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California Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer represents anyone that’s been injured in a bicycle accident in California. Most of the time, there’s no better place to ride your bicycle. The surrounding environment makes this activity very popular, but can also mean accidents. If you or a loved one have been injured in one of these unfortunate accidents, contact us for a free consultation to talk about your options.

Why Would You Need a Lawyer?

A bicycle accident in California isn’t all that different from any other type of accident, at least in legal terms. However, what separates these accidents from others is the damage that it leaves you with. The nature of these accidents means you’re probably struck by a much larger, heavier moving vehicle, then thrown to the hard pavement. As you can imagine, this can leave you with serious injuries.

But whether or not you need a lawyer depends on your situation. If your accident is relatively minor, you might not need to worry about legal action. However, if your particular bicycle accident is more in line with the typical result, you’ll probably need all the help you can to recover. My firm can help you in this situation:

  • Determining fault.
  • Gathering evidence.
  • Talking to witnesses and experts.
  • Handling paperwork and insurance.
  • Negotiating a fair settlement.

As you can tell, understanding the circumstances of bicycle accidents is very important to your options and situation. We take pride in our approach, and believe that all of our clients deserve strong legal guidance and support.

What Are Your Legal Options After a Bicycle Accident?

When it comes to getting financial support for your bicycle accident, you have two main options: filing an insurance claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit. Both options aim to help you recover damages, which include:

  • Medical expenses, covering all medical bills and treatment costs.
  • Lost wages, which cover any lost income due to being unable to work.
  • Property damage, providing repair or replacement costs for your bike and gear.
  • Pain and suffering, which is for any physical discomfort and mental anguish.
  • Emotional distress, covering the psychological impacts of the accident, like anxiety or PTSD.
  • Reduced quality of life, addressing any changes in your personal life or relationships.
  • Wrongful death damages, in the event of fatal injuries. This covers funeral and burial expenses.

In rare cases of extreme negligence, punitive damages may also be awarded. The outcome of your claim depends on various factors, so collaborating with our experienced team can improve your chances. Remember, you have to file within California’s statute of limitations for injury claims, currently set at two years from the date of the accident.

Bolstering your claim

These damages are extremely important to your overall recovery, but the strength of your claim is going to rely on the evidence and how you respond after the accident itself. As such, make sure to do the following to bolster your claim:

  • Move to a safe area.
  • Seek medical help right away, both at the scene and further help at an urgent care or emergency room.
  • Report the accident to the police.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information.
  • Document the scene with photos or videos.
  • Preserve evidence.
  • Follow up with medical appointments.
  • Avoid repairing damaged items too quickly.

Even with these steps, presenting evidence for your damages is crucial. Our team can assist in gathering medical records, accident reports, and other key evidence, providing support throughout the process.

Who Pays For Damages in a Bicycle Accident?

Once you decide to take legal action, you’ll need to figure out who is legally responsible for the accident. In legal terms, this is known as liability, and it’s really important because:

  • The liable person or group is the one who has to pay for your injuries and the damage.

To determine liability, you have to show that someone did something wrong–in other words, they were negligent. In a typical bike accident, this usually means proving that someone:

  • Didn’t do what they were supposed to do to keep you safe and caused the accident and your injuries.

Different people or groups could be responsible for a bike accident, depending on what happened. These might include:

  • Drivers – If a driver wasn’t paying attention and crashed into you while you were biking, they might have to pay for what happened.
  • Government agencies – If the road conditions were bad or there weren’t enough signs to warn people about dangers, the government agency in charge of the roads might have to take responsibility.
  • Bicycle or parts manufacturers – If the bike had a problem that caused the accident, the company that made it or sold it might be responsible under the law for products that aren’t safe. This can also apply to drivers if their brakes malfunction or something similar.
  • Other people walking or biking – Sometimes, other people on the road, like pedestrians or other bikers, might also be partly responsible for what happened.

Obviously, there’s a number of different people that can be responsible for a bike accident. And while it’s very important to nail down each liable party, this can get complicated. It’s here where my team can help, looking at the causes and circumstances around your accident to figure out who exactly is responsible.

What Causes Bicycle Accidents?

When we look at why bike accidents happen, there’s some things in common across California. To understand better how these accidents happen, let’s look at some common situations:

  • Distracted driving – This happens a lot when drivers are focused on their phones, GPS, or other things instead of watching for bicycles on the road. This can lead to accidents because they don’t see the bikers.
  • Not giving the right of way – Another of the most common causes, drivers often fail to yield to bicyclists, especially at intersections or when turning, which can cause accidents.
  • Unsafe lane changes – Accidents can happen if drivers don’t check their blind spots or signal properly before changing lanes, and they end up hitting bikers.
  • Dooring incidents – This is when someone in a car opens their door without looking for bikers coming by, which can lead to crashes.
  • Speeding or reckless driving – Going too fast makes it harder for drivers to react quickly, which increases the chances of hitting a biker.
  • Bad road conditions – Roads that aren’t well-maintained, have potholes, debris, or don’t have bike lanes can make things more dangerous for bikers.
  • Driving under the influence – If drivers have been drinking, using drugs, or taking medication that affects them, they might not react as quickly or make good decisions, putting bikers at risk.
  • Hard to see situations – Riding at night without lights or reflectors, or wearing dark clothes, makes it tough for drivers to see bikers, which raises the risk of accidents.

Once again, each situation is different, and the right steps to take depend on what happened in your case. But no matter what, my team is here for you every step of the way. We’ll make sure to protect your rights and help you understand your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I file a claim if I’m not wearing a helmet?

Yes, you can still file an injury claim despite not wearing a helmet. Only riders under the age of 18 are legally required to wear a helmet. That said, an insurance company is probably going to try to use not wearing a helmet as a way to reduce the value of your claim.

Do I have to use a bike lane?

Usually, yes, you have to use a bike lane if there’s one available. However, in the event there’s not one or there’s an obstruction, you can use the right side of the roadway.

How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim?

You have two years from the date of the accident to file your injury claim. Missing this deadline means you can’t recover damages.

Support and Guidance For California Bicycle Accident Victims

Bike accidents in California are always unfortunate, regardless of how they happened. Cycling should be enjoyable, especially in such a beautiful area. But it’s important to remember that biking comes with risks, some of which you can’t control.

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, reach out to my reliable and experienced team at Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer. We’re here to help you handle the tasks involved in your claim and provide the important emotional and legal support you need. Contact us today to set up your free consultation

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