Many people enjoy bike riding for exercise, leisure, and even transportation. While fun and a great way to get around, cyclists are more vulnerable to serious injuries due to a lack of protection. The repercussions are even worse when a car or truck is involved in the accident.
We understand the complex laws regarding bicycle accidents in California, and we’re here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bicycle accident, please get in touch with us today for a free consultation with a Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield. We’ll review your case and advise you of your legal options. There’s no obligation to hire us, but we’re here to help if you decide to pursue a claim.
Call now: 888-414-3898
California Cyclists’ Rights and Obligations
Cyclists in California have many similar rights and responsibilities as motorists. That means cyclists must obey traffic laws, including stop signs, yield signs, and red lights. They’re also required to ride in the same direction as traffic and use marked bike lanes when they’re available.
As a cyclist, you also owe yourself and others a few basic courtesies while riding. These include:
- Riding no more than two abreast so you don’t block traffic
- Wearing bright or reflective clothing to make yourself more visible
- Using front and rear lights when riding at night or in low-light conditions
- Yielding to pedestrians, even if they’re not crossing at a crosswalk
Of course, even the safest and most cautious cyclists can’t always avoid accidents. When that happens, it’s important to know your legal rights and options.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, you first should get to a safe place out of the roadway. Once you’re out of harm’s way, check yourself and your riding companions for injuries. If anyone is seriously hurt, call 911 right away.
Even if no one appears to be injured, it’s still a good idea to call the police so they can file an accident report. This report can be important later on if you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
If the police do come to the scene, be sure to get their names and badge numbers. You should also get contact information for any witnesses to the accident. These people may be able to provide valuable testimony if your case goes to court.
Once you’ve taken care of the accident’s immediate aftermath, you can start thinking about your next steps. These will likely include dealing with your insurance company and deciding whether to file a personal injury lawsuit.
It is also important that you contact a Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. The sooner you get started, the better your chance of recovering the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Dealing With the Insurance Company after a Bicycle Accident
The at-fault motorist’s insurance company will likely contact you soon after the accident. It’s important to be careful about what you say to the insurance adjuster. Remember, the adjuster’s job is to settle your claim for as little money as possible – not to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when dealing with the insurance company:
- Don’t give a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster will likely ask you to give a recorded statement about the accident. It’s best to decline this request politely. Anything you say can and will be used against you later on.
- Don’t sign anything without consulting a California bicycle accident attorney. The insurance company may try to get you to sign a release form or other document. Don’t do it. These forms could waive your right to seek further compensation later on. Have a Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield review any documents the insurance company asks you to sign.
- Don’t accept the first settlement offer. The insurance company will probably make you a lowball settlement offer right away. This is their way of trying to save money. Don’t accept the offer without first consulting an attorney. A Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and help you get the full compensation you deserve.
How much is My Bicycle Accident Claim Worth?
There is no easy answer to this question. The amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the cost of your medical treatment, and the impact the accident has had on your life.
A Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield can review your case and help you determine how much your claim is actually worth. In general, though, you can expect compensation for:
- Medical expenses, both past, and future
- Lost wages and/or income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
At times, punitive damages may also be available. These are designed to punish the at-fault party for particularly reckless or negligent behavior.
Filing a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit in California
You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident. This is often the best way to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.
It’s important to keep in mind that California has a strict statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. This means you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action. If you wait too long, you could be entirely barred from filing a lawsuit.
That’s why it’s so important to contact a California bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident. An experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options. They can also help you make sure your case is filed promptly.
What To Expect from a Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield
When you contact a Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield, they will likely want to learn more about your case. They will ask you questions about the accident and how it happened. Be sure to give them all the details, even if you think they’re not important.
After learning more about your case, the attorney will likely want to investigate further. They may review police reports, take photographs of the accident scene, and speak to witnesses. This will help them build a strong case on your behalf.
Once the attorney has gathered all the evidence they need, they will likely make a settlement demand to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the insurance company refuses to give you a fair settlement, the attorney may recommend taking your case to trial.
A trial can be a long and stressful process. But if you have a strong case, it may be the best way to get the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Get Help from a Bicycle Accidents Attorney in Bakersfield, California
If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, it’s important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. The experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Pathway Injury Lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Don’t wait to get help. Contact us today for a free consultation.