Bicycle accidents are all too common with more than 500,000 taking place in the United States each year. Nearly 70,000 cyclists visit an emergency room with head injuries, and more than 700 people are killed each year in bicycle accidents. With these sobering statistics, it’s important to put safety first if you are a cyclist and know that you have rights if you should ever be the victim of an accident.
Are You a Victim of a Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle accidents can happen to even the most skilled, physically fit individuals. And, the injuries can be devastating and even life-threatening. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, you need a personal injury attorney on your side who has a deep understanding of the unique challenges of these types of cases.
A skilled bicycle injury attorney will understand California bicycle law, as well as having specialized skills in accident reconstruction, bicycle design and assembly, roadway design, bicycle-related head injuries, and cyclists rights. These cases can be quite complex.
As well, insurance companies notoriously fight these types of cases by trying to pay out only a fraction of their full value. Because of this, you don’t want to take chances with an attorney who doesn’t have experience working with insurance companies on bicycle accident cases.
Like with every personal injury case, liability has to be determined. Often, there are multiple causes of a bicycle accident. For example, both a reckless driver and a dangerous intersection could be contributing factors. Or, it could be a bicycle with faulty brakes along with a bicycle helmet that didn’t properly protect the victim’s head. When you work with an experienced attorney who understands the many nuances of bicycle accident cases, all sources of liability will be determined.
In cases where a vehicle is involved, a motorist typically did not see the cyclist. Victims of these types of accidents often experience serious injuries.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents Involving Vehicles
- Poor road conditions
- Motor vehicle negligence
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Disregard of right of way
- Poor knowledge of driving/riding laws
- Inexperienced driver
In some cases, bicycle design and traffic flow experts, along with medical experts are needed to provide pertinent information to help determine liability and to calculate a bicycle injury settlement. Compensation for a bicycle accident is calculated by your losses. These include your injuries, property damage, and loss of income, as well as the pain and suffering you experience because of the accident.
Staying Safe on the Road
If you are a cyclist, it’s always important to wear your helmet and to obey traffic laws and the right of way. This will go a long way to preventing life-altering accidents. And, if you are ever in an accident, it’s vital to contact an experienced bicycle accident attorney right away to protect your rights and to enable you to obtain fair compensation for your injuries.