A bicycling accident can disrupt your life and leave you with lasting injuries. If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle collision, it’s essential you get in touch with a Fresno bike wreck lawyer.
Bicyclists have every right to use the roadways. Unfortunately, many motorists still drive recklessly around bicyclists, resulting in life-changing injuries that impact victims and their families. Victims of bike accidents should contact a bike and car accident lawyer right away. An experienced bike wreck lawyer can recover damages from the at-fault driver for your lost wages, medical expenses, mental suffering, and/or the loss of a loved one.
Safety Statistics for Bicyclists in Fresno, California
Despite its large cycling community, Fresno isn’t known for being especially bike-friendly. Though Fresno is known in part for its beautiful parks and gardens, it’s lacking in safety features for riders and bicycle safety awareness. This was determined by PeopleForBikes, an organization that gave Fresno an overall score of 19 out of 100.
That said, bicycling can be dangerous anywhere in California. On average, approximately 11,000 bicyclists are injured and 160 die annually in accidents across the state. But, if you take proper precautions and ride in bike-friendly areas, bicycling can still be a very safe and healthy activity. If you do end up in a collision, however, you should seek legal representation right away.
Basics of Bicycle Accident Liability in Fresno
Some aspects of bicycle law vary from county to county, but legal protections for bicyclists are the same statewide. Whether you live in Fresno, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, or elsewhere in California, you’re expected to follow the regulations in the California Vehicle Code (VEH) § 21200. Bicyclists are expected to adhere to the same rules and traffic laws as motorists.
It’s important to understand that failing to follow the rules of the road doesn’t prohibit you from pursuing damages after an accident. California is an at-fault state and follows the pure comparative negligence standard. That means the at-fault driver must compensate you for your losses, even if you’re partly responsible for the collision. The amount you can recover may be lessened in this case, but a bike crash lawyer will advocate for you to receive compensation as much as possible.
Receiving Compensation From Insurance Companies
If your accident was caused by someone driving a car, you’re entitled to make a claim under their insurance. You should know that insurance companies will make this process as complicated as they can. They will do all they can to avoid paying you for your pain and suffering, especially if your injuries aren’t noticeably severe.
Insurance companies can be very intimidating and aggressive, particularly when they know you don’t have legal representation. One of the many advantages of hiring bicycle accident attorneys is that they’ll deal with any insurance company on your behalf. They have the expertise, resources, and dedication necessary to fight these powerful entities. An expert attorney will recover damages for your suffering by navigating the usual tactics and strategies employed by insurance companies.
Common Types of Bicycle Collisions
In the majority of bicycle-vehicle collisions, the motorist is assigned legal fault. Many motorists neglect to look out for bicyclists or fail to follow the basic rules of the road, resulting in wrecks. Though collisions are almost always accidental, motorists must still be held accountable for the suffering caused by their carelessness.
The typical causes of bicycle-vehicle accidents include drowsy driving, drunk driving, texting while driving, speeding, unsafe turns, failure to yield the right-of-way, following too closely, and in some cases, bicyclist error. These factors can all play into the most common types of bike accidents:
- Cross collision: Drivers failing to yield properly to bicyclists can result in right and left cross collisions. Right cross collisions occur more frequently than left ones, typically with drivers accidentally striking bicyclists while pulling out of driveways or side streets.
- Rear-end collision: These collisions tend to occur when a bicyclist fails to brake properly and strikes a stopped car. Rear-end collisions also happen when a bicyclist swerves out of the bike lane and is struck by a vehicle from behind.
- Dooring: Dooring is a term for accidents where a parked motorist opens their driver’s side door as a bicyclist goes by, striking them. Dooring can also occur when bicyclists are riding down sidewalks beside parked cars. These accidents are significantly more common in urban areas.
- Road rage: Unfathomable as it is, there are cases where a motorist strikes a bicyclist deliberately. Bicyclists can prevent road rage by communicating with drivers using the appropriate hand signals and following traffic laws. That being said, there’s absolutely no justification for a driver to intentionally strike a bicyclist. If this happens to you, seek legal counsel immediately.
- Overtaking: The leading cause of fatal bike accidents is motorists failing to safely overtake bicyclists. These accidents often occur at night when motorists have worse visibility.
As mentioned above, some accidents are partly caused by bicyclist errors. A major example of this would be bicyclists riding against oncoming traffic. Bicyclists should always be riding with the flow of traffic on the right side of the road. If you ride against the flow of traffic, motorists have a harder time seeing you.
There are also bicycle collisions that don’t involve cars. Collisions between bicyclists and pedestrians can result in serious injuries for all involved. These accidents usually occur when bicyclists are riding on the sidewalk or through intersections when pedestrians are crossing the road.
No two bicycle accidents are exactly the same. That’s why you need bicycle accident lawyers with decades of experience in all types of bike wrecks. The team at Kuzyk Law is here to recover damages for your suffering, even if you were partly at fault for the accident. No matter the details, we’ll fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Common Injuries Caused by Bicycle Collisions
Bicycle accidents can result in life-altering injuries that impact your ability to work and long-term health. Here are some of the most common injuries sustained in bicycle collisions:
- Bone breaks and fractures
- Rashes and lacerations
- Chronic knee, back, and feet injuries
In severe cases, a bike wreck can also cause disfigurement, dismemberment, and death. Though the injuries above may seem minor in comparison, they can still negatively affect you financially, physically, and mentally. Besides, you shouldn’t have to suffer whatsoever due to someone else’s recklessness.
Damages You May Be Able to Claim
You can claim a wide variety of damages after a bike wreck, depending on the circumstances. Here are examples of damages a bicycle accident lawyer can recover on your behalf:
- Medical expenses: Doctor visits, hospital visits, surgery costs, medicine costs, etc.
- Lost income: Changes in your earning capacity due to injuries you’ve suffered in the accident
- Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation services necessary to heal from injuries caused by the collision
- Mental anguish: Services to cope with emotional distress like therapy and medication
- Disability: Any permanent or semi-permanent disabilities caused by the accident
If you have lost a loved one to a bicycle collision, you can also recover damages for funeral costs, burial costs, and loss of companionship. The team at Kuzyk Law has experience with bike accident cases where the rider tragically passes. You can trust us to take care of your case with respect while you focus on your loved ones and mourn your loss.
Act Quickly After a Bicycle Crash
It’s best to take action immediately after your bike accident. First, you should see a doctor, even if your injuries seem minor. A doctor can properly diagnose your injuries and provide important paperwork that can be used to prove your suffering after you’ve filed a claim.
Once you’ve seen a doctor, you should get in touch with a bike accident attorney. Kuzyk Law has been an active bicycle accident law firm since our founding in 1971. Over the years, we’ve achieved successful verdicts and settlements for over 100,000 cases. Our lawyers have the experience necessary to fight and win for you, no matter how complex your case may seem.
Get in Touch for a Free Consultation
If you’ve been hurt in a bicycle accident, you need an experienced Fresno bike wreck lawyer you can rely on. With Kuzyk Law, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. Our team of lawyers has the experience necessary to handle any bicycle accident case, no matter how complex it may seem.
Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for your financial, physical, and mental suffering. Get started today by contacting us via our online form. Tell us your preferred appointment time and date and we’ll arrange a no-cost consultation for you with one of our attorneys. You can also reach out to us by calling (661) 465-3375. We take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions about bicycle accident law, please check out our informative FAQs below. Don’t see your question answered? Please reach out and we’ll set up a consultation for you with an expert bike accident lawyer.
What if my injuries aren’t serious?
Your injuries may not seem serious at first, but what starts as a sore knee or minor head trauma can escalate into something severe. These injuries could worsen and leave you with medical bills and rehabilitation needs. If you’ve been hurt, serious or not, it’s important to see a doctor and seek legal representation just in case.
Do bicyclists have a right to the road?
Yes, bicyclists have a right to the road and must be yielded to by motorists when riding in a bike lane. That said, bicyclists have the same responsibilities as motorists to adhere to traffic signs and rules of the road to prevent collisions.
How long do I have to file a claim after a bike accident?
In California, victims of bicycle wrecks must file a claim within two years of the accident. If you miss this window, you’re losing your chance to fight for financial compensation. If you’ve been in a bike accident, please contact a bike accident attorney as soon as you can so they can take action right away.
What if a problem with my bike contributed to the accident?
If an unusual issue with your bike caused your accident, you may have grounds to take legal action against the manufacturer. At Kuzyk Law, we have the expertise necessary to identify manufacturing problems and design defects. Tell us about your case and we’ll determine how we can best assist you.
What if a defective road caused the accident?
Was your accident caused by unsafe road conditions? Maybe the road was poorly maintained or lacked the proper signage. If so, you can sue the government entity responsible for maintaining that road. Please note that when suing the state government, you must provide notice of your claim within six months of the accident. This is significantly shorter than the regular two-year deadline.
Consult These Educational Resources
Do you want to learn more about bicycle safety and bicycle accident law? Please take a look at the informative resources we’ve provided below. Of course, we can also arrange a consultation with a bicycle accident attorney to answer your questions.
- Fresno County Sheriff – Bicycle Safety
- Go Safely California – Share the Road
- Freso Cycling Club – Rider Resources
- California DMV – Bicyclists & Pedestrians
Familiarizing yourself with California’s bicycle laws and bicycle safety precautions is great for preventing collisions. However, accidents can still happen, even if the bicyclist has done everything right to protect themselves. If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, reach out to Kuzyk Law to speak to a Fresno bike wreck lawyer.
The Kuzyk Law Fresno Bike Wreck Lawyers Will Fight for You
Stop searching for a bicycle accident lawyer near me and call up Kuzyk Law. You shouldn’t have to deal with financial struggles on top of your physical and mental suffering. We have experience with every type of bike accident, so tell us about your case and we’ll ensure you have an experienced Fresno bicycle accident lawyer to fight for you every step of the way.