When a bicyclist gets into an accident with a vehicle, the cyclist often suffers catastrophic or even fatal injuries while the driver of the vehicle is left unscathed.
At the Crockett Law Group in Moreno Valley, CA, we are dedicated to holding drivers who cause bicycle accidents in California accountable. Our Moreno Valley bicycle accident lawyers work to fight for fair compensation and protect the rights of injured cyclists in Moreno Valley and throughout California.
Why Hire the Crockett Law Group for Your California Bicycle Accident Claim?
- Our attorneys have been committed to getting our clients maximum compensation.
- Our attorneys boast years of experience and a depth of knowledge in these practice areas.
- Our legal representation services are accessible to all injured parties thanks to our contingency fee payment structure.
What Are California’s Bicycle Laws?
There are rules in California that regulate how and where cycling is allowed. Cyclists in California are expected to abide by the following rules and regulations:
Where to Ride a Bicycle
CVC (California Vehicle Code) 21202 states that cyclists must ride their bikes on the far right side of a street except when:
- Anticipating a left turn;
- Overtaking another;
- Evading a hazard;
- Approaching an area where right turns are authorized; and
- Riding in a narrow street lane.
Using Bicycle Lanes
CVC 21208 states that riders who are slower than the general traffic on roadways must use the bike lane except when turning left, avoiding a hazard, passing, or approaching an area where a right turn is permissible.
Riding with Traffic
Cyclists must ride on the right-hand side and in the direction of traffic except when riding on a one-way-road, a narrow road, passing another, turning left, avoiding an obstruction – CVC 21650
High-Speed Bikes and Mopeds
According to CVC 21207.5, class-3 bicycles and high-speed bicycles that reach speeds of 28 mph are not allowed on bike trails unless authorized by local municipalities. They can however be used on detached bikeways adjacent to a road. Also, they require helmets, and people under 16 years cannot operate them.
Low-Speed Rechargeable Bicycles and Regular Bikes Are Alike
Bicycles that reach speeds of 20 mph (type 1 and 2) are allowed anywhere regular bicycles are allowed unless there is signage that forbids electric bicycles.
Bike Trail Obstruction
Parking or stopping a bike on a bicycle path is forbidden – CVC 21211
Sidewalks and Walkways
Individual counties and cities decide whether cyclists can ride on a sidewalk – CVC 21206
All types of bicycles are forbidden on freeways when prohibited by California’s Department of Transportation and other local municipalities – CVC 21960
Cyclists can only be allowed on toll bridges when permitted by California’s Department of Transportation – CVC 21960
A bicycle injury that occurs as a result of a negligent driver can trigger one or more of these laws. In these scenarios, it’s crucial to have a lawyer who can fight aggressively for your biker rights.
How Does California Determine Fault in Bike Accidents?
In California, drivers owe other road users including bicyclists a duty of care to drive safely and avoid collisions and injuries. Road users are considered to be operating in a reasonably safe manner when they follow all traffic rules and are attentive to their surroundings. As such, when a driver is driving under the influence, is distracted, ignores traffic signals, fails to heed right-of-way rules, opens their car door before looking, or pulls in or out of parking without looking up – and one or more of those actions caused a bike accident – they will be deemed liable.
Although duty of care laws in California give cyclists an advantage when evaluating motor accidents, they also have to adhere to the duty they owe other road users. Cyclists must ride on designated bike trails, follow traffic signals, steer clear of improper passing, and exercise caution. But, the law puts more weight on drivers since vehicles are substantially far more dangerous and require more concentration to operate.
Hiring a bicycle accident attorney is critical in determining liability in a bicycle accident case. Our attorneys understand California’s duty of care laws and can help you build a strong case. We will evaluate negligence by reviewing witness testimonies and evidence generated from police reports.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
When you get into a bicycle accident, you need to follow the following steps to safeguard your interests and rights:
- Contact Police – Inform law enforcement about the bicycle accident so that they can record statements and prepare a police accident report.
- Exchange Info – Talk to any witnesses and swap contact information.
- Record the Scene – Document the scene of the bike crash by taking photos and videos. Make sure to capture your wrecked bicycle, the vehicle you collided with, lane markings, street signs, and license plates. If you have sustained any apparent injuries, take photos or videos of them too. This photographic and video evidence may play a huge role in proving what happened. If there are any homes and businesses in the vicinity, check if they have footage of the accident in their security cameras.
- Never Admit Fault – No matter the circumstances, do not take the blame for the accident. Admitting fault means that you are taking legal responsibility for the accident and may hurt your chances of getting compensation.
- Seek Medical Attention – In the ensuing days visit a doctor for a medical check-up. Some injuries only show up after the day of your accident.
- Call a Car Accident Lawyer! – Contact a Crockett Law Group bicycle accident lawyer for free case evaluation and consultation. Our attorneys will handle the insurance companies and protect you from their manipulative and underhand tactics to get you the settlement you deserve.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover From a California Bicycle Accident Claim?
In California, bicycle accident victims are entitled to full compensation for their injuries. There are two types of compensation available to injured California bicycle riders: economic and non-economic damages:
These damages compensate you for your past and future monetary losses caused by your bike crash and are calculated from receipts, bills, and wage lost documents. They include:
- Medical Expenses like ambulance transportation costs, hospitalization, surgeries, doctor visits, physical therapy, medications, and home health care expenses.
- Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity
- Property Damage
- Household Services
Also known as general damages, non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for non-monetary losses caused by your bicycle crash like:
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Consortium
In cases where the liable party’s actions were grossly negligent, judges award punitive damages to punish them for their egregious conduct. Punitive damages don’t usually compensate the victim.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a California Bicycle Accident Claim?
California cyclists who get injured in a bicycle accident have two years from the date of the bicycle accident to file a lawsuit. For wrongful death cases resulting from bicycle accidents, you must file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years of the decedent’s death – not the accident date.
What is the Cost of Hiring a Moreno Valley Bike Accident Lawyer?
Like other personal injury lawyers, bicycle accident lawyers are paid contingency fees if they win you compensation. There are usually no upfront charges and you don’t pay your lawyer if they fail to win your case. If your lawyer does get you a settlement, they will take a percentage which on average is usually 33% or 1/3 of your winnings as their payment.
If there are any other additional fees, your lawyer will deduct them from the settlement.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Bicycle Accident Lawyer?
If you sustain injuries from a bicycle accident, a seasoned bicycle accident attorney will help protect your rights as a cyclist and recover damages for your injuries. Here are some benefits of hiring a lawyer for your bicycle accident claim:
Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit
An attorney will gather facts of your case, evidence, and conduct investigations with the help of experts from different fields to determine the liable party. The attorney will then file an insurance claim on your behalf.
After getting all the evidence and conducting investigations, your lawyer will begin settlement negotiations after sending a demand letter to the insurance company. After this step, there can be two outcomes. The insurance company may choose to pay the settlement you requested, or, try to lowball you. Your lawyer will either choose to continue negotiations or file a lawsuit for your bicycle accident claim.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Your case will move to trial if settlement negotiations with the insurance company prove to be futile. A lawyer will argue out your case before a judge or jury.
Call Our Moreno Valley Bicycle Accident Lawyers Today for Help with Your Personal Injury Case
If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a bicycle crash involving a negligent driver, we invite you to get in touch with the bicycle accident attorneys at the Crockett Law Group in Moreno Valley, CA. We work day and night to get you the best possible compenscrockett-law-group-moreno-valley-bicycle accident ation available.