Bicycling is a healthy, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly activity for many Californians. The state has made focused efforts to make cycling safer for people.
However, no matter how careful you might be while riding your bike, one careless mistake from a motorist could have tragic consequences.
And when it comes to vulnerability, clearly, someone on a bike is in more physical danger than someone driving or riding in a car.
Cyclists are as vulnerable to severe injuries after a traffic crash as pedestrians. The human body just cannot compete with the weight and force of a moving vehicle.
If you suffered injuries in a cycling accident, you should speak to an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Orange County as soon as possible.
In Orange County, California, bicycling is an important part of the transportation system. There are many paths, trails, and clubs meant just for cyclists.
According to the Orange County Transportation Authority, our area boasts over 1,000 miles of bikeways.
However, as more people choose cycling as their mode of transportation or exercise, the possibility of bicycle accidents and injuries increases as well.
The California Highway Patrol estimates that, from 2015 to early 2021, nearly 800 cyclists were killed, and more than 50,000 were injured in traffic crashes.
The CHP provides a free bicycle safety course to help educate people about bicycle safety and maintenance.
You can also find helpful safety tips on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.
It is very important for bicyclists and motorists to safely share the road and obey traffic laws to prevent unnecessary accidents.
Bicyclists can ride anywhere if they ride at the same speed as traffic. However, if they are riding in the streets, they generally must go in the same direction as other vehicles.
Cyclists moving slower than the speed of traffic must use designated bicycle lanes if available. The exceptions to these rules include if the cyclist is making a left turn or passing someone.
In California, it is up to the individual municipality whether to allow bicyclists to ride on the sidewalks.
Orange County allows bikes on sidewalks so long as cyclists give pedestrians the right of way and ride at a slower pace.
California law requires certain safety equipment on all bicycles, including:
A bicycle must be short enough for the rider to support themselves with one foot on the ground.
Cyclists riding at night need a white headlamp, a red rear reflector or flashing light, and white or yellow reflectors on the pedals or their shoes. All cyclists under 18 must also wear a helmet.
Injured cyclists have two years from the date of the accident to begin a personal injury claim.
For that reason, it is important that you contact a bicycle accident lawyer in Orange County as soon as possible. If you wait too long and miss the deadline, you might not be able to bring your case at all.
You can help your case by getting medical attention as soon as possible after your accident.
If you wait to see a doctor, the defendant may claim that your injuries were not related to the accident but to something that happened later—before you saw the doctor.
It is also a good idea to keep detailed records of your treatments and personal struggles following the accident so your lawyer and the opposing side can properly calculate your losses.
Other helpful documentation includes pictures of your injuries, the accident scene, and your damaged bicycle.
With the help of a bicycle accident attorney in Orange County, injured cyclists can recover compensation for most or all of their financial and non-economic damages after an accident.
A bicycle accident lawsuit or settlement should cover all of your medical bills, including surgery costs, hospitalization, ambulance rides, and physical therapy.
If you had to miss work because of your injuries, you could recover the amount of the wages you lost. This is also true if you were permanently or temporarily disabled and unable to work in the future.
Furthermore, your Orange County bicycle accident lawyer could help you recover compensation for non-financial costs such as pain and suffering.
A bicycle accident lawyer in Orange County can help you identify other parties that may be to blame besides the motorist in the accident.
Additional defendants could include cities that failed to maintain the roadway or manufacturers of defective bicycle parts.
It is highly likely, however, that the motorist will have the largest percentage of fault for the accident.
In order to prove this, you, as the victim, must prove that the motorist was negligent and that negligence contributed to the accident.
This means that they did something careless or failed to act in a reasonable and safe manner.
Examples of negligent behavior include failing to obey traffic laws, being distracted by the radio or a phone, reversing without looking, and failing to check blind spots.
Glotzer & Leib, LLP helps all types of injured accident victims, including those injured in bicycle accidents.
We are ready to fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. When you come in for your consultation, we will discuss your unique situation and explain the legal options available to you.
Together we will come up with a plan to achieve the best possible outcome in your specific case. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your bicycle accident claim