California is an ideal place to ride a bike, but it can also be dangerous for cyclists. Bicycles lack the advanced safety features that passenger vehicles have, leaving bicyclists vulnerable to negligent drivers. When a driver disregards the rules of the road, cyclists pay the price.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, then you could be entitled to claim compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand the negative financial impact that being involved in an accident can have on your life. Our Moreno Valley attorneys have the knowledge and resources to help you seek the compensation that you need to recover.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we offer a free legal consultation that can help put you on the path towards justice. Call us today at (314) 963-9000 to find out how we may be able to help you.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
Bicycle accidents often cause severe injuries, resulting in higher medical bills and a greater financial burden on you. The at fault driver and their insurance company may try to fight the validity of your claim so that they can avoid a large payout, which hurts an insurer’s profit margin.
An attorney can be a valuable asset if you’re filing a bicycle accident claim. An attorney can investigate the circumstances of the accident and gather crucial evidence that establishes the driver’s liability. This evidence can help strengthen your claim and improve your chances of securing maximum compensation for your injuries.
The legal team at OnderLaw, LLC understands the life-altering consequences that a bicycle accident can cause. That’s why we aggressively pursue full and fair compensation for injured victims. While you focus on recovering, we handle the details of your claim and we can even negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Not only will we build a compelling case, but we’ll also keep you informed at every step in the process.
If you want to work with an attorney that you can trust and who has your best interests in mind, contact the team at OnderLaw, LLC today. We even offer a free and confidential legal consultation to help get you started. Call us for more information at (314) 963-9000 and share the details of your case with us.
Bike Laws in Moreno Valley
Cyclists must follow many of the same rules of the road that motorists follow. These rules include obeying all posted traffic signs and signals and traveling with the flow of traffic.
While cyclists can legally use the same lanes as other vehicles, cyclists who are moving slower than traffic are expected by law to travel as closely as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway (in most circumstances). Cyclists may also use designated bike lanes. Cyclists and motorists alike need to be aware that motorists must merge into a bike lane when making a right turn. The rule is highlighted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles in their guide for cyclists.
California law also states that cyclists must be equipped with a white light or lamp, visible from at least 300 feet when riding at night. Bikes also need a red reflector or a solid flashing red light visible from a distance of 500 feet as well as reflectors on each bike pedal. Those under the age of 18 must also wear a helmet that meets the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.
While riding may be a great form of exercise, bikers are not allowed to ride to their favorite tunes and tune out the rest of the world. Cyclists must keep one ear free from headsets or earplugs. Keeping one ear free allows cyclists to hear what is going on around them, whether that is a car honking its horn or the sirens of an approaching ambulance.
Causes of Bike Accidents
Biking is becoming an increasingly popular activity in California. However, the increase in the amount of bicycle traffic has also increased the number of bicycle accidents. Many of these accidents are unique to bicyclists. Some of the most common causes of cycling accidents include:
- Distracted driving– Distracted driving is reckless driving behavior that can seriously injure others. This is especially true for cyclists, who tend to be harder to spot.
- Drunk driving– Alcohol slows down a person’s cognitive abilities and motor reflexes. It can also impair a person’s vision, making cyclists harder to spot until it is too late.
- Drowsy driving– Sleep deprivation impacts mind and body functions in much the same way as alcohol. A drowsy driver can fall asleep behind the wheel and easily drift into a bike lane, colliding with an unsuspecting cyclist.
- Lane merging accidents- Motorists should always be aware of their surroundings before changing lanes. A motorist who fails to check their mirrors or use caution with blind spots can cause a terrible accident with a cyclist.
- Dooring accidents- Dooring refers to a type of accident where a motorist opens their car door, and a cyclist slams into that open door. This tends to happen after a motorist has parked their car and failed to examine their surroundings before exiting the vehicle.
- Parking lot accidents- Cars and bikes tend to collide in areas where they both congregate, such as parking lots, shopping areas, and schools. Cars that back up without checking their mirrors or surroundings are at risk of hitting cyclists traveling through the area.
Common Injuries Suffered in Bike Accidents
Bicycles have no airbags, no roll cage, and no side impact protection. Often cyclists only have a helmet and their clothes to offer them protection. A t-shirt and bike shorts don’t offer much protection when 3,000-pounds of metal come barreling down the road towards you.
Bicycle injuries tend to be severe and can even be life-altering. Common injuries cyclists can face include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Facial and dental injuries
- Broken bones
- Joint dislocations
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal bleeding
- Road rash
Compensation for Bike Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents often leave victims with serious physical injuries and staggering medical bills. Victims involved in bicycle accident cases can benefit from the assistance of an experienced attorney because an attorney can more accurately estimate the value of a serious bicycle accident claim. An attorney will be able to help calculate not just your immediate medical expenses, but the expenses you may incur in the future due to your injuries. A skilled lawyer can also estimate your lost income, as well as what your pain and suffering may be worth.
In general, victims of bicycle accidents may be able to pursue compensation to cover the following:
- Present and future medical expenses, including hospital bills, physical therapy expenses, surgery costs, the cost of prescription medications, scans, tests, procedures, treatments, meals, lodging, and any other expenses related to your injuries
- Lost income, if you are unable to return to work due to your injuries
- Loss of earning capacity due to being unable to perform your full job duties
- Property damage, such as damage to your bicycle and other personal items
- Pain and suffering, including PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and mental anguish
You might also be able to recover punitive damages, depending on the circumstances of your case. Punitive damages are designed to punish the at fault individual for excessively reckless behavior.
State Bike Accident Statistics
Biking has quickly become a popular activity and mode of transportation in California. Unfortunately, more bikers on the roads means more bike accidents are likely to occur. One publication notes that California bike fatalities have hit a 25 year high. From 2016 to 2018, traffic crashes claimed the lives of 455 cyclists.
Numbers from UC Berkeley show that between 2016 and 2020, Riverside County had 1,706 bicyclist collisions, the 8th highest out of any county in the state. In the same time frame, Riverside County recorded 43 bicycle fatalities, the 5th highest total of deaths in the entire state.
Experts have also found that more males tend to be involved in bicycling fatalities than females. Males in the 45- to 54-year-old age range tend to die more frequently in cycling accidents than any other age range. This may be due, in part, to the fact that men are more likely to commute to work by bike than women.
Contact an Experienced Moreno Valley Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicyclists have every right to get out and use public roads. When a negligent motorist endangers the life of a cyclist and causes serious injuries, that driver needs to be held accountable. Cyclists should not have to pay the price for someone else’s reckless actions.
If you need an attorney to help you estimate the value of your claim and recover the money you deserve after a bicycle accident, contact the team at OnderLaw, LLC. Our Moreno Valley attorneys have the experience it takes to fight for you. Let’s get to work on your accident claim today. Call us at (314) 963-9000 for a free and confidential legal consultation.