The use of bicycles is extremely popular in Southern California. Whether cycling as a hobby or as a main mode of transportation, bicyclists share the roads with motorists daily. And even though these cyclists have every right to use the roads in the same manner as a motor vehicle, many drivers fail to recognize that right, leading to serious collisions. Orange County bicycle accident attorneys at the Serendib Law Firm help those injured in a crash recover compensation from those responsible for their harm. Even if a bicyclist is wearing protective gear, they are still likely to suffer significant, sometimes fatal, injuries when struck by a motor vehicle. Our firm understands that the aftermath of a serious bike crash can be overwhelming and confusing for victims as well as families involved. We strive to ease that burden by providing legal representation that makes our clients feel secure in knowing their claims are being handled properly. If you have questions regarding your legal rights and options following a bicycle accident, please contact us today to find out more about how we can help.Southern California Bicycle Collisions
Bicycle accidents occur more often in urban areas versus rural areas. Of fatal bicycle accidents, sixty-eight percent happen in urban settings. Southern California is no exception and can be a dangerous place for bicyclists. If you've been injured, or lost a loved one, due to a bike accident, an experienced Orange County bicycle accident lawyer can assist you and your family in determining the cause, as well as who is responsible. Some common factors that lead to these crashes include:
- Motorists' failure to yield
- Distracted driving practices
- "Dooring" – whereby a driver fails to check for an oncoming cyclist before exiting their parked vehicle.
- Defective bicycles or bike parts
- Drivers pulling into traffic without looking for bicyclists.
Another common cause of a bicycle accident is drivers who fail to leave a safe distance between their car and a bike when passing or switching lanes. California law requires motorists to give bicyclists at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicycle. When a driver passes a cyclist too closely, or hits them, serious injuries can result. Among the most common injuries sustained in a bicycle accident are collapsed lungs; rib fractures; facial and eye injuries; head injuries such as brain bleeds, concussions, and fractured skulls; as well as bruises, broken bones, and road rash. If you've suffered an injury in a bicycle collision, it is important to contact a knowledgeable bike accident lawyer in Southern California who can help you pursue proper legal action.Negligence in Bicyclist Accidents
Most often it is a negligent driver's actions that causes a collision with a bicycle. Negligence exists where one party, the defendant, breaches their duty of care owed to another, the plaintiff, causing that plaintiff's injuries, which results in damages. All road users owe each other the duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would under the given circumstances. Examples that can show a breach of reasonable care include drivers who run red lights, those who speed past a cyclist without giving proper space, and other similar actions. When that breach causes a bicyclist's injuries, they can be held liable for the damages sustained.
Cyclists are of course responsible for taking reasonable actions to maintain their own safety. Failure to do so may decrease another's responsibility in the event of a collision but may not bar legal action if more than one party has acted negligently. California follows a 'pure comparative fault' model when it comes to awarding compensation. This means that any damages amount is awarded in proportion to each party's degree of liability. For example, if a victim is found to be 70 percent at-fault for causing an accident, they may still recover 30 percent of the total damages incurred. Victims of bicycle accident often receive compensation for past and future medical costs, loss of income or earning capacity, and pain and suffering damages.Orange County Bike Accident Attorneys
Bicycle accident victims often face a long road to recovery that comes with constantly escalating costs. The party responsible for causing a victim's injuries should be the ones to bear those costs, and the bicycle accident lawyers at The Serendib Law Firm are available to help ensure that happens. We represent clients throughout Orange County as well as elsewhere in Southern California including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties. If you've been injured or lost a loved one due to a bicycle accident, please call us at 1-800-LAW-8225 (800-529-8825) or contact our office online to explore your legal options.