Cycling is freedom.
There are many reasons one chooses to ride a bike, and freedom seems to be one of the most cited. Traveling by bike is actually pretty quick for some people (L.A. traffic, YUCK). It makes you fit and makes you feel better. It saves you money and you can get back to nature; it’s an adventure, and you can stop to take in your surroundings. Biking is also good for the environment and most of all, it’s fun!
What’s not fun is when a motorist violates your freedom by negligently causing an accident. This type of accident can be devastating, as the pure force of a thousand-pound vehicle creates an unbelievable force at impact. If you’re reading this, you were probably involved in a bike accident or know someone who was. Each year in California, more than 100 people are killed and thousands more injured in bicycle collisions.
There are many steps to follow after you’ve had the displeasure of the above. Like most of the areas of practice in personal injury law, you must prove that the other “party” to the accident was negligent in causing the accident. Sometimes you have a clear cut case where the other “party” actually intentionally hit the cyclist, but this rarely happens. One of the main issues we see time and time again has to do with the location of the cyclist at the time of the accident. Where exactly was the cyclist riding at the time of the accident? Insurance companies will utilize the California Vehicle Code to their advantage and it is important for one to know the laws on this subject. For example, did you know that if you’re riding your bike on the sidewalk, that you have to ride in the same direction as traffic? Thus, if you’re riding on the opposite side of the street (cars are coming towards you on your right side) safely on the sidewalk, and a distracted driver pulls out of a driveway without looking and hits you, you may have some responsibility for the accident.
There are many things you want to look out for immediately after a bicycle accident. Take down the other driver’s information, including license and insurance, and if you have a phone, snap some pictures and record some video. Contact a personal injury attorney immediately, preferably someone with experience with bicycle cases, such as Halpern & Associates. We have that experience and will guide you through this process with 100% commitment to your satisfaction.