Southern California is the perfect place to ride a bicycle. With its warm weather and year-round sunny skies, it presents few obstacles to those who prefer to avoid the traffic and congestion. More and more Californians are commuting by bicycle. If you have become part of this growing trend, then you have undoubtedly realized the need to be alert and conscientious when on the road. Unfortunately, this is not always enough. People who drive their cars recklessly present a constant threat to cyclists. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident that was caused by negligence or recklessness, then you should explore your legal options.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 700 people each year are killed in bicycle accidents and there are more than 50,000 people who suffer serious injuries. California law enforcement has made bicycle safety a priority. They have tried to increase public knowledge of the laws and regulations concerning bicycles and motor vehicle operation. Despite this effort, California continues to lead the nation in bicycle accidents.
Here are some of the common causes of bicycle accidents:
Bicycles are small, thin, and compact. They are less prominent in a mirror than motor vehicles and the agility afforded by a bicycle allows the rider to move and maneuver in ways that are unfamiliar to the driver of a car. None of this obviates the need for drivers to be alert and vigilant. They should pay close attention to the hand signals of a bicyclist and should allow them the space they need to overtake and make turns.
If you were hit by a driver who was not paying attention, then you should hold them accountable.
It is illegal in California, as it is in every other state, to drive under the influence of alcohol. Yet, some people do it anyway. A driver impaired by alcohol will have uncertain vision, slow reflexes, and many other incapacities that make them dangerous to bicyclists. If you have been hit by a drunk driver, it is possible for you to file a civil judgment even if the person has already been criminally convicted.
California leads the nation in the number of safe bike paths it has created. Cyclists use these paths so they are free of hazards and can avoid potential dangers to them. Both state and private paths are liable for injuries that are the result of trails, grounds, and other spaces that have been neglected or were not properly established in the first place.
Bicycle and bicycle parts manufacturers have an obligation to make safe and effective products. The latter must go through a rigorous testing process before they can be put on the market. If this process is not adequate to the task, it can lead to catastrophic failure when the part is in use. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident that owes to defective parts, then you can hold the manufacturer liable.
A bicycle offers you very little physical protection against the force of a vehicle or the pavement. If you come into collision with either one of these, it can lead to:
The more severe the accident, the longer you will need to stay in the hospital. You may also be forced to undergo a range of invasive surgeries to save your life. Such an accident will lead to high medical expenses, which you will not be able to pay because of your condition.
Your family life and career may suffer because of an accident caused by someone else’s recklessness.
As you recover from your accident, you should consult with a bicycle injury law firm. An attorney specializing in bike crashes in Laguna Woods, has the insight, expertise, and experience to get you the right compensation for your injuries.
The first thing your attorney will do is launch their own investigation into the events and circumstances that led to the accident. They will interview witnesses, gather any camera footage of the accident, and make inquiries into the sobriety and state-of-mind of the driver who hit you.
These type of cases do not always go to trial. Your bicycle injury lawyer may be able to negotiate with the party responsible for the accident. They may be able to present the kind of evidence that will compel them to offer you a larger settlement.
If you have been in a bicycle accident, you should contact an injury lawyer immediately. They will help you protect your rights and interests.