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Lafayette and East Bay Bike Versus Bike Accident Lawyer

Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer represents bicycle accident victims in Lafayette and the East Bay area. There’s many different types of bicycle accidents you could find yourself in, but one of the most common involves another person on a bike. A bike versus bike accident might be a bit unique, but it can still leave you injured. My firm can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.

When Do You Need a Lawyer?

A bike versus bike accident isn’t uncommon in Lafayette, especially in more high-traffic areas of East Bay. When you’re riding along one of the area’s many bike routes or trails, you probably encounter a high number of other people on their own bike.

This, obviously, can just as quickly lead to an accident as any other scenario. But you don’t necessarily need a lawyer, especially if your accident or injuries are minor. That said, the more serious the accident and injuries, the more help you need. That’s a more likely scenario where you would need a lawyer, and my firm will be there to help.

With our experience and resources, we can explain your rights, figure out responsibility and insurance questions, and then support you through the claims process.

Can You File an Injury Claim in a Bike Versus Bike Accident?

A bike versus bike accident isn’t necessarily any different from a regular bike accident in legal terms. When you’re hurt in one of them because someone else was negligent, you can file an injury claim.

Where it can get confusing is the actual claims process. In a normal bike accident, you’re probably filing against a driver or some other entity’s insurance carriers. This isn’t exactly how it works with a bike versus bike accident because it’s highly unlikely that the other cyclist will have a specific insurance coverage for a bike accident. So then, you have the following options:

  • Filing a claim with the other person’s homeowner’s insurance – You can file a claim with the at-fault cyclist’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. These policies may cover your damages, even though they’re not specifically for bike accidents.

  • Lawsuit – If the at-fault cyclist doesn’t have insurance, you can use your own insurance, similar to an uninsured motorist claim. You might also file a lawsuit against the responsible cyclist.

  • Your own insurance – You can file a claim with your own homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to cover your damages.

Obviously, you can choose whatever option you want. But remember, the overall goal of the claims process is to recover damages. These can be pretty extensive in bike versus bike accidents, and are closely related to your injuries and other losses. Normally, “damages” include things like:

  • Medical expenses and treatment costs
  • Lost wages or earning potential
  • Repair/replacement costs for damaged bikes or property
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship or enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death expenses, in the event of fatal accidents

 

While your damages are going to be unique to your particular accident, it’s important to understand that you can file an injury claim in a bike versus bike accident. But like any other claim, the first step is figuring out who’s responsible.

Who’s Liable in a Bike Versus Bike Accident?

Most of the time when you’re riding your bike in Lafayette, you have to watch out for drivers and other hazards. You might not think about someone else riding their bike, but the reality is that a person on their bike is also a hazard, especially if they’re:

  • Not paying attention
  • Are under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Riding recklessly
  • Making sudden movements or cutting in front of you
  • Riding a bike with faulty equipment

All of these things constitute “negligence” and as such would make the person liable if they cause an accident and your injuries.

However, as with any bike accident, it depends on the circumstances. So, depending on what actually happened, others can also be liable. This can include:

  • Drivers
  • Bike makers
  • Pedestrians
  • Government agencies

Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of control over what someone else does. This puts you at risk of being in a bike accident, but you do have legal options. However, you have to do what you can to strengthen your claim.

What Should You Do After a Bike Versus Bike Accident?

Just because a bike versus bike accident is a little different doesn’t necessarily change the steps you need to take right after it happens. In fact, in some ways, these steps are even more important in these types of accidents because it’s all about gathering as much information as you can. But you have to also keep your health and safety in mind, too. So, when you’re in a bike versus bike accident in Lafayette, here’s what you should do:

  • Get medical help – First things first, you need to move to a safe spot out of the way of traffic or other bikes and take care of any immediate injuries by calling 911 for an ambulance. Once on the scene, EMTs can stabilize you. If your injuries are serious, they’ll probably take you to an emergency room.
  • Report the accident – It’s also not a bad idea to call the Lafayette Police Department or Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department if your accident is along a street or road. They can clear the accident scene and help you get information from the other person on the bike.
  • Swap information – The other person on the bike should willingly give you their insurance and contact information, especially if they’re at-fault. If they don’t or you’re not comfortable, you can ask the police to do it.
  • Document the scene – It’s also very important to document the accident scene with pictures and videos. This evidence will show the extent of the damage and any injuries you suffered, which will be very important for your claim.
  • Be cautious when speaking with others – You never want to admit fault for an accident, so be careful when you discuss it or are asked for a statement from police or insurance adjusters. Your best bet is to stick to the facts of what happened. Also, make sure not to post about the accident on social media. Insurance companies in particular will be looking for any way they can to devalue your claim.

Again, it’s worth repeating that these steps will go a long way in putting you in a better position to file an injury claim. At the same time, given that you might be facing serious injuries, it might not be possible to take some of these steps. That’s where our team can step in, making sure you have all the information and evidence you need.

Contact Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer After a Bike Versus Bike Accident in Lafayette or the East Bay

Having to worry about so much when riding a bike in Lafayette or anywhere else in the East Bay is one of the drawbacks of bicycles. This is especially true if you’re involved in a bike versus bike accident. Still, riding a bike should be an enjoyable experience. Even though accidents happen, you have options. My firm can look at your case and give you a better idea of what you can do to get better. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.