Riding a bicycle is a common means to get around Southern California, serving as an eco-friendly and heart-healthy alternative to congested traffic. However, bicycles offer very little protection from the hazards confronting a cyclist on the roadways. As you are more exposed to elements, bicycle accidents can lead to severe injuries and expensive damages. It can also prove deadly when a collision occurs between a bicycle and a motor vehicle. A bicycle accident will leave you having to deal with an insurance company as well. Thus, you and your loved ones must be extremely careful when riding bicycles, and also you need to know the legal rights if involved in any type of bicycle accident.
If you or your loved ones are injured or killed in a bicycle accident, you have every right to seek compensation from those responsible; you just need the right bicycle accident lawyers to succeed.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
There are various reasons for bicycle accidents as there are for motor vehicle accidents, but cyclists are less protected, they face a greater risk of sustaining catastrophic injuries or fatal injuries.
Here are the common causes
Collision at intersections – Motor vehicle driver does not stop at intersections, but cyclists do, and this results in rear-end crash. Often, the driver is going too fast or following closely and cannot brake on time.
Left-turn collisions – Motorists fail to look properly around before making a left turn and if the cyclist is close by, the vehicle can broadside or sideswipe him/her. This type of collision can result in severe injury and even death.
Collision with motor doors – The motorist might open the door without checking for approaching bicycles. This simple move can strike the cyclist or force him/her to swerve into danger.
Overtaking – Sometimes a motor vehicle while overtaking a bicycle can be dangerously close thus leading to accidents. The California Vehicle Code addresses this issue of overtaking bicycles with the Three Feet for Safety Act. This means that there should be a three feet distance between the motor vehicle and bicycle when overtaking.
Other causes are, poorly maintained roadway, defective, damaged, or poorly repaired bicycle, animal attacks, collision with pedestrians, or debris such as curb or tree, and due to loss of balance.
If you have sustained injuries due to someone’s negligence on the road, then bicycle accident lawyers can help.
How Bicycle Accident Lawyers Can Help
Bicycle accident cases can be as complex as motor vehicle accident claims. Therefore, it is important to hire a lawyer to assist you. To help recover compensation for your losses, your bicycle accident lawyer may:
Gather Witness Statements
When involved in an accident, you are likely to be stressed and overwhelmed with what to do next. The lawyer will help collect the witness statements. The witness could be another cyclist, motorist, a passenger, or a passing pedestrian. Your lawyer will speak to them and gather all the required information to make a personal injury claim.
Review Police and Accident Reports
Sometimes the victim can’t get a copy of the police report for the accident. Your lawyer will deal with the police officer and review the reports and what injuries you suffered and damage to your bicycle, helmet, and clothing.
An experienced bicycle accident lawyer may use an accident reconstruction expert with bicycle experience to interpret the damage and explain the mechanics of the crash. He or she may also hire a safety or human factors expert and/or a bicycling expert to explain the perception or reaction limitations during the crash.
Find Who is at Fault
Your lawyer will investigate, was it the motor vehicle driver the only party whose carelessness led to the collision or poorly maintained roads, defective equipment, or other factors may have affected the situation. A thorough investigation will show whether there might be multiple defendants in your case. Anyone whose negligence led to your injuries might be a defendant in your bicycle injury case.
This is how bicycle accident lawyers can help you with your case. Also, the lawyers know the strategies and have the experience to negotiate with the insurance company to offer more for your claim. If that does not work, your lawyer can take the case to the court. If you are involved in a bicycle accident and want to file a claim, then get in touch with Accident Lawyers Firm to schedule a free consultation.