Bicycling is great exercise and a lot of fun – until you get into an accident. When you sustain serious injuries and worry about the cost of your medical treatment, it can cause overwhelming stress. The Orange County personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw understand what you’re going through and want to help. We have years of experience representing accident victims and pursuing the compensation they need to pay for medical bills and other costs.

Bicyclists are at an increased risk of injury compared to people occupying enclosed vehicles. Even if you take safety precautions, you can’t prevent someone else from blowing through a stop sign or drifting into the bike lane. A collision between a bike and a car causes significant injuries to the bicyclist. You don’t have protection from the impact of the crash or flying debris or from other vehicles that cross your path afterward.

The Orange County bicycle accident lawyers of OnderLaw can take on your case and the negligent driver. We will build your case and try to secure the maximum compensation possible to cover your losses. If another person’s actions are completely to blame for your injuries, you should receive full coverage for the expenses you incurred.

Call OnderLaw for a free consultation today if you want to learn more about how we can help you after a bicycle accident.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Bike accidents typically lead to severe and debilitating injuries. You might be disoriented or in shock immediately after it happens. It’s impossible to make good decisions or even know the first step you should take. Overcoming the physical pain and emotional trauma becomes a challenge when you also face a long legal battle.

OnderLaw can put our knowledge and experience to work for you. We will investigate the crash and determine who was at fault, obtain vital evidence, and communicate with the insurance company on your behalf. You won’t have to do anything except focus on your recovery. We know what it takes to build a successful case and reach a favorable outcome for you.

Types of Bicycle Accidents

Multiple scenarios involving bicycles can arise that cause an accident. It’s one thing to ride your bike down a deserted path. You probably don’t face many dangers. However, it’s quite another experience when you see cars whizzing by and distracted drivers drifting towards you. Even if you’re in a bike lane, there’s nothing stopping someone from swerving your way and crashing into you.

The most common types of bicycle accidents include:

  • Dooring – Most roads contain a bicycle lane right next to street parking spaces. A driver stepping out of their parked vehicle might not check for an approaching bicyclist. When they open their door, the biker can crash into it or try to avoid an accident by swerving into traffic.
  • Intersection accidents – Bicyclists must follow many of the same traffic laws as motorists. Unfortunately, most drivers don’t know when they’re supposed to yield so a bike rider can proceed through an intersection. If someone ignores a signal or intentionally runs a stop sign, they put the bicyclist at risk of serious harm.
  • Left-hand turn collisions – Drivers preparing to turn left must use their turn signal and thoroughly check for anyone traveling from the opposite direction before proceeding. Bicyclists are sometimes hard to notice, and if the driver hasn’t carefully checked their intended path, they may be unable to stop in time to avoid a collision.
  • Sideswipe crashes – A driver passing a bicyclist on the road is required to leave three feet of space between the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or bicyclist. Unfortunately, a reckless motorist might pass too closely and run the biker off the road.
  • Rear-end collisions – If there isn’t a bike lane, bicyclists are forced to share the road with cars and trucks. An impatient driver might tailgate if they’re in a rush to get somewhere. If the biker has to stop suddenly, the driver likely won’t have enough time to brake.

Not all bicycle accidents are the driver’s fault. Sometimes, crashes result from poor road conditions. If the roadway or bike path isn’t adequately maintained, the company responsible for maintenance and repairs could be liable for the accident victim’s injuries.

Common Injuries Suffered in Bicycle Accidents

Traumatic injuries are common in bicycle accidents. Many people die on impact or suffer fatal injuries that can’t heal. In 2019, 843 bicyclists died in accidents involving motor vehicles. Although fatal crashes can happen at any time of the day, most occurred between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., accounting for 21 percent of all bicyclist fatalities.

The most common injuries bikers suffer in accidents are:

  • Concussion or traumatic brain injury
  • Ejection injuries
  • Loss of limb
  • Paralysis
  • Broken bones
  • Road rash and cuts
  • Disfigurement
  • Back injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Internal bleeding
  • Impalement injuries
  • Emotional or mental suffering
  • Crush injuries

Some injuries are permanent. If you don’t recover, you could spend the rest of your life suffering from chronic pain or limited mobility. A physical disability prevents the victim from caring for themselves or performing household tasks. They might need someone to assist them with showering, dressing, and other parts of their routine. It upends your whole life and can significantly affect your emotional state. Even if your injuries heal, you could face psychological harm that lasts for years.

What Compensation Is Available?

California is a fault car accident state. That means the at-fault driver becomes liable for the injured party’s losses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Personal property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical impairment or disfigurement

State law requires all drivers to carry car insurance with these minimum liability limits:

  • Bodily injury – $15,000
  • Property damage – $5,000

Even though you were riding your bike when the accident happened, you could file a car insurance claim to pursue compensation for your losses, either with the driver’s policy or your own, if you purchased the appropriate coverage. Everyone’s policy is different, so it’s crucial that you review it to determine the available coverage and any procedural requirements for initiating your claim.

OnderLaw is familiar with the confusing language in insurance policies and can help. If the at-fault driver’s liability limits aren’t high enough to compensate for your losses, we could file a lawsuit. There’s a strict deadline involved if you want to sue someone for compensation after an accident. California has a two-year statute of limitations. That means you would have two years from the date of the crash to sue the negligent driver.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident

Dealing with the aftermath of a bike accident can be stressful. If your debilitating injury prevents you from walking, you can’t collect evidence at the scene or ask the other driver for their insurance information. Your main focus should be getting medical treatment. Go to the hospital and ask the doctor what you need to do to heal your injuries. If they recommend any type of treatment plan, you should follow it.

Hiring an Orange County bicycle accident lawyer immediately after the accident is another vital step you should take. OnderLaw can take on the investigation, so you don’t have to worry about doing it yourself. While you’re attending your doctor’s appointments, we can determine who was at fault, file a claim on your behalf, submit all the evidence we find, and negotiate a settlement. If the insurance company denies your claim, we can file a lawsuit and take them to court.

You might want to collect any documentation associated with your ongoing case. Don’t discard any physician bills, imaging test results, or other medical records you receive while treating your injury. The insurance company wants evidence of the accident and injury you suffered to determine the settlement amount they offer. Without adequate evidence or with incomplete records, it will look like your injury isn’t serious or doesn’t exist.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

OnderLaw has spent years advocating for accident victims throughout Orange County and elsewhere. We believe in fighting for those in need and holding careless individuals accountable for their wrongdoing. You can depend on us to remain in your corner and help you seek the justice you deserve.

You might face economic strain after a bike accident. If you can barely afford your medical bills, you probably worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer. We don’t want to burden you with additional expenses. That’s why we take all cases on contingency. We don’t charge upfront fees or costs when someone hires us. We only collect our legal fees if we secure compensation for the accident victim. If we lose, you won’t owe us any money.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to receive legal advice after suffering injuries in an accident. We offer an initial free consultation, so you don’t have to pay for the guidance you need to decide how to handle this traumatic ordeal. We’re happy to review the facts of the crash and determine if we can take your case. If you’re not ready to seek legal action, you are under no obligation to hire us.

Contact Us

The Orange County bicycle accident lawyers of OnderLaw are available 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have. We aim to provide quality customer service to our clients at all times. You will receive the one-on-one attention and support you need to handle this devastating experience and move forward with the compensation necessary to heal.

If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Orange County, don’t wait to pursue compensation from the negligent driver. Call us for your free consultation today.