If you were injured by a car while riding your bike, try to remain calm after the accident. Get yourself to a safe location and stay still. If you think you’ve been hurt, call 911. And don’t get into a yelling match with the driver of the car.
In the heat of the moment, you might be hopping mad. You might want to scream and yell. But in so doing, you might give the driver reason or cause for assigning blame to you as the bicyclist. The police will likely show up at the scene and ask lots of questions. Those questions will form the basis of who is at fault. Be cooperative with the police, but keep your answers honest and brief.
Unless you were tremendously wreckless, the driver of the car will bear the majority of the burden for the accident. Even if you had stretched the rules of the road as a bicycle rider, you still have the right-of-way in a significant number of situations. For example, the driver is still predominantly at fault if he or she hits you despite plenty of time to see you coming.
Take plenty of photos and use your phone to write down any notes. There is nothing more valuable to a lawyer than notes taken on the scene of an accident. Don’t let the insurance company talk you out of using a lawyer. Bike accidents cause long term injury problems. Consult with a lawyer immediately after the accident in order to recoup most of your losses.Read More
With careful, defensive driving by both bike riders and automobile drivers, most bicycle-auto accidents are avoidable. If you’ve been in an accident, contact a lawyer immediately to help you determine why the accident happened and who was to blame. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center lists the following accidents as most common on the roads today.
The Left Cross: Motorists taking a left turn through an intersection frequently hit cyclists using their right-of-way riding straight in their lane. While the drivers always need to keep an eye out for small, quick bikes, cyclists should avoid creeping into the intersection while waiting for the light to change.
The Right Hook: Drivers can easily pass cyclists hugging the side of the road. Then the driver turns right and cuts off the sidelined cyclists. Cyclists should take full use of the lane, encouraging vehicle drivers to treat them as an equal on the road.
The Door Jamb: Both riders and drivers need to pay close attention to avoid this common problem. Drivers should avoid suddenly and quickly opening the door to their parked cars. Cyclists need to stay aware of recently parked cars and constantly look for any reason to make a quick, full stop.
The Pull Out: Again, drivers and cyclists need to be equally aware. Drivers pulling out a parking lot or into a lane of traffic need to do so with enough force to quickly keep pace with the flow of other cars. Unfortunately, trees, bushes, and parked cars obscure a clear view of everything in the lane of traffic — including other cars and bikes.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, whether you were the rider or the driver, document everything about the incident. Photos, drawings, and eye-witness statements will help you and your lawyer determine the true cause of the accident.Read More
Biker’s Arm is the name for a collection of injuries common to motorcycle riders who have been in an accident. If you were in a motorcycle accident, you likely hurt your arms. As soon as you have become medically stable, you need to contact an attorney to find out how this kind of injury, along with any others, can be covered with a personal injury lawsuit.
There are hundreds of ways you can prevent injury while on your bike. Driving defensively, wearing a helmet, and using protective gear are just a few examples. If you’ve been in an accident and you weren’t being as proactive as possible with some protective measures, you can be held partially responsible for your injuries.
However, Biker’s Arm falls into a different category of accident injuries. Biker’s Arm is very difficult to prevent. When you are in an accident, your body instinctively responds to the danger. Without thinking, you throw your arms in front of you for protection. While this may help reduce the impact of the accident on your head and body, your arms are much more likely to be injured.
If the other party in the accident can be held responsible for a portion of the blame, you can sue for any losses associated with the Biker’s Arm collection of injuries. For example, if you use your arms for work (and who doesn’t), you can use a personal injury lawsuit to claim the loss of current and future wages. In addition, our hands are comprised of an extraordinary number of bones and nerves. Damage to those organs can cause life-long pain and suffering.
Biker’s Arm is a serious, long-term problem for any rider who has been involved in an accident. Don’t delay in calling a lawyer for help.Read More
If you were riding your bike without a helmet and you were injured in an accident, you should contact a lawyer immediately to help you recover any losses sustained by the incident. There is no state law in California mandating that you (as an adult) are required to wear a helmet while riding your bicycle. However, because wearing bike helmets are considered common-sense, you will need legal help in making a claim for money.
Your legal battle for losses (lost wages, medical bills, etc) is based on the legal construct of “comparative negligence.” The general idea is that both you and the driver of the car that hit you are responsible for the damages and injuries. Comparative negligence implies that because you were not wearing a helmet (by your own choice), you are responsible for your own injuries.
While the majority of helmet studies show that wearing a helmet is critical while riding a motorcycle, the information is less clear about the benefits of a bicycle helmet. This gives your lawyer an opportunity to put the majority of the blame on the driver — and not you. The driver’s insurance company is likely to pressure you into signing away your claims, so make sure you have a lawyer on your side when dealing with any insurance claims, claims adjusters, or legal paperwork.
From a practical point of view, wearing a bike helmet is a good idea. But if you have sustained a head injury from a bike accident, you have a legal right to pursue the driver for his or her fair share of responsibility for the damages to you head and body (and bike).Read More
If you were riding your bike, and you were hit by a passing car, or forced off the road causing injury, you have the right to sue the driver. In California, bike riders have full use of most lanes of traffic.
California Vehicle Code, section 21202, is fairly short and clear. As a bike rider, you have as much right to use the full lane of the road as any car. There are some exceptions in the law that allow for a car and a bike to share the lane, but the exceptions are rare.
As a bike rider, you are not required to go the same speed as a car. You can take full use of the lane. However, because you are likely to be going slower than the speed of traffic, you should not make it difficult for a car to pass you when it is legally possible.
The intent of the law is to create bike friendly environments in urban areas. While the drivers in some cities, like San Francisco, have more experience in sharing the road, all California cities should start learning how to create more energy efficient urban spaces.
Bike riders in Southern California today bear the brunt of teaching drivers how to be more patient and understanding of bicycles as vehicles. Unfortunately, part of that process means legal action against drivers who still refuse to share the road.Read More
If you ride your bike on a regular basis, you already know there is a bias against bike riders. And while it’s true that some bike riders don’t share the road well with cars, the vast majority of bike riders are responsible, careful riders.
Frankly, bike riders have to be careful. Regardless of who is right or wrong in any given accident, bike riders have a bigger incentive to be safe riders — their life. In the game of car v. bike, the car is always going to weigh much more than what the bike weighs.
Despite the inherent logic, many drivers and police officers tend to blame bicyclists for accidents. The police are known to go as far as to ignore witness statements that would defame the automobile driver.
If you are on your bike and you are in an accident, call a lawyer! Even when (you think) you are to blame for the accident, sit down and talk to a professional. Many bicyclists feel ashamed and embarrassed when they break the rules of the road and there is an accident.
The laws that govern traffic are complicated, and they change from state to state. Bike riders are responsible for sharing the road, but they are not considered to be moving vehicles. Bike riders are pedestrians and typically fall under pedestrian right-of-way laws.
Pedestrian right-of-way laws are not simple and cannot be summarized in one sentence. However, automobile drivers always have the burden of being conscientious and considerate of anyone walking or riding a bike.
Calling a lawyer is not about trying to take advantage of an accident to get a new bike or get a break from work for a few weeks. A good lawyer will ensure the bias against you as a bike rider does not become additional pain and suffering.
The automobile driver has the benefit of an insurance company on its side. That means lawyers, adjusters, and insurance agents working hard to keep you from suing their client. You deserve at least one lawyer on your side.Read More