Bicycle Accident Lawyers serving all of Sonoma County
Bicycle Accidents in California
California leads the nation in bicyclists’ deaths, accounting for 4% of the country’s total. In a two year study, as reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association, 338 cyclists were killed in bicycle accidents. Over 13,921 cyclists were injured in 2012 alone. With more states implementing new bike laws and more major cities adding bike lanes, hopefully, injuries and fatalities will drastically decrease. Bike accidents often happen because a motorist does not see the cyclist, so increasing visibility and designating safer bike lines should help curb accidents. If you’ve been injured in a bike accident, contact our Santa Rosa bicycle accident lawyers today.
Injuries From Bike Accidents
Bicycle accidents can cause substantial injuries. Head injuries are the most common injuries in a bike accident. Other common injuries include:
- Facial or dental fractures
- Muscular tears
- Brain hemorrhages or contusions
Most common bicycle accident injuries necessitate ongoing treatment, which means ongoing expenses. If the injury was the result of a bike and car accident and the person who hit you with their car is uninsured or underinsured, you most likely will not get the amount of compensation you need to pay for these expenses.
While cyclists are able to go through their own personal injury insurance, the limits are usually capped and may not cover all expenses. To understand the laws protecting you and the compensation you deserve after a bicycling injury, speak with an experienced bike accident attorney who can bring forward a bicycle accident case.
Who Is Responsible in a Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle accident cases are similar to regular car accident cases in that you will need to prove negligence on the motorist’s part. Bicyclists can still be considered negligent, just like a motorist can. Anyone who travels on a public roadway, be it on a bike or in a car, is expected to drive in a reasonably safe manner with consideration to other travels.
If you were not abiding by bicycling road rules, you will be held at least partially liable for your own actions. Studies show most bicycle accidents occur at intersections. This can mean several things:
- The motorist was negligent because he or she failed to stop or notice the cyclist.
- The cyclist was negligent because he or she did not give the motorist the right of way (cyclist has a stop sign).
- The motorist was negligent because he or she did not give the cyclist the right of way (motorist has a stop sign).
- The motorist was turning left or right and did not see the cyclist until it was too late (in most cases, the motorist will be held liable).
Obviously, there are a lot of fine lines between liabilities in a bicycle accident. California does allow for you to be partially liable and still collect compensation. This is called a “comparative fault clause.”
As long as you are found less than 50% at fault, you will be able to receive compensation based on your fault percentage. For example, if damages totaled $10,000 and you are found to be 25% at fault, you will receive the remaining 75%, or $7,500. The job of a Santa Rosa personal injury attorney is to minimize your fault percentage and maximize your amount of compensation by representing your case in the best light.
Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Contact North Bay Legal today to discuss injuries you have sustained in a bicycle accident. Our Santa Rosa personal injury law firm is conveniently located in the heart of downtown. We have experience working with bike accident claims of all types. We will fight for your case aggressively to get you the most compensation to cover your past and future expenses. You may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages.