DELIVERING JUSTICE FOR MY CLIENTS

ELK GROVE BICYCLE ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Need Consultancy? Request A Free Quote

Want to get in touch with us? We’d love to hear from you. Get an expert opinion today.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Road accident with injured cyclist and car driver

ELK GROVE

BICYCLE ACCIDENTS LAWYER

Though bicycles differ from automobiles in a lot of ways, they are still required to follow similar rules of the road. This is why bicyclists use their hands for turn signals, ride with the flow of traffic, and avoid biking under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

These traffic patterns are intended to keep everyone safe and secure on the roadways. Just as driving your car is a generally safe activity, biking should also be fairly safe. Though traffic patterns do help to keep bicyclists from suffering an accident, automobile drivers have an additional responsibility to help keep everyone safe. It is obvious that cars are much larger than bicycles and have the advantage of added protection and safety features. For this reason, drivers must pay additional attention when driving to be sure that their safety advantage keeps others secure as well.

Despite our best efforts, however, bicycle accidents do occur. There are myriad factors that can cause these collisions, and some of them are preventable while others are not. It is essential to do everything we can as both drivers and bicyclists to minimize these encounters and keep everyone safe on our Elk Grove roadways.

WHY DO BICYCLE ACCIDENTS HAPPEN?

With strict road rules in place, it can be difficult to understand why collisions still happen. However, just like car accidents, bike accidents occur despite the measures to prevent them. There are several main causes of bicycle accidents in California. Approximately 37% of accidents involved alcohol. 25% were due to the biker being under the influence, whereas only 7% were attributed to car drivers under the influence. Though, of course, these numbers do not encompass all of the causes of bicycle accidents, it is important to note them. It would appear that many bicyclists view biking as a good alternative to driving a vehicle when intoxicated. Though you certainly have less bulk on the road and pose a slightly lower risk to others, it’s clear that accidents still occur with relative frequency when you bike while intoxicated.

OTHER BIKE ACCIDENT CAUSES

Bike accidents are not only caused by intoxication, of course. Many people ride their bikes safely and without the use of alcohol or drugs. Several other factors can play into a bicycle accident. These include:

  • Speed of the biker and/or the driver
  • Weather conditions
  • Road conditions
  • Overall traffic patterns
  • Route visibility
  • Bicycle safety gear such as reflective lights and bells

Your bike accident lawyer will help you to create a case based on your unique situation. Whether you were the car driver or the bike rider, there is likely an angle that your attorney can use to defend your side of the story in court.

LIABILITY AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT

When claims are created after a bicycle accident, many people need or want to know who is liable for the accident. Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this inquiry. Liability really depends on the situation at hand. Your injury lawyers/attorneys will be able to help you determine fault and liability after an accident and argue your case in court if the insurance companies do not want to pay.

AUTOMOBILE DRIVER LIABILITY

Many people assume that the car driver is always at fault for an accident, which is not the case. However, drivers do have explicit rules to follow regarding bicyclists, so in many cases, they get fined for infractions, even if the entire accident was not their fault. California has a strict three feet rule, for example, stating that cars must leave three feet of room between themselves and bicyclists at all times. Failure to do this can result in fines. When a driver is fined after a collision with a bicycle, there is a great opportunity for the biker’s personal injury attorney to imply negligence on behalf of the driver. A fine is a significant indication that someone has done something wrong and often proves fault to the court.

BIKE ACCIDENT INJURIES

Of course, specific injuries will depend upon the details of the accident, including speed, direction, protective equipment, and surroundings. However, there are a few common injuries that occur during bike accidents, no matter the details of the crash. These injuries include:

  • Fractures, particularly of the clavicle and hand
  • Paralysis
  • Dislocated joints
  • Nerve damage
  • Brain damage and head trauma
  • Broken limbs
  • Back and neck pain
  • Jaw injuries
  • Dental injuries

Many other injuries can result from a collision between a bicycle and a car, but these are some of the most common. As you can see, many of these are extremely serious conditions that require intensive medical care. This is cause for concern. If you are involved in an accident with a bicyclist, settlements can be extremely high to compensate for these injuries.

DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR A BICYCLE ACCIDENT?

Whether you are a bicyclist or an automobile driver during an accident, it is important to hire an attorney. The injuries that are commonly incurred in these collisions are often serious and put a lot of money on the line. What’s more, insurance companies work diligently to avoid paying settlements or medical bills. If you are the victim, this means a strong possibility that the insurance company will leave you harassing voicemails and try to get you to admit fault or settle for less than you deserve. In some cases, insurance companies have you followed by a private investigator to determine if you are really as injured as you claim to be. Obviously, this is intrusive and intimidating behavior, and an attorney can help to protect you from it.

If you are the person at fault in a bicycle accident, insurance companies will target you as well. They will try to find ways to avoid payouts on your behalf and will participate in activities that attempt to get you to waive your rights or claim fault. If they maneuver the situation correctly, they may be able to get you to pay rather than paying on your account according to your policy. This can land you with thousands, or even millions of dollars in medical bills, an amount that would send most families into bankruptcy.

To avoid a lot of these situations, it is best to hire a personal injury attorney. We can help you to manage interactions with insurance companies and advise you on how to keep from inadvertently waiving your rights.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A BICYCLE ACCIDENT

After a bicycle accident occurs, it can be difficult to know what to do. Adrenaline is high, and it’s natural to feel scared and shaken. Your first task after the accident is to remain as calm as you can. Assess yourself for injuries and quickly determine if you or anyone else at the scene needs medical attention, then call the authorities. When the situation is being handled by the proper experts, you will need to collect information so that your personal injury attorney can properly do their job. This is what you should do once you are safe and able to do so:

  • Collect the name, ID number, and insurance policy information from the other person or people in the accident.
  • Take pictures of the damage, including damage done to the car, bicycle, and surrounding areas. Be sure to include debris as well.
  • Take pictures of all injuries, even injuries suffered by another person, if possible.
  • Collect witness statements, as well as their contact information.
  • Take pictures of the surrounding areas, including street signs, bike lanes, sidewalks, etc.

With modern cell phones and technology, there is no harm in taking extra photos. Generally, there is no such thing as too much documentation after an accident. The worst that will happen is that your attorney won’t need the photo, and you can delete it. The best that can happen is that you provide evidence that keeps you from having to pay a large settlement.

FINDING A BICYCLE ACCIDENT LAWYER

Finding a lawyer to represent you after your bicycle accident case requires some diligence and know-how. Not all attorneys are the same, and some may be better equipped to take on your case than others are. If this is your first time hiring an accident attorney, it can be overwhelming to know how to find the right one. Here are some things to look for:

  • The attorney has a history in bicycle accident cases. Lots of attorneys cover personal injury law, but not all of them can handle bicycle accidents and the intricate laws that come with them. Be sure that your attorney has direct experience.
  • The attorney has a good record of courtroom wins. Just because a lawyer has taken on bicycle accident cases doesn’t mean that they’re good at winning them.
  • The attorney is compassionate and kind. Though they likely see these kinds of situations every day, it’s your first time handling one. You want to know that your attorney will be sympathetic and patient with your experience.
  • The attorney has a good reputation. Ask for references from past clients and colleagues. If the attorney doesn’t have them or won’t give them, they’re likely hiding a bad reputation.

Always trust your instinct. Attorneys are humans first and foremost, and you have to have a good rapport to work together successfully.

CONTACT US

For legal advice that is honest, reliable, and reputable, contact Kreeger Law Firm. With three decades of experience in bicycle accident law, we can be sure you get the payout that you deserve.