Bicycle accidents in Santa Ana, CA can lead to serious injuries and major expenses for victims. These accidents often happen due to the reckless or careless actions of motorists. The road to recovery can be stressful, especially if the injuries require critical medical attention, leading to steep medical bills.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident that you didn’t cause, the Santa Ana bicycle accident lawyers at the Crockett Law Group can help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Call our accident attorneys today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation.
What Are the Bicycle Laws in California?
If you are a bicyclist or a motorist in California, you need to know certain bicycle laws, which include:
- Bicyclists should always ride with traffic. Bicycles are always required to go in the same direction as other vehicles on the road normally would.
- Bicyclists under 18 years of age are required to wear an approved helmet while riding, but those who are 18 years or older aren’t obligated to wear one.
- Bicyclists aren’t allowed to ride their bicycles on highways or freeways since they are deemed to be too fast and dangerous for regular bicycles.
- Bicyclists are required to ride on the right side of the road and can use the full lane, the shoulder, a designated bike lane, or the sidewalk except where a local ordinance prohibits it.
- Hitching a ride with a vehicle, which refers to grabbing onto the back of the vehicle as it moves, is never allowed.
- Motorists are required to maintain a distance of at least 3 feet away from bicyclists when they overtake them. If a motorist cannot maintain this distance, they must slow to a reasonable speed and are only allowed to pass the bicyclist when it is reasonably safe to do so.
Keep in mind that there are numerous other laws and local ordinances relating to bicycles in California that may affect both motorists and bicyclists. It is always advisable to familiarize yourself with all the applicable laws and rules to ensure your safety and the safety of other road users.
How Is Fault Determined in Bike Accidents in California?
To understand how fault is determined in California bicycling accidents, it is first important to understand the duty of care carried by both the motorists and the bicyclists.
Duty of Care for Motorists in California
Drivers in California have a legal duty of care to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner to ensure there are no accidents and injuries to other road users, including bicyclists. To operate vehicles in a reasonably safe way means that drivers must not only follow all the traffic laws but also pay attention to their surroundings. If drivers fail to adhere to this guideline, they are considered liable for any resulting accident or injury.
Duty of Care for California Bicyclists
Bicyclists in California also carry the same responsibility and duty of care as drivers. When sharing the road, bicyclists are required to follow all traffic laws, obey traffic signals, and must be aware of their surroundings. If bicyclists don’t follow the rules of the road, they can be held liable in case of an accident.
In the event that a driver or bicyclist fails to obey traffic laws and show reasonable caution and causes an accident, they will be held responsible.
Determining who the at-fault party is following a bicycle accident in Santa Ana can be challenging, which is why it should ideally be left to a trusted legal ally with a good understanding of the duty of care laws in California.
The Crockett Law Group is one such trusted legal ally and can help you build a strong case for compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.
What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Santa Ana or elsewhere in Orange County, there are certain steps you should take to maximize your chances of receiving compensation:
Call the police immediately after the accident. You should also have the driver say and wait for the police to come. Once the police arrive, let them know your side of the story. You should also ask the police to make an official report of the accident since this does not always happen.
If you were involved in an accident with a bicyclist, you should get their contact details. If you were in a collision with a motorist, you should get their name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, insurance policy number, make of vehicle, and license plate number.
Record the Scene
Use your smartphone or camera to take pictures of the accident scene along with the damage done to your bicycle, equipment, and other vehicles involved in the accident. If possible, write down all that you can remember about the accident, including everything that happened, the location and time of the accident, as well as the road conditions and weather.
Never Admit Fault
You might be flooded with emotions following the bicycle accident, but you should still watch what you say at the accident scene. You must never apologize or admit fault for the accident. Keep in mind that any statements you make can be used against you later on.
Seek Medical Attention
You might feel like nothing is wrong and you have no injuries at the moment of the accident, but you should still have a doctor have a look at you. Injuries from accidents can show up many hours after the collision. The doctor will make a complete medical record of your injuries, which will serve as a key piece of evidence when it comes to pursuing compensation.
Call a Santa Ana Bicycle Accident Lawyer!
It is always advisable to speak to a qualified lawyer such as those at Crockett Law Group before reporting the accident to your insurance provider or providing any statements to the other party’s insurance company. Our lawyers will help you take the right steps to increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.
What Types of Damages Can You Recover From a Bicycle Accident Claim?
Bicycle accidents are usually severe and can be life-altering. Adequate compensation is that which will pay for all the costs of your injuries and losses, even if the costs are ongoing for the remainder of your life. You can recover both economic and non-economic damages from a bicycle accident claim, which include:
- Lost income and lost earning capacity
- Hospital and medical expenses
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Past and future permanent physical disabilities
- Home health care and custodial care
- Diminished quality of life
- Wrongful death
The Santa Ana bicycle accident lawyers at Crockett Law Group work with bicycle accident victims and their families to determine what types of compensation they may be entitled to.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
The time within which you are required to file a claim is known as the statute of limitations. In California, the statute of limitations for bicycle accidents is 2 years from the date of the accident. If you don’t file your claim within this period, you will forever be barred from doing so.
How Much Will a Bike Accident Lawyer Cost?
It won’t cost you anything upfront or out of pocket to hire bicycle accident lawyers in Santa Ana. Our dedicated lawyers accept viable cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless and until we recover damages following the bicycle accident.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
It is important that you hire and retain a lawyer following a bicycle accident for the following reasons:
Case Preparation/Filing a Lawsuit
One of the most time-consuming steps in the entire process is building your claim. Our team waits until you are finished with treatment for your injuries so that we can compile a comprehensive medical record of your injuries so that we can file a claim for compensation.
It is important to understand that 95 percent or more of personal injury claims are handled in settlements outside of court. That’s why we have a team of lawyers that’s incredibly skilled at negotiating settlements. We will work with the other party to ensure that you are adequately and fairly compensated.
Trial Preparation and Representation
If the settlement negotiations with the other party fail, we usually have no other option besides taking the case to court. We do all the necessary trial preparations and skillfully advocate on your behalf in court to increase the chances of a favorable verdict for you.
Injured in a Santa Ana, CA Bicycle Accident? Get a Free Case Review!
If you or a loved one was recently injured by a motor vehicle while riding a bicycle in Santa Ana, you want a knowledgeable and experienced bicycle accident lawyer on your side. The legal team at the Crockett Law Group has been representing victims of bicycle accidents in Santa Ana for many years, helping them recover just compensation for their injuries, and can do the same for you.