Did You Suffer Injuries in a Bicycle Accident?
Despite improvements and efforts to make Rancho Cucamonga more bike-friendly, bicycle accidents involving motor vehicles are still a common occurrence in the city. Whether caused by a lack of bicycle lanes or by negligent drivers, bicycle accidents are some of the most serious types of motor vehicle traffic crashes. They can leave victims with emotional and physical scars, or worse, lead to death. A Rancho Cucamonga bicycle accident lawyer can help.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident in Rancho Cucamonga, call Sierra Accident Lawyers. Our personal injury lawyers have experience handling bicycle accident cases and have obtained maximum compensation for our clients. If a reckless driver or road hazard caused your accident, let us fight for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our legal team.
FREE CONSULTATION 24/7
No Fees Unless We Win
How Can a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Help?
If you were struck by a motor vehicle while biking, you may be suffering from catastrophic injuries, lost income, and emotional trauma. Like car accident victims, injured cyclists can file a personal injury claim against the driver who hit them. However, filing this type of insurance claim is far from straight forward. The insurance adjusters assigned to your case will try to offer you the lowest possible settlement in order to avoid a large payout.
Here are just some of the benefits to hiring a Rancho Cucamonga bicycle accident lawyer:
- Determine the extent of your injuries and damages
- Negotiate with the insurance company in order to seek a fair settlement
- Help with scheduling and managing medical treatment
- Filing a lawsuit if a fair settlement cannot be reached
- Handle all legal aspects of your case from start to finish
Additionally, hiring a bicycle accident lawyer is risk-free, as you will not be responsible for paying upfront legal fees. Instead, a portion of the settlement will be paid to the lawyer if they are successful in winning the case. If we are unsuccessful, you pay nothing.
CALL OUR RANCHO CUCAMONGA LAW OFFICE
Contact our personal injury attorneys for a free consultation
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
In California, like in most states, bicyclists must share the road with cars, even when bike lanes are present. While this gives bicycle riders freedom to bike almost anywhere, it also poses many risks. Motor vehicles travel at much higher speeds and weigh thousands of pounds. This leaves bicyclists vulnerable to serious injuries.
These are some of the most common causes of bike accidents in Rancho Cucamonga:
Making a left turn is a common cause of traffic collisions, especially those involving bike riders and pedestrians. Drivers making left-hand turns must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Drivers who speed through an intersection and fail to yield may cause severe injuries or death to a bicyclist.
Impaired drivers are one of the biggest threats to bicycle safety in Rancho Cucamonga. Tragically, many bicycle accident victims of DUIs do not survive their injuries. Driving under the influence is not limited to alcohol use. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can also impair a driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely.
Running Red Lights
Running red lights or stop signs is a clear violation of traffic laws that puts bicyclists in serious danger. Bicyclists cannot maneuver out of dangerous situations as quickly as motor vehicles, leaving them exposed to being hit from the front, back, or side. Unfortunately, many motorists run red lights when they are in a hurry, distracted, or impatient.
Distractions come in three different forms: visual, manual, and cognitive. It is a growing problem all across the U.S., with over 3,500 deaths reported from distracted driving in 2021. Texting and driving is the most serious offense, and is illegal in California. It only takes a few seconds of inattention to cause a serious accident.
Speed limits are in place to protect motorists and all other road users. When motor vehicle drivers disregard speed limits on roads and highways, they put everyone at risk. Arterial roadways in Rancho Cucamonga like Archibald Avenue are extremely dangerous, especially when they lack designated bike lanes. Speeding vehicles may hit a bicyclist crossing an intersection or sideswipe a bicyclist sharing the lane.
Uneven pavement, potholes, wet or slick roads, and railroad tracks are just a few road hazards that can cause serious bicycle accidents and injuries. While it is imperative that bicyclists stay focused on the road ahead, sometimes a road hazard is too hard to see. In some cases, the city or local government may be held liable if they failed to adequately maintain the roads.
Compensation in a Bicycle Accident Claim
Compensation for bicycle accident victims depends on the severity of the accident, the injuries, the liability, and the available insurance coverage of both parties. In personal injury claims, damages are divided into two types: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages represent the actual monetary losses suffered by the victim, and may include:
- Medical bills, including hospital visit and follow-up treatment
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Non-economic damages reflect the intangible and subjective losses that affect the victim's well-being and quality of life, and may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Scarring and disfigurement
Who Is At Fault in a Bicycle Accident?
In most bicycle accident cases, it is the driver who is at fault for the accident. However, both the driver of the car and the bicyclist are expected to follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care. If either party violates these duties and causes a collision, they may be held liable for the damages.
To prove fault in a Rancho Cucamonga bicycle accident, the victim must establish four elements:
- Duty of care: A duty of care is a legal obligation to act in a certain way to prevent harm to others. For example, drivers have a duty to drive safely and avoid hitting other road users, while bicyclists have a duty to obey traffic laws and signals.
- Breach: The party who caused the accident failed to meet their duty of care. For example, a driver may breach their duty by speeding, running a red light, or texting while driving.
- Causation: The breach of duty was the direct or proximate cause of the victim's injuries.
- Damages: The victim suffered actual losses or harm as a result of the party who caused the accident's actions.
California follows a pure comparative negligence rule, meaning the amount of compensation a person is entitled to receive diminishes by their percentage of fault for causing an accident.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in California
Bicycle accidents can leave victims with emotional trauma and physical pain. What you do after a bike accident can determine how much compensation you receive and how quickly you recover.
Follow these steps if you have been involved in a bicycle crash in Rancho Cucamonga:
- Get out of harm’s way: If you are able to do so, move out of the path of oncoming traffic and wait for an ambulance to arrive.
- Seek immediate medical attention: Even if you think you are not seriously injured, it is important to see a doctor after any type of bike accident. Some symptoms may not appear immediately, but may be serious and require treatment.
- Call the police: After an accident resulting in an injury or severe property damage, you must call the police and report the accident. They will document the scene of the accident, which will prove very useful if you decide to file a bicycle accident lawsuit.
- Gather evidence: In addition to the police report, you should try to collect as much evidence as possible, such as photos of the damage to your bicycle, your injuries, and the surrounding area. If there are witnesses, get their contact information.
- Exchange information: Obtain the name, phone number, address, license plate number, driver’s license number, and insurance information from all the parties involved in the accident.
- Contact a skilled attorney: Before you speak to the other party’s insurance company, it is advisable to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney for legal guidance. They can help you avoid common pitfalls and establish liability.
Contact Our Trusted Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Dealing with the aftermath of a bicycle crash can be stressful and time-consuming. When you enlist the help of our personal injury lawyer, you will be able to focus on your recovery while our legal team handles all of the paperwork and communications with the at-fault party. We will update every step of the process so you feel comfortable and at-ease.
Sierra Accident Lawyers never collects any upfront legal fees unless we win your case. Call our Southern California law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation with a bicycle accident attorney.