Skilled Bicycle Accident Lawyers and Attorneys Who Can Help with Your Case
Motorists must share the road with bicyclists, but unfortunately, many drivers fail to do so. If a negligent driver of a car, truck, van, or other vehicle collides with someone on a bicycle, it’s usually the bicyclist who suffers the more severe injuries. Luckily, injured bicyclists may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering by filing a personal injury claim with the help of a skilled attorney.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Carpenter & Zuckerman have been advocating on behalf of injured bicycle accident victims for over 25 years. Our seasoned trial lawyers understand the tactics insurance companies use to sidestep liability and shortchange accident victims. If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact Carpenter & Zuckerman today to discuss your legal options.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents That May Require a Bike Accident Attorney
The vast majority of bicycle accidents involve a collision between a bicycle and a vehicle. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:
Vehicle Right Turns
Many bicycle accidents occur when a car is attempting to turn right at an intersection, but the driver fails to see the bicyclist. A vehicle driver may be looking left for oncoming traffic, but fail to look right for bicyclists. In most cases, the driver of the vehicle is at fault in these accidents; however, a bicyclist can be held partially liable if they were not abiding by the rules of the road.
The “Left Cross”
The “left cross” accident occurs when a bicyclist and a motorist are approaching an intersection from opposite directions. If the motorist turns left while the bicyclist is in the middle of the intersection, the two may collide. This typically occurs when the motorist fails to see the bicyclist before making the turn, or when the motorist misjudges how long it will take the bicyclist to clear the intersection.
Many accidents take place at intersections where the driver has a stop sign, but the bicyclist does not. In this situation, the bicyclist is free to pass through the intersection. If the motorist fails to stop and wait for the bicyclist to cross the road, thereby causing an accident, the motorist is considered at fault, as the cyclist had the right of way.
California Vehicle Code 22517 states: “No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic…”
In most cases, a motorist will be held liable for injuring a bicyclist in a dooring accident. Nevertheless, insurance companies will attempt to evade full liability by claiming a bicyclist had enough time to avoid the accident.
Even a slight tap from behind can cause a bicyclist to completely lose control of their bike, which usually results in serious injuries. Bicyclists can be rear-ended by vehicles at any time of the day, but it is most common at night, when they become more difficult to see. This is why wearing reflective clothing and appropriate safety gear is a vital safety measure to prevent serious bicycle accidents.
Documenting Evidence After a Bicycle Accident
Bicyclists have to follow the same rules as drivers, and if they fail to do so, they may be held liable in the event of an accident. For example, if a bicyclist is involved in an accident when they are riding against the traffic, they may be held liable, since bicyclists are always supposed to ride in the same direction as the traffic.
It’s important to collect as much evidence from the scene of the bicycle accident as possible, so you can defend yourself and establish the liability of the at-fault party. If you are involved in a bicycle accident, use this checklist to begin documenting your case:
Call 911 if anyone is injured in the accident.
Request a police report, whether or not anyone is injured.
Remain with your vehicle or bicycle while waiting for help to arrive.
Photograph conditions at the scene, including weather conditions and road hazards.
Photograph injuries and property damage as long as it is safe to do so.
Photograph identifying documents, including drivers’ licenses and insurance cards of all involved parties.
Gather contact information of witnesses and all parties involved in the accident.
Don’t admit liability or reveal too much information at the scene.
Obtain a medical evaluation as soon as possible after the accident.
Consult a bicycle accident lawyer after the collision to discuss your potential case.
A personal injury attorney can use evidence you gather at the scene to help reconstruct the accident, establish the at-fault party’s liability, and argue that you deserve compensation for your injuries.
Injured in a Bike Accident? Call Us at CZ Law Today!
Even if you are wearing a helmet and other protective gear, you can still sustain serious injuries if you are a bicyclist and are involved in a collision with a vehicle.
The bicycle accident injury attorneys at CZ Law know how to obtain fair compensation for injury victims and have won over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements since the firm’s inception in 1995. With offices in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Orange County (Garden Grove), Irvine, San Diego, Bakersfield, and Las Vegas, CZ Law proudly serves clients throughout the state of California, as well as other states.
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The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Carpenter & Zuckerman harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information. For more information, view our full disclaimer.
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