Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Lakeport & Woodland Hills, California
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roughly 2% of motor vehicle accident victims are cyclists. No matter how it happens, a bicycle accident can occur in the blink of an eye and alter your life forever.
At G. Aldrich Law, we fight for our client’s right to fair compensation following bicycle accidents. As experienced personal injury attorneys, we proudly serve Lakeport and Woodland Hills, California, communities. We also fight for people in Lake, Los Angeles, Colusa, Riverside Counties, and anywhere in Northern or Southern California. Set up a consultation today.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in California
If you’ve been in a bicycle accident—or a loved one is a bicyclist hit by a car—taking certain steps to protect yourself and your legal rights is important. Here are some things you should do after a bicycle accident:
Get Medical Attention
Your health and safety are top priorities after a bicycle wreck. If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. Some injuries, such as concussions or internal injuries, may not be immediately apparent.
Report the Accident
If the accident involved a motor vehicle, call the police and file a report. Even if the accident didn’t involve a motor vehicle, it’s a good idea to report the accident to the appropriate authorities.
Get the name, contact information, and insurance information of the other party involved in the accident. Take photos of the accident scene, your bicycle, and any injuries you’ve sustained.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Contact a personal injury attorney with experience with bicycle accident cases. An attorney can help protect your legal rights and assist you in pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages when filing a personal injury claim.
Notify your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company and report the accident, even if you were not at fault. Your insurance company may cover medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.
Keep a record of all medical treatment and expenses related to the accident. Keep track of any time missed from work due to your injuries.
Be Cautious on Social Media
Be cautious about what you post on social media after a bicycle accident. Insurance companies and other parties may try to use your social media posts to dispute your claims.
California Bicycle Laws
Bicyclists in California must follow a set of laws and regulations to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road. Here are some of the key bicycle laws in California:
Bicyclists under 18 must wear a helmet while riding a bicycle.
Lights and Reflectors
Bicycles must have a white headlight visible from the front and a red reflector or light visible from the rear when riding at night.
Bicycling Under the Influence
Bicyclists are subject to the same DUI laws as drivers and can be charged with a DUI if riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Yielding to Pedestrians
Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians on crosswalks and sidewalks.
Riding with Traffic
Bicyclists must ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as far to the right as possible, except when passing or making a left turn.
Bicyclists must use hand signals when turning or changing lanes.
Riding on Sidewalks
Some cities and towns in California prohibit bicyclists from riding on sidewalks.
Bicyclists must use bike lanes or bike paths if available.
Electric bicycles are subject to specific maximum speed and power output laws.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in California
Filing a wrongful death claim can be a complex and emotional process. Still, with the help of an experienced attorney, you can seek justice for your loved one and pursue the compensation you deserve.
California is a “fault” state for bicycle accidents. This rule means that if a bicycle accident occurs in California, the driver found to be at fault for causing the accident is responsible for paying for the damages and injuries resulting from the accident. Bicyclists who are injured in an accident caused by a driver’s negligence or recklessness may be able to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. To do so, they must prove that the driver breached their duty of care by acting negligently or recklessly and that this breach caused their injuries and damages. In some cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to dispute fault or argue that the bicyclist was partially or fully at fault for the accident. If this happens, consulting with an experienced bicycle accident attorney may be necessary to help navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Please note that California follows a “comparative fault” rule regarding personal injury claims, including those arising from bicycle accidents. This rule means that if multiple parties are found to be at fault for an accident, each party may be held responsible for a percentage of the damages based on their degree of fault. Under California’s comparative fault rule, a person can still recover damages for their injuries even if they are partially at fault for the accident. However, their recovery will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to them.
For example, if a bicyclist is injured in an accident and is found to be 20% at fault because they were not wearing a helmet, their recovery would be reduced by 20%. So, if the total damages were $100,000, the bicyclist could recover $80,000. It’s important to note that California follows a “pure” comparative fault rule, which means that a person can still recover damages even if they are more than 50% at fault for the accident.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those arising from bicycle accidents, is generally two years from the accident date. This means that an injured bicyclist must file a lawsuit within two years of the accident, or they may lose their right to do so. However, some exceptions may extend or shorten the statute of limitations in certain cases. For example, suppose the injured person is a minor at the time of the accident. In that case, the statute of limitations may be extended until they turn 18. Moreover, if the accident involves a government entity or employee, the injured person may be required to file a claim within six months of the accident.
Bicycle Accident Attorneys in Lakeport & Woodland Hills, California
Don’t face a bicycle injury alone. At G. Aldrich Law, we fight for our clients’ right to fair compensation. Reach out to us today to speak with a personal injury attorney who will stand in your corner during this difficult time.