Bike Accident Lawyer
Bicycle Accident Attorney Santa Rosa CA
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 829 bicyclists fatally injured in motor vehicle accidents in 2015 across the United States. In the same year, there were approximately 45,000 bicyclists injured in car accidents in the country as a whole.
California Bicycle Accident Statistics
In the state of California, there were 147 bicyclist fatalities in 2013. In 2014, however, the total amount of bicyclist fatalities decreased down to 128, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety.
Injuries sustained by a cyclist in a motor vehicle accident may be catastrophic or even deadly. It is important to speak with a bike accident lawyer with experience handling these types of cases, such as Johann Hall. Contact our office right away if you or a loved one has been involved in a bike accident in the Santa Rosa CA area, as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
California Vehicle Code Bicycle Laws
The California Vehicle Code includes laws specific to bike riders. Some of these laws are as follows:
- Bicyclists are required to travel on the right side of the road in the same direction as traffic, except when making a legal left turn, when passing, riding on a one-way street, riding on a too-narrow road, or when the right side of the road has been closed for construction. (California Vehicle Code, 21650).
- Bicycles must be equipped with breaks that allow the bike operator to execute a one-braked-wheel-skid on clean, dry, level pavement. (California Vehicle Code, 21201(a)).
- When riding at night, you must have a white headlight that is visible from the front attached to either you or the bike. (California Vehicle Code, 21201(d, e).
- Bicyclists and bicycle passengers are required to wear an approved helmet while riding a bike if they are under the age of 18. (California Vehicle Code, 21212).
- Bicyclists are not permitted to wear a headset which covers both of their ears, or earplugs in both ears. However, bicyclists are allowed to wear hearing aids. (California Vehicle Code, 27400).
- Bicyclists are not permitted to carry items which would prohibit them from being able to use at least one hand on the handlebars. (California Vehicle Code, 21205).
- It is unlawful to operate a bicycle if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (California Vehicle Code, 21200.5).
Determining Liability in a Bicycle Accident
Generally, your lawyer will need to show that the at-fault driver was negligent in some way for the bike accident. If there were witnesses to the accident, video surveillance footage, or pictures taken by you or anyone else of the accident scene, bicycle, and vehicle damage, these things can all be useful evidence to support your case.
The driver of the motor vehicle involved in your bike accident may also not be the only liable party. Depending on the facts of your case, if a defective roadway contributed to the accident, it may also be possible to bring a claim against the city or government agency that is responsible for maintaining the roadway you were injured on. City and government cases can have a shorter statute of limitations period than standard personal injury cases, so it is extremely important to discuss your case with a lawyer right away so that your lawyer can make sure to file suit against all potentially liable parties within the proper time frame as required by law.
Compensation for Bicycle Accidents
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contacting a bike accident lawyer who is familiar with the nuances of these types of cases can help you achieve the best settlement or trial award possible. Your lawyer may be able to get you money to compensate you for the medical bills you incurred due to your injuries from the accident, along with money for the pain and suffering you endured. Your lawyer might also be able to get you money for lost wages for the time you were taken off work by your doctor to recover for your injuries.