Defending Your Vital Legal Rights Following a California Bicycle Accident
Injuries from a bicycle accident oftentimes are severe to catastrophic to fatal. A victim of a bicycle accident caused by the negligence of someone else has a great deal at stake. Justice necessitates appropriate compensation for bike accident injuries, damages, and losses. The stark reality is that insurance companies fight with all their considerable might people seeking compensation for their injuries and losses. This reality underscores the vital necessity to retain the services of a skilled, capable, and highly experienced bicycle accident lawyer like those on the legal team at Eldessouky Law.
Frequency of California Bike Accidents
California is a bike-friendly state because of its weather and the ubiquitous commitment to health living, even in major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles. The widespread use of bikes in California increases the number of people from all walks of life who are injured and even killed in bicycle wrecks each and every year.
Bicycle accident injuries are common occurrences throughout the United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 467,000 bicycle-related injuries during the last year a full set of statistics currently are available.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 818 bicyclists killed during the past year in which complete data is available. Bike fatalities account for over 2 percent of all traffic deaths across the United States.
A disproportionate share of biking deaths occur in California. 147 of the 800-plus deaths reported by the NHTSA occurred in the Golden State. (The number of bicyclists killed in California last year was an increase of just over 8 percent from the year before.)
Common Causes of California Bike Accidents
There are a number of different underlying causes of California bike accidents that occur with greater frequency. These include:
Distracted automobile driver
Impaired car driver
Motor vehicle speeding
Improper lane change
Failure to yield right-of-way
Frequently Occurring Bike Accident Injuries
The National Safety Council lists the total costs of bicyclist injuries and death at over $4 billion per year. Not surprisingly, the injuries that bicyclists suffer when hit by a vehicle or when run off the road by a distracted driver oftentimes prove to be life changing.
The nature and extent of bike accident injuries vary from one situation to the next. With that said, there are certain types of injuries that frequently are associated with a California bicycle accident:
Broken or fractured bones
Cuts, scrapes, and bruising
Head injuries including concussions
Ligament, tendon, or muscle strains, and tearing
Loss of mobility
Neck and spine injuries
Scarring or disfigurement
Traumatic brain injuries
Immediate, on-going, and long-term medical treatment
Current and future lost wages
Physical therapy and rehabilitation
Disability, where applicable
Cyclist Rights and Bicycling Safety in California
The most important law governing cyclists on the road is California Vehicle Code 21200. This section of California Vehicle Code sets for the basic rules for operating your bicycle on California roads in a proper manner. From a legal standpoint, you are able to make a stronger claim for compensation if you are injured in a bike accident if you comply with the basic cycling standards in force in California. These include:
Using the bicycle lane. On a roadway with a bike lane, bicyclists traveling slower than traffic must use the bike lane except when making a left turn, passing, avoiding hazardous conditions, or approaching a place where a right turn is authorized. California Vehicle Code 21208. In the event that an accident occurs in the bicycle lane, it will be important o collect as much information and witness statements to establish who is liable. The location of vehicles within a bicycle lane is often disputed by insurance companies.
Roadway restrictions. Bicyclists can ride wherever they want if they’re traveling at the speed of traffic. If traveling slower than the speed of traffic, they can still position themselves wherever in the lane is necessary for safety. The law says that people who ride bikes must ride as close to the right side of the road as safely practicable except under the following conditions: when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a place where a right turn is authorized California Vehicle Code 21202
Riding with traffic. When riding your bike must travel on the right side of the roadway in the direction of traffic. There are however exceptions such as when you are passing, making a legal left turn, riding on a one-way street, riding on a road that is too narrow, or when the right side of the road is closed due to road construction. CVC 21650
Importance of Retaining a Capable and Experienced California Bicycle Accident Attorney
Bicycle accident insurance claims can prove to be complex. Moreover, a typical insurance company will pull out all the proverbial stops to limit or even prevent a injured cyclist from obtaining suitable compensation following a bicycle accident.
The unavoidable fact is that insurance companies are in operation for one main reason. These mammoth companies exist to make money for their shareholders. Insurance companies can increase their bottom lines and the rate of return to their shareholders by limiting the amount of money paid out in the way of insurance claim settlements.
In addition, the personal injury laws are complicated, as is the California court system. The judicial process is challenging to navigate, even for a well-trained and experienced attorney.
These issues all point to the need to retain the services of an experienced California bike accident lawyer from Eldessouky Law. You can reach our firm now or any other time that is convenient for you by callings us at Eldessouky Law/
You best protect your important legal interests after a bike accident when you schedule a preliminary appointment with a lawyer as soon after the incident as possible. You should never answer questions from or make a statement to anyone representing an insurance company or the party or parties that caused an accident until you consult with legal counsel. If you hear from an insurance company before you hire an attorney, you need to politely advise whoever reaches out to you that you are hiring a lawyer and your attorney will get back with the company as soon as possible.
Again, you can schedule an initial consultation with a caring, experienced bicycle accident lawyer by calling Eldessouky Law at (714) 409-8991 promptly.