Bicycle Accident ATTORNEYS
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a 64% increase in people using bicycles to commute to and from work between 2000 and 2012. That number is only continuing to grow. Unfortunately, the increase in bicyclists on the road has been accompanied by an increase in accidents that leave riders severely injured.
As with motorcyclists, a bicycle rider has far less protection from the elements, road hazards, and motor vehicles. If a car strikes a bike at typical traffic speeds, a rider will be lucky to survive with serious injuries that require months to recover from.
California law allows bicyclists to share roads—and even some rural freeways—with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, while many cities like Sacramento and Roseville have taken measures to accommodate riders, accidents still happen. Survivors and families of victims face considerable challenges when trying to win financial compensation for their losses.
Fortunately, Penney & Associates can help victims of bike accidents fight back. We’ll help win a fair settlement that allows you to focus on moving on after an injury or the loss of a loved one.
COMMON CAUSES OF BICYCLE ACCIDENTS
- Alcohol – Of all bicycle accidents in 2016, 29% involved alcohol. A rider can be just as impaired by alcohol as the driver of any motor vehicle. Of course, the consequences for a bicyclist can be more severe when drunk drivers are involved, as reduced inhibitions often lead to higher vehicle speeds.
- Other Vehicles – Cars remain a regular threat to bicycles, regardless of the involvement of alcohol. The laws vary from state to state, and even between cities. In California, the laws allow bicyclists to share city streets with cars. However, the small size of bikes next to cars and city buses can make it very easy for a careless driver to steer into bikes that have the right of way.
- Manufacturer Defects – Bad brakes, cracked body frames, or inherent design flaws can all contribute to a bicycle accident. If equipment failure on a bike is discovered to be due to a manufacturing defect, they could potentially be held liable for any injuries caused.
- Unsafe Road Conditions – Roads in need of maintenance can contain all manner of obstacles dangerous to a bicyclist. Uneven sections of a street or deep potholes might not be visible to a rider until it’s too late. If the bike hits these obstacles in just the right way, a rider can be launched off the bike.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR BIKE ACCIDENT IS CAUSED BY POORLY MAINTAINED ROADWAYS OR CITY STREETS.
The law generally places responsibility on a city or state for maintaining their infrastructure. City streets and sidewalks should be safe for vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike. However, with cities like San Diego facing considerable legal and financial backlash for their ailing sidewalks and the injuries they have caused, existing laws are being challenged and rewritten to put more responsibility of property owners. This has presented a new challenge to bicycle accident victims in determining who is responsible for their accident.
If you have been injured in a bike accident due to unsafe road conditions, there are some things you can do to help your case:
- Take pictures of the road where the accident occurred – The truth is that there are simply too many potholes for some cities to keep perfect track of. But when an accident does happen, there is a possibility that a work crew could be on site within days to effect repairs on the damaged street. Pictures allow you to keep a visual record of conditions that may have led to your injuries. Make sure you write down the exact street names, and the closest intersections of your accident as well!
- Preserve your bike – If your bike was damaged in the accident, leave it ‘as is’ for investigators to look at if possible. If you need to continue using the bike for your daily commute, be sure to take pictures of the damage. Having your own record of the damage can help you when it comes time to bring your case to an attorney, as this will provide them with evidence of the severity of your accident.
- Try to get contact information for any witnesses – If others watched your accident happen, they could provide valuable accounts of the accident to your attorney or during a trial. If the street has been a known problem to local residents, the city or property owner will have to explain why repairs to the street were not completed sooner.
PENNEY & ASSOCIATES CAN HELP YOU RECOVER DAMAGES AND REGAIN YOUR PEACE OF MIND
Whether your bicycle accident is the result of a negligent driver or a pothole in the road, you have dealt with a potentially traumatic experience. If you’ve suffered major injuries, you could be out of work for weeks, months, or even years, and are likely facing expensive medical bills. Your insurance company and attorneys representing others involved in the accident may try to limit your compensation, painting you as responsible for your own injuries.
At Penney & Associates, we have helped clients meet these challenges head on for over 35 years. We know that victims and their families are under physical and emotional distress, and want to accommodate them in their time of need. With a free personal injury consultation, our attorneys will help establish all the facts surrounding your case, and present to you all the options at your disposal. We can help you seek an out of court settlement, and we are always prepared to vigorously represent our clients during trial.