Fresno Bicycle Accident Attorney
Biking is incredibly popular in the United States. According to People for Bikes, 32% of Americans aged three and older ride a bike at least one day each year. It is particularly popular in Western states like California, where people use bikes to commute, exercise, or just have fun.
While there are a lot of benefits to cycling, it can also be dangerous. Over a 7 year period in California, 87,845 bicycle riders suffered injuries in traffic accidents. Approximately 4% of all people killed in motor vehicle accidents during this time frame were bike riders.
Bike accidents can be caused by any number of factors, from reckless drivers to poor road conditions to defective parts or even pedestrians who don’t pay attention to where they are going. If you have been hurt in a bike wreck, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person or entity that was responsible for your injuries.
At Nunes Law, we represent people who have been injured in car accidents, bus and truck crashes, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury claims. Our personal injury law firm offers free consultations to all prospective clients. We never charge a fee unless we recover compensation for you.
Common Causes of Bike Accidents in California
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the overall number of serious and fatal bike accidents has significantly increased. There are a number of possible causes for bike accidents, including:
- Distracted driving or riding
- Failure to yield right of way
- Excessive speed
- Lack of protected bike lanes
- Motorists driving too close to bike lanes
- Failure to watch for bikes when turning or merging
- Failure to watch for bicycles on sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways (particularly when backing out)
There are some factors that increase the risk of being in a bike crash. For example, 37% of all fatal bike accidents involved a driver or cyclist who was under the influence. Most fatal bike accidents occur during the late afternoon to early evening, and in urban areas.
The most common injuries suffered in a bike crash include:
- Abrasions, or “road rash”
- Broken bones
- Hand fracture
- Dental fractures
- Head and neck injuries
- Eye injuries
- Strains or dislocations
- Internal bleeding
If you suffer these or any other injuries, you should seek medical attention immediately.
California law imposes many of the same rights and duties on cyclists as it does for drivers. Bicyclists should always follow traffic rules, wear reflective clothing, signal their turns, and take other safety precautions to minimize the risk of an accident.
Can I File a Lawsuit for My Bike Accident?
If you have been hurt in a crash involving your bike, you may be able to file a legal claim against the responsible party or parties. A bicycle accident lawyer can help you determine whether you have a case, and who may be held financially responsible.
There are a number of parties that you may sue for a bike accident. This may include:
- The driver of a motor vehicle;
- A city or town responsible for maintaining the roads properly;
- The manufacturer, retailer, or distributor of a dangerous or defective part;
- A fellow bicyclist; or
- A pedestrian.
Your personal injury attorney will start by thoroughly investigating the facts of your case to determine who may be liable for your injuries. Generally, personal injury claims are based on a theory of negligence, which is the failure to use the care that a reasonable person would in a similar situation. A person or entity can be negligent in any number of ways, from texting while driving to failing to fix potholes to selling defective parts.
In a bike accident lawsuit, you may be able to seek damages (financial compensation) for the full extent of your losses. This may include money for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and scarring or disfigurement. If a loved one was killed in a bike crash, then you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Should I Do If I Am Hit By a Car While Riding My Bike?
If you are struck by a vehicle as a bicyclist, you may suffer a range of injuries, from broken bones to cuts and contusions to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even if you feel fine directly after the accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Many injuries don’t show up immediately. Seeking medical care can help you get a prompt diagnosis, and will also help to establish that your injuries were caused by the accident.
If you are able to do so, gather as much information as possible about the accident. Write down the vehicle’s license plate number, the driver’s name, contact, and insurance information, the year, make, model and color of the vehicle, the vehicle identification number (VIN), and contact information for any witnesses. If it was a hit-and-run, make sure to note potential witnesses as well as any businesses in the area that may have security cameras.
Taking pictures and videos with your smartphone can be incredibly helpful in this situation. You can record the vehicle information, get shots of the scene, and even take pictures or videos of your bicycle and any injuries that you have suffered. This will be useful in a future accident case.
If you do talk to the driver, do not apologize or admit fault; even a relatively innocent statement can be used against you later. Similarly, if an insurance adjuster reaches out to you, refer them to your attorney. You are under no obligation to speak to the driver’s insurance company.
As soon as possible, contact a personal injury law firm. An experienced personal injury attorney will evaluate your case during a free consultation, and advise you on your rights and options for moving forward.
Hurt in a Bike Accident? Reach Out Today.
If you have been injured in a collision with a vehicle, because of poor road conditions, or another type of bike accident, you may be overwhelmed with stress and worry for the future. A Fresno personal injury lawyer can help.
At Nunes Law, we are dedicated to helping accident victims throughout Northern California, including Fresno County, Kern County, Kings County, Tulare County, Madera County, and Merced County. Our law firm offers free consultations and handles all cases on a contingency fee basis — which means that we don’t get paid unless you do. To learn more or to schedule a case evaluation with an experienced Fresno bicycle accident lawyer, call us today at 1-866-871-0291 or use our online contact form.