Jacoby and Meyers is a personal injury law office with a team of bicycle accident lawyers who help victims get the medical treatment and the compensation they deserve. Being involved in a bicycle accident poses significantly more risks than victims of car accidents. Cyclists are completely exposed to points of impact, and even wearing a helmet and other safety equipment doesn't always prevent catastrophic injuries.
According to Kaiser Health News findings reported by Phillip Reese for California Healthline in January of 2020,California bike fatalities have hit a 25-year high. There are a number of reasons why bike-related fatalities and serious injuries are on the rise. If you or a loved one have been involved in a bike accident, you should contact a bicycle accident lawyer from a California personal injury law firm, learn about your rights, and discover the best course of action to take to help get your life back on track.
Top Causes for California Bicycle Accidents
While there are a number of causes for bicycle accidents, each basis can leave riders with serious injuries, and the right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you may naturally wonder if the circumstances surrounding your accident are similar to those cases other victims have filed with Jacoby and Meyers. Here are some common causes for bicycle accidents in California:
Distracted driver - When motorists are setting their navigation devices while driving, texting, reaching for something that fell onto the floor, or they engage in any other activity that takes attention away from the road and their surroundings, they could strike a bicycle causing the rider serious injuries.
Impaired driving - Some prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana and narcotics can impair one’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Thousands of bicycle accidents have happened due to drivers striking a bike who had their judgement and reaction time impaired by a substance.
Manufacturer or service defects - In some cases, a bicycle accident can occur when brakes fail, a chain snaps off and gets caught on a peddle, or the wheel comes off. These things can result from assembly errors or faulty parts not caught by quality control teams at the manufacturer’s plant, or a local bike shop could have performed poor work when performing maintenance on your bike.
Opening car doors - Cyclists in bike lanes always have the right of way, yet all too often people pull alongside bike lanes to drop off their passenger, and that person fails to look to make sure the lane is clear of oncoming bike traffic. When a cyclist is riding at any speed, regardless if it is 5 MPH or 20 MPH, running into an open car door can cause severe impact-based trauma and eject the rider into oncoming traffic or onto the pavement.
Poor visibility - Poor visibility can lead to a bicycle accident. If there is heavy fog, rain, or it is nighttime, the chances of a bike being hit by a car increases. Even if the cyclist failed to have lights or reflective materials, the driver can still share a significant amount of liability in an accident.
Intersection turns - In some cases, cyclists are struck by vehicles making turns. A left-hook accident takes place when the car turns left in front of a cyclist who has the right of way, and a right-hook accident offers the same scenario except the car is turning right.
Poorly maintained roads and bike lanes - Potholes, crevices, cracks, and road debris can cause severe bicycle accidents. The city is responsible for street sweeping and maintaining the condition of its streets, bike lanes included. If your bicycle accident lawyer can prove the city was negligent in maintaining their duty, they could be held liable for your medical bills and any compensation for suffering.
What are the California Bicycle Laws?
According to Section 21200 of the California Vehicle Code, cyclists share the same responsibilities and rights as automobile drivers. This means that a person traveling on a bicycle is subjected to the same duties as a car driver. Cyclists can not ride their bike if they are impaired, they must give pedestrians the right of way, and obey traffic signals as if they were driving their car.
Just as the victim of a car crash can seek legal action against a motorist who disobeyed the law and struck their car causinging bodily injury and property damage, so too can a cyclist get struck by a negligent driver and have the rights to seek damages.
Jacoby and Meyers Offers Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyers in California
When you are involved in a California bicycle accident, the first thing you should do is seek immediate medical attention. Then call Jacoby and Meyers for a free consultation with an experienced bicycle accident lawyer. These cases can be complex, and with more than 48 years of experience recovering millions of dollars for our clients, our legal team can help you understand your case, and present you with the best option for collecting the maximum compensation you deserve.