In Northern California, there’s no shortage of opportunities to get out and enjoy the region’s beautiful sights and weather. One of the most popular and environmentally-friendly ways to do this is by riding a bicycle. Bicycling in Northern California is a lot of fun with all the trails, roads, and routes available.
However, it can also be dangerous. Some parts of the region are crowded and not well-maintained. Worse yet, there are instances where you share the road with drivers who can be aggressive and careless, not paying attention to you and other bicyclists until it’s too late. Unfortunately, these instances can lead to numerous types of bicycle crashes.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents:
Every bicycle accident carries its own unique facts and circumstances. With that said, there are some more common types of bicycle accidents that can happen to you or a loved one in northern California.
- Bicycle versus bicycle – These accidents involve collisions between two or more bicycles.
- Caltrans – Caltrans accidents refer to incidents involving roads, highways or vehicles operated by Caltrans.
- Children’s Bicycle Accidents – Tragically, negligent drivers occasionally hit children on bicycles.
- Dog Chase Accidents – Dog owners may be liable for a crash when a cyclist crashes while being chased by a dog, in a collision with a dog or bit by a dog.
- Defective Products – A manufacturer may be liable for selling something which causes injury.
- Distracted Drivers – Drivers who text or are distracted hit cyclists.
- Dooring Accidents – This occurs when someone, such as a passenger, opens a car door into the path of a cyclist.
- DWI – Cyclists hit by intoxicated drivers.
- E-Bike – Cyclists injured on electric bicycles.
- Fatal Injuries – These are tragic incidents in which a bicycle accident results in the death of the bicyclist.
- Hit and Run – These are incidents where a driver hits a bicyclist and then flees the scene without stopping to help or provide their information.
- Left Turn – These accidents happen when a vehicle making a left turn at an intersection or driveway fails to yield to an oncoming bicyclist traveling straight.
- No Helmet – What happens when a cyclist is injured without a helmet?
- Pedestrian – Bicycle accidents involving pedestrians.
- Pre-existing conditions –
- Right Hook – This type of crash occurs when a vehicle making a right turn turns directly into a cyclist’s path.
- Road Rage
- Sideswipe – Sideswiping generally occurs when a vehicle and a bicycle are traveling in the same direction, and the vehicle brushes or collides with the side of the bicycle.
- Uninsured Motorists
What Leads to Bicycle Accidents in Northern California?
Like any other area in California, bicycle accidents in Northern California happen for various reasons. Understanding how these accidents typically occur can help you grasp the situation better:
- Distractions – Drivers who are distracted by their phones, navigation systems, or other activities may not see bicyclists, leading to accidents.
- Failure to yield – Motorists not giving bicyclists the right of way, especially at intersections or when making turns, can cause collisions.
- Unsafe lane changes – Drivers who don’t check blind spots or signal properly may accidentally hit a bicyclist when changing lanes.
- Speeding – Driving too fast reduces a driver’s ability to react to sudden changes, making it more likely to collide with a bicyclist.
- Unsafe road conditions – When roads are not properly maintained, it means there might be potholes, debris, or other obstacles that can cause a bicyclist to lose control or have a collision. Additionally, the absence of designated bike lanes can make it more dangerous for bicyclists to navigate through traffic, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Driving under the influence – Impaired drivers (alcohol, drugs, medication) have slower reaction times and impaired judgment, increasing the likelihood of collisions with bicyclists.
- Failure to follow traffic laws – Ignoring traffic signals, stop signs, or other laws by both motorists and bicyclists can lead to accidents.
- Low visibility – Poor lighting, lack of reflectors or lights on bicycles, or wearing dark clothing make it harder for drivers to see bicyclists, raising the risk of accidents.
As you can see, most of these factors involve the actions of other drivers. However, there are additional factors from the bicyclist’s side that can contribute to accidents. Not only is it important to understand the causes of accidents, it’s equally important to know what some of the most common types of accidents are.
No matter what type of bicycle accident you find yourself in, it’s likely that you’ll have suffered at least minor injuries. This is due to the fact that, unfortunately, you’re not offered a lot of protection in a bicycle accident. Usually, this results in common injuries like:
- Head, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Fractures and broken bones
- Back strains
What Should You Do After a Bicycle Accident in Northern California?
In California, it’s not mandatory to hire a lawyer for your claim, but it’s highly recommended that you reach out to Paceline Law for a free consultation. Dealing with a bicycle accident and seeking fair compensation from the responsible party and their insurance company can quickly become overwhelming for most victims. That’s where we can help by offering expert legal services and prioritizing your needs.
We can take care of various responsibilities that come with a bicycle accident, including:
- Determining who was at fault
- Gathering important evidence
- Interviewing witnesses and experts
- Communicating with the at-fault party’s insurance company
- Negotiating or taking your claim to court for damages
In a claim, damages are separated into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are actual losses that you suffer, like medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages compensate for mental suffering, pain, and the impact on your life, which is harder to put a price on.
No matter what kind of damages you have from a bicycle injury, our team can help you get results. Each case is unique, but we will seek different types of compensation for you, such as:
- Payment for medical treatment costs
- Payment for physical therapy costs
- Compensation for lost wages because of missed work
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Compensation for mental anguish
- Compensation for the loss of enjoyment in life
Many bicycle accident victims may not fully understand the extent of their damages, especially if they have serious injuries or complications. That’s why having our experienced team at Paceline Law by your side is so helpful. We can help you identify all the damages you’re entitled to and work towards maximizing the outcome of your bicycle accident claim.
Contact Paceline Law.
Even if you’re careful, bicycle accidents can still happen in Northern California. When these unfortunate events occur, it’s important to have a skilled and dedicated lawyer and team on your side who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Paceline Law has the expertise to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
You shouldn’t have to worry about injuries, bills, and missing work. Instead, you should focus on recovering and getting back to your family and life. We can help you do that. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation to get started.