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East Bay Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Paceline Law represents bicycle accident victims in the East Bay area of California. There’s any number of causes and outcomes in any bicycle accident, but whenever you get hurt, it can be totally overwhelming. Our team at Paceline Law will be there to support you. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

Should You Hire a Lawyer?

While any bicycle accident is going to bring its share of challenges, whether or not you need a lawyer depends on the circumstances. If your accident was minor, you probably don’t need to worry about taking legal action–even though you still have the right to.

One of the most important aspects of this entire situation is being prepared, and that means knowing what to do if an accident happens. While not required, having a lawyer can make things easier. Our method involving bicycle accidents includes:

  • Finding who’s at fault.
  • Gathering and reviewing evidence.
  • Talking to witnesses and experts.
  • Handling daily tasks and dealing with the other party’s insurance.
  • Negotiating for a fair outcome.

Hopefully, your accident is only minor and won’t result in serious injuries. However,

Bicycle accidents frequently lead to injuries, requiring doctor’s appointments, possibly surgery, and physical therapy. Juggling insurance matters alongside your recovery can be daunting. That’s where our team steps in. We relieve you of that burden, enabling you and your loved ones to concentrate on healing and getting better.

Claims Process After a Bicycle Accident

There’s two parts to the claims process after a typical bike accident: figuring out liability and what your damages are. The underlying causes of the accident will be crucial in determining liability, but it’s not always straightforward. Like any other accident, the key is establishing negligence. Typically, this means showing that:

  • Someone failed in their duty to ensure your safety, leading to the accident and your injuries.

Various parties could bear responsibility for your specific bicycle accident, depending on the circumstances. These might include:

  • Drivers
  • Employers (if the driver was on the clock or in a company vehicle)
  • Local governments
  • Construction crews
  • Repair shops
  • Parts manufacturers

The reason liability is so important is because it establishes the legal responsibility for covering your injuries and other losses, which can be extensive in a typical bicycle accident.

Damages

When it comes to seeking damages resulting from your bicycle accident, you typically have two options:

  • Insurance claim – This involves pursuing financial support through insurance coverage.
  • Personal injury lawsuit – Here, you file a formal Complaint in civil court against the liable party.

Both paths aim to help you recover damages, which fall into two main categories: economic and non-economic. These include:

  • Medical expenses – Covering all medical bills and treatment costs, including surgeries, consultations, and ongoing care for permanent injuries.
  • Lost wages – Covering any income lost due to inability to work or diminished earning capacity stemming from the accident.
  • Property damage – Including repair or replacement costs for your bicycle, gear, clothing, and other personal belongings damaged in the incident.
  • Pain and suffering – Addressing physical discomfort and mental anguish resulting from the accident.
  • Emotional distress – Reflecting psychological impacts such as anxiety or PTSD.
  • Reduced quality of life – These cover any changes in personal life or relationships due to the accident.

The result of your claim depends on factors like the details of your case, the severity of damages and injuries, and how well it’s presented. Our skilled team improves your odds of success. Keep in mind, you have two years from the accident date to file an injury claim in California.

What Leads to Bicycle Accidents?

It’s not complicated to see why bicycling is so popular in the East Bay area. The area is well known for its:

  • Scenic routes
  • Bike-friendly infrastructure
  • Active lifestyle culture
    Environmental awareness
  • Community events
  • Overall accessibility
  • Commitment to health benefits

On the flip side, this means that there’s a lot of bicyclists out on the road and paths of the area. Even with proper infrastructure, the more bicyclists and people there are out there, the more it heightens the risk of an accident. Here’s some of the more common causes:

  • Low visibility – Cycling at night without lights or reflectors makes it hard for drivers to see cyclists, raising accident risks.

  • Dangerous lane changes – Accidents occur when drivers don’t check blind spots or signal properly, hitting cyclists.

  • Failing to yield – Motorists not giving way to cyclists, especially at intersections, can lead to collisions.

  • Dooring incidents – Opening car doors without checking for cyclists can cause collisions.

  • Distracted driving – Drivers distracted by phones or GPS may miss cyclists, causing accidents.

  • Reckless driving – Speeding and driving recklessly reduces reaction time, increasing the risk of hitting cyclists.

  • Poor road conditions – Bad roads or lack of bike lanes make cycling hazardous.

  • Driving under the influence – Alcohol or drugs impair drivers, posing a danger to cyclists.

What you should do

Regardless of the circumstances and even your legal options, you have to take certain steps in the immediate aftermath of the accident to protect yourself. This doesn’t just mean your health and safety, but your legal rights. This is easier said than done in some cases, especially if you’re hurt. Still, you need to make sure to do the following:

  • Move to a safe location if possible to avoid further harm and check yourself and others involved for any injuries.
  • Get medical care right away, either by visiting an emergency room, urgent care facility, or contacting ambulance services.
  • Collect contact and insurance details from all parties involved in the accident, including witnesses.
  • Take photographs or videos of the accident scene, including any damage to your bicycle and surrounding environment.
  • Notify the appropriate authorities, such as the police or relevant transportation department, and file an accident report.
  • Don’t admit fault or make statements that could be construed as an admission of liability.
  • Keep records of medical treatment, accident reports, and any communication related to the accident.
  • Follow medical advice for ongoing care and treatment, and keep track of any expenses or losses you have as a result of the accident.

Connecting your injuries to the accident is important, and what you’re ultimately able to recover is going to depend on how strongly you can present your case. The sad reality is that no matter how careful you are, you’re always at risk of being in a bicycle accident. Regardless of this risk, our bicycle accident team will be there to help you through the process of getting better.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many bike accidents happen a year in the East Bay area?

According to the CHP’s Transportation Injury Mapping System (TIMS), there were 493 bike accidents in Alameda County in 2022, while there were 176 in Contra Costa County.

Do you have to call the police after a bike accident?

If there are injuries or other damage, you do have to call the police. This is always a good idea in any accident, because it will allow the police to respond to the scene and help you gather information.

Can I still file a bike accident claim if my accident was a long time ago?

This depends. The statute of limitations for an injury claim in California is two years from the date of the accident. If your accident was less than two years ago, you can still file. If not, you won’t be able to.

Trust Paceline Law After an East Bay Bicycle Accident

Facing the aftermath of a bicycle accident in the East Bay can be tough, with rising medical costs and lifestyle adjustments. At Paceline Law, we understand your struggles and are here to help. Our experienced team focuses on bicycle accident cases, fighting for your rights and well-being.

Contact us now for a free consultation to start your recovery.