More people than ever before have taken to the roads on bicycles. Not only are they great for recreation, but they’re also economical transportation. A bike is one of the smallest modes of transportation available. Because of their size, if a bicycle is involved in a traffic accident with a motor vehicle, the rider is likely to be seriously injured.

When you’re the victim of a bike accident that wasn’t your fault, you may wonder how you’ll be able to afford the medical bills and other expenses associated with your accident. Additionally, you may wonder what options you have to seek justice for your accident. When you’ve been hurt in a bike accident in Sacramento through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation.

The Sacramento personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw are fully equipped to handle your case, and we’re dedicated to helping those disabled or injured in bike accidents in Sacramento and beyond. Give us a call or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Following an accident, it’s important that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help you file a claim to pursue compensation for your accident-related losses. An attorney can investigate your accident, obtain evidence, and handle all communications with the parties involved. Your OnderLaw lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to obtain a settlement for the full and fair compensation you’re owed. If settlement negotiations fall through, your lawyer can prepare your case for trial.

Although it’s entirely possible for you to go through the process of filing a personal injury claim on your own without the help of an attorney, the process can be confusing and time-consuming. When you’re the victim of a bike accident, it’s likely you’ll want to focus on recovering from the injuries you sustained in your accident. If you’re busy trying to take on the responsibility of filing a claim for compensation, you may not be able to achieve the rest necessary for a full recovery.

When you have a skilled and compassionate lawyer on your side, you can focus on what’s important: recovering from your injuries and getting back to your life.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

OnderLaw is a trusted law firm for all things personal injury. With nearly two decades of experience, we’re well-versed in personal injury cases of all types and are fully equipped and prepared to help you recover the compensation you deserve following your accident.

Not only are we dedicated to providing our clients with top-notch legal representation, but we’re dedicated to involving ourselves in our communities and supporting organizations that align with our firm beliefs and mission. We’re proud to represent organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Lupus Foundation of America Walk, and Toys for Tots.

Not only are we involved with our community, but we’re also recognized by many respected legal organizations scattered throughout the nation. We’re proud to have our firm and our lawyers recognized by prestigious legal organizations such as Martindale-Hubbell Peer and Client Review Ratings, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and Rue Ratings Best Attorneys of America. The last two listed accept less than one percent of all lawyers in the United States for exclusive membership.

Should you select OnderLaw to support you and your claim, you can feel confident that your case is in the hands of some of the most skilled and successful lawyers in the nation.

Bike Laws in Sacramento

Cyclists are required to adhere to Sacramento traffic and bike laws when out on the road. Below is a list of the laws that Sacramento requires its cyclists to obey:

  • On streets and roads without bike lanes, cyclists are expected to keep as close to the right side of the road as possible. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, such as when cyclists are:
    • Traveling the same speed as vehicle traffic
    • Making a left turn
    • Passing
    • Avoiding road hazards
    • Avoiding a right turn
  • Cyclists on the roadway or shoulder are expected to follow the direction of vehicle traffic in the adjacent lane.
  • Cyclists can’t ride on freeways or expressways.
  • Cyclists aren’t permitted to cross toll bridges unless authorized by Caltrans.
  • Bicycles must be the appropriate size to allow for the cyclist to stop, support the bike with one foot on the ground, and start safely.
  • Bicycle handlebars must not be taller than the cyclist’s shoulder level.
  • Bicycles must have a seat appropriate for the rider unless otherwise specified by the bike manufacturer to be ridden without a seat.
  • Bicycles must be equipped with brakes to make stops on same-level surfaces.
  • Bicycles are required to have reflectors visible at night:
    • Back: red reflector
    • Front & back: white or yellow reflector on each pedal or on the bike rider’s shoes or ankles.
    • Side: (1) white or yellow reflector on the front half and (2) a red or white reflector on each side of the back half. However, these reflectors aren’t required if the bike has reflectorized tires.

Causes of Bike Accidents

Bicycle accidents are just that: accidents. However, there are some common events that cause bike accidents. Some of the most frequent ones include:

  • Drunk driving
  • Drugged driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding or aggressive driving
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Lane sharing
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Failure to look both ways when making a turn
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Failure to keep an eye out for cyclists

Common Injuries Suffered in Bike Accidents

Because a bicycle rider is completely unprotected against an impact with a vehicle, the injuries resulting from a crash can be severe. Some of the most common injuries sustained by those involved in bike accidents include:

  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Head and spine damage
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Lacerations and abrasions
  • Road rash, scrapes, scratches, and burns
  • Facial injuries
  • Disfigurement and amputation
  • Ruptured or herniated discs
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Hip and knee damage
  • Foot and ankle damage
  • Hand and wrist damage

Compensation for Bike Accident Injuries

The type and amount of compensation potentially owed to you following an accident depend on the consideration of a number of factors regarding the collision. One of the most important considerations in determining the compensation available to you is the severity of the injuries you sustained and the duration of your recovery. Some types of compensation that may be available to those involved in bike accidents include:

  • Medical expenses. You can seek to recover damages for the medical bills you incur as a result of your accident. Medical expenses include hospital and doctor’s visits, emergency room visits, transportation by ambulance, x-rays, surgery, physical rehabilitation, and more.
  • Lost wages. The injuries you sustain in a bike accident may force you to take time away from work to focus on your recovery. You can seek to recover compensation for the wages lost as a result of time spent away from work to nurse your injuries. This includes past, present, and future lost wages.
  • Loss of earning capacity. You may develop a disability or sustain injuries so severe in a bike accident that you’re unable to return to work following your recovery. If this is the case for you, you may be entitled to recover damages for your loss of earning capacity.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. Following a bike accident, you may be unable to participate in activities you once derived pleasure from. If this is the case for you, you may be able to seek compensation for your loss of enjoyment of life as a result of your accident.
  • Pain and suffering. You may be able to recover compensation for the pain and suffering you’re forced to ensure as a result of your bike accident.
  • Emotional distress. Being involved in a bike accident is a traumatic experience and can lead you to the development of anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other conditions. You may be eligible to seek damages for the emotional distress caused by your accident.
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded in cases where there’s sufficient evidence to point to the malicious intent of another person as the cause for the accident in which you were injured. Punitive damages, called “exemplary damages” in California, are rarely awarded. However, if you believe you were injured intentionally, you may be able to recover compensation for punitive damages for the injuries you sustained in the bike accident.

Sacramento, California, and National Bike Accident Statistics

Bike accidents are, tragically, common. Here are some statistics:

According to California Healthline, 455 cyclists died as a result of traffic accidents between 2016 and 2018.

Data collected by the University of California — Berkeley revealed that 2,783 cyclist collisions occurred in Sacramento between 2015 and 2019.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 846 cyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2019.

Contact a Sacramento Bicycle Accident Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a bike accident in Sacramento that wasn’t your fault, call OnderLaw today. When you call us or contact us online, we can schedule a free consultation. In that consultation, you’ll talk with one of our attorneys, who can help you figure out your next best steps. Don’t wait. Call today.