injury practice has been built on a combination of compassion and hard work. We understand the burden of suffering, especially when it is due to another’s negligence. If you want justice and compensation for your injuries, you shouldn’t try to go it alone. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to get you the largest settlement or award possible so you can rest and heal, knowing that you’ve got the best in the business on your side.

If you’ve been injured in a bike accident in Chula Vista through no fault of your own, contact OnderLaw now. Remember, the initial consultation is free, and we’ll make it as easy as possible for you to start the ball rolling on your claim. We understand the pain and the challenges that the recovery process can involve, and that’s plenty for you to deal with in the aftermath of an accident. You take care of your health. We’re here to take care of the rest. Call now.