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Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer represents bicycle accident victims in California. While riding your bike in Sacramento may seem ideal, there’s always the chance that you could end up injured after an accident. If that happens, my team will be there to help you. To learn more about your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation.

When Would You Need a Lawyer?

As a region, northern California has many different areas where biking is popular, including our state capital of Sacramento. Whether you’re riding along the Davis Bike Loop or Folsom Trail, there’s a huge number of benefits to biking in the city and surrounding area. However, this also means bicycle accidents–which can mean injuries. Hopefully, if you are involved in an accident, it’s only minor and won’t require legal help.

But, in the event that you’re hurt and your injuries are more serious, you’ll likely need more extensive help. My bicycle accident team can do just that. We’ll explain your options, investigate the accident, evaluate your damages, and then guide you through the process. Overall, we just want to make things easier for you. Better yet, we work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning there’s no upfront cost for you and we take our fee from whatever result we get for you.

What Are Your Damages After a Bicycle Accident?

There’s two ways to look at your damages after a bicycle accident in Sacramento. First, there’s your actual physical injuries and other losses. No matter what the underlying cause of your bicycle accident is, it’s likely to leave you hurt because of the inherent lack of protection–even with safety gear like helmets. In most cases, this is going to leave you facing injuries like:

  • Scrapes and cuts from falling or hitting things.
  • Broken bones or fractures, especially in your wrists, arms, collarbones, or legs.
  • Head injuries, like concussions or brain injuries.
  • Spine injuries that might lead to paralysis.
  • Joints becoming dislocated from impact.
  • Internal injuries, like to your organs such as the spleen or liver.
  • Bruises from hitting the ground or objects.
  • Injuries to muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

Legal damages

The second way involves your actual legal damages from the accident. These are your financial and other losses from the accident. It’s actually the crux of your legal rights–basically the point of filing an injury claim to begin with. While every case is different, the law allows you and other victims to recover things like:

  • Costs for your medical expenses and bills
  • Repair/replacement costs for damaged property, including your bike
  • Financial support for any lost income or earnings
  • Financial consideration for the pain, suffering, and emotional distress you go through
  • Costs relating to any loss of your enjoyment of life or companionship
  • Funeral or burial costs if your injuries are fatal

Remember, to recover damages you have to file your claim within California’s statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of the accident. Even before that, though, it’s important to know what you can do to strengthen your claim.

How to Strengthen Your Bicycle Accident Claim

Just like any other injury claim, what you can recover hinges heavily on the evidence you gather. It’s not just about medical records and what you can see with your own eyes; what you do– don’t do–after the accident matters a lot also. Here’s how you can strengthen your claim:

Move to a safe place, like the side of the road or a secure area away from the bike path, to ensure your safety.

  • Seek immediate medical help, both at the scene with EMTs and later at a hospital or doctor. Even if you initially feel fine, don’t decline medical assistance.
  • Report the accident to the Sacramento Police Department or county sheriff’s department so they can respond.
  • Exchange contact and insurance details with everyone involved.
  • Take photos or videos of the scene and any significant details.
  • Preserve any items that could serve as evidence of what happened.
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to monitor your injuries.
  • Avoid rushing to repair your bike or other damaged items.

Despite taking these steps, the responsibility lies with you to provide evidence for your damages. This is where our team can offer invaluable assistance. We can help compile medical records, accident reports, and other crucial evidence for your claim. Still, it’s important to know how the process works–including figuring out who’s actually responsible for paying for your damages.

Who’s Responsible For Your Damages?

Like most things, who actually pays for your damages after a bicycle accident is going to depend on what happened. Throughout Sacramento, as in other places, bicycle accidents happen for different reasons. Some are unique to the area, but most involve the actions of drivers. It’s crucial to figure out who’s at fault to know your options. Here are some common reasons for these accidents:

  • Distracted driving
  • Failure to yield
  • Unsafe lane changes
  • Dooring incidents
  • Speeding and reckless driving
  • Poor road maintenance
  • Driving under the influence
  • Low visibility

In legal terms, this responsibility for paying for your damages is known as “liability.” The key to establishing this liability is to show who was “negligent,” or:

  • Failed in their duty to ensure your safety, resulting in the accident and your injuries.

In a typical bicycle accident, this is going to likely fall on any or multiple of the following:

  • Drivers who don’t drive safely and cause accidents with cyclists may have to pay for damages and injuries.
  • If bad roads cause the accident, the government agency in charge may be responsible.
  • If a part malfunctions on the bike and causes the accident, the company that made or sold it might have some liability.
  • Sometimes, other people like pedestrians or cyclists might also be partly responsible for the accident.

Obviously, liability is going to be different in different cases. That said, understanding how it works and what you can do is a very important step in your recovery. Another important part of the equation, though, is figuring out how to reduce the chances that you’re in an accident to begin with.

How Can You Reduce the Chances of a Bicycle Accident?

The best way to avoid the hardship of a bicycle accident is to not be in one to begin with. At the same time, given the underlying causes, it’s very difficult to avoid an accident because it often has nothing to do with the actions you take as a rider. Still, there are ways that you can at least reduce the likelihood that you’ll be involved, like:

  • Always wearing a helmet that fits well to protect your head if there’s an accident. Also, consider wearing protective gear for other parts of your body to prevent injuries.
  • Following the same traffic rules as other drivers. This means stopping at traffic lights, using hand signals when turning, and riding in the same direction as cars.
  • Riding in designated bike lanes or on bike paths. These areas are safer for bicyclists and can help reduce the chances of accidents.
  • Making sure drivers can see you, especially in low-light conditions. Wearing bright or reflective clothing, use lights or reflectors on your bike, and avoid riding where drivers can’t see you.
  • Clearly signaling your turns and movements, and riding in a way that drivers can predict what you’ll do next.
  • Paying attention to what’s happening around you while riding.
  • Watching out for things like potholes, debris, or obstacles on the road.
  • Staying off the sidewalk. It’s usually not safe or allowed by law to ride on the sidewalk.
  • Starting by riding in safe, low-traffic areas to get better at biking and gain confidence before riding on busy roads.

Being injured in an accident is something no bicycle rider wants, but it’s vital that you at least be aware of the likelihood of it happening. Also, know that when it does, our team will be there to support you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I sue the City of Sacramento for my bike accident?

Yes, if the accident was caused by potholes or other lapses that the city is responsible for.

Do I have to wear a helmet while biking in Sacramento?

If you’re under the age of 18, yes. This is state law throughout California. If you’re over 18, you don’t need to wear a helmet, but it’s in your best interest to do so.

If I have to ride my bike on the sidewalk and there’s an accident, who’s responsible?

This depends on the circumstances. It’s actually against regulations in certain areas of the city to ride on the sidewalk, but if there’s a problem on the main road that’s blocking your path, you’re able to get around it on the sidewalk. Still, liability will ultimately rest on whoever acted negligently and caused your accident.

Get Help From a Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer

As a bicycle accident victim in Sacramento, you have legal rights and options. At Paceline Law Bicycle Injury Lawyer, my bicycle accident team will be there to explain these options and guide you through the legal process. We want to get you back on your feet. Contact us today to set up a free consultation to get started.