With consistently warm weather and beautiful places to ride, cycling is a popular form of exercise—and it’s an inexpensive way to get around San Diego and throughout Southern California. Unfortunately, cyclists face real dangers when motorists fail to share the road with them.
At the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, APC, our skilled and compassionate legal team has years of experience helping victims of bicycle accidents obtain the justice and compensation they deserve when they’re injured by a careless or negligent driver. To learn how we can help, call my San Diego office or start a live chat—we offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose.
Negligence Causes Bicycle Accidents
Whether you’re riding a bicycle or driving a motorcycle, truck, or car, you are responsible for obeying California traffic laws and responsibly sharing our streets, roads, and highways. While some crashes occur when cyclists fail to follow the rules, most bicycle accidents are caused by negligent motorists who:
- Follow too closely
- Fail to yield the right away at intersections and stop signs
- Engage in distracted driving behaviors
- Drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Open a vehicle door without first checking for approaching traffic
- Make improper right and left turns
Bicycle Accidents Often Result in Devastating Injuries
Because a bicycle rider has only their helmet and clothing to protect them, they often suffer serious injuries if struck by a much larger and heavier truck, car, or motorcycle—even if the vehicle is traveling at a slow rate of speed. Their injuries are much more likely to be life-altering or fatal than if they were riding in a passenger vehicle. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones and severe fractures
- Concussion, traumatic brain injuries, and other head injuries
- Road rash
- Facial injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal injuries—including partial or complete paralysis
5 Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident to Protect Your Legal Rights
In California, you're entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages from the negligent driver who caused your bicycle accident. However, to win your case, you need to prove the motorist was at fault and that your injuries were serious. The following are five critical steps that can help you do this.
Call the Police
Call the police to the accident scene, and make sure to get a copy of the accident report. It contains valuable information about how the accident occurred, the driver’s statements, the officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued.
Obtain Contact Information
You or someone on site should get contact details for the negligent motorist and their insurance company. Also, be sure to gather contact information for witnesses to the crash, as their statements can be very helpful in convincing an insurance provider of its duty to compensate you.
Get Necessary Medical Care
While getting immediate medical care makes sense if you're injured, it's critical to schedule a doctor's exam within 48 hours, even if you don't think you were hurt. You might not experience any symptoms of some medical conditions—such as traumatic brain injury, spinal problems, and internal organ damage—until days or longer after your collision.
If you wait to get medical treatment, your injuries could become more serious or life-threatening. You also could give the negligent driver’s insurance carrier ammunition to dispute the cause and severity of your injuries.
If you're able, start collecting evidence right away that helps prove your bike accident case. Here are ways to do this:
- Take pictures of the damage to the vehicle that hit you, your bicycle, your injuries, and the collision scene. If you're too hurt to do this, ask someone to take pictures with your cellphone.
- Save your clothes, helmet, and bike in the condition they were in after your accident.
- Get a copy of the police report.
- Keep all medical bills, wage loss documentation, and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses you incurred.
Hire a Bike Accident Lawyer
You should retain an experienced bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident. They can help you collect the evidence you need, determine the value of your claim, and negotiate your settlement with the insurance company so you receive all that you deserve.
You Have Important Questions About Your Bicycle Accident Claim
It can be complicated to file a claim for compensation with the at-fault driver’s insurance company after a bicycle wreck. If you’re like most people, this may be your first time seeking significant damages after an accident, and you need to understand how the process of settling a claim works and what your legal rights are under California law. Here are some common questions that we can answer for you:
- How long do I have to file my bicycle accident case?
- How much is my claim worth?
- What happens to my case if I wasn't wearing a helmet?
- How long will it take to settle my claim with the insurance company?
- What do I need to prove to win my case?
- What if I was under the influence of alcohol or drugs while riding?
- Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company?
- Should I sign the insurance company’s medical authorization form?
- What types of compensation can I receive?
- What if my bicycle accident was a hit and run?
- Am I entitled to compensation if I was partially at fault for causing my bicycle accident?
- What happens if the negligent driver doesn't have insurance?
Contact Us for the Legal Help You Need
If you or a family member has been injured in a bicycle accident in San Diego or Southern California, please contact the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, APC for assistance. My knowledgeable legal team is dedicated to obtaining the justice and compensation you deserve, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. I invite you to take advantage of my offer for a free initial consultation to start learning about your options and leverage my track record of success in fighting for bicycle accident victims' rights. Call my San Diego office or start a live chat to schedule your appointment today.