Antioch Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Cyclists in Antioch and the rest of California are in danger whenever they take to the roads. The risk of cyclist injury or death varies according to the population density in a particular area and the number of drivers on the road. The primary reason for this is that many motorists ignore the bicyclists they encounter daily. According to the Transportation Injury Mapping System, Contra Costa County alone had 197 accidents involving cyclists in 2019. This statistic is frightening, and motorists and cyclists must pay attention.Should You Get a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident?
As experienced Antioch bicycle accident lawyers, we've witnessed firsthand the catastrophic nature of bicycle accidents. We've seen people's lives turned upside down both physically and financially. Our legal team will do everything possible to protect our client's right to recover damages. No one should pay financially for another's mistakes. Our experience in bicycle accident injuries and our ability to see a case through its course are reasons we are considered an excellent choice after an accident. We use our legal acumen and our investigative skills to obtain the compensation you deserve.National Statistics on Injury and Death from Bicycle Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 857 cyclists were killed in the United States in 2018. In 2019, that number increased by 10 percent. This results from the number of motor vehicles and bicyclists on the road. In addition, the United States has approximately 500,000 ER visits each year. This is accompanied by an increase in the number of motorists and cyclists using cell phones while on the move.Rules That Protect Cyclists
There are special rules that protect bicyclists in California. One is called the Three Feet Law. It specifies that motorists leave three feet of space between their vehicle and the bicyclist. Another is that motorists must look for an approaching cyclist before opening their door if parked alongside the roadway. By ignoring these rules, many bicyclists have nowhere to go and are involved in a "dooring" accident, causing catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
Cyclists are allowed to move into a lane when riding alongside a motorist. Their speed may be slower, but motorists must yield to them like another vehicle. This lane movement may happen when the cyclist needs to make a left-hand turn or when passing. It can also occur when the cyclist observes a hazard in their lane, such as a pothole, and needs to move into an adjacent lane for safety.Bicycle Laws in California
While some rules are specific to different cities, such as the ability to ride on the sidewalk, California has a consistent group of laws concerning bicyclists. For instance, bicyclists are under the same obligations as motorists while on the road, such as stopping at traffic lights and signs, yielding to pedestrians, and refraining from using drugs and drinking while riding.
If they are moving at the same speed as the other motorists or not, cyclists are allowed in the normal traffic lanes. However, if a bike lane is present and the bicyclist travels slower, they are expected to move into the specified bike lane. Finally, cyclists must always ride in the right lane with traffic.Ways That Cyclists Can Stay Safe and Avoid a Bicycle Accident
Bicyclists can use practical techniques to stay safe while on the road. Some of the most common are:
- Be noticed: A cyclist must have the required lights and reflectors on their bike. This is particularly important at night. A white headlight must be available on the bike at night. A red reflector must be on the bike's rear, along with a white and yellow reflector on each pedal. In addition, a white and yellow reflector on the front of the bike and a red and white reflector on the rear half of the bike is needed.
- Seats: The seats must be permanent.
- Brakes: It is essential to check the brakes each time the bike is used.
- Handlebars: They may never be higher than the cyclist's shoulders.
- Helmets: These save lives and prevent traumatic brain injury. Children and young adults under 18 must wear a helmet. Adults are not required to wear a helmet, but many do so.
- Be conspicuous: Bicyclists should wear bright-colored clothes in the daytime to make drivers aware of them. At night, using reflective tape on their helmet and armbands help.
- Use signals: Hand signals or those available on bicycles are a good way of letting motorists know your plans. Indicate if you are making a turn and if you plan on moving into the adjacent lane.
- Be alert: Cyclists should know what is going on around them. Using a cell phone or listening to music in both ears can destroy that ability.
- Be sober: Just as motorists should never drink or do drugs when driving, bicyclists are under the same obligation. Both behaviors lower one's ability to judge distance or think clearly. They also make a cyclist or a motorist more likely to take risks.
No matter how safe of a cyclist you are, you have no control over drivers on the road. Because of this, you may face the risk of getting injured in a cycling accident. If and when you are involved in a bike accident, you need an experienced injury lawyer to obtain justice and fair compensation on your behalf. Watch the video below for information on what to look for in the best bicycle accident lawyer in Antioch to handle your case.Who Is at Fault for a Bicycle Accident?
It is not always the motorist who is at fault for a bicycle accident. However, in most cases, the accident is due to driver error. That is why a careful assessment of the collision must be done. At our personal injury law firm, we leave no stone unturned when gathering evidence.How a Lawyer Can Help You
Our law firm places a great deal of emphasis on the evidentiary aspects of a case. We immediately dispatched our investigative team to the accident site before evidence was hidden or disappeared during clean-up. The investigators use accident reconstruction techniques to visualize the positions of both the vehicle and the bicycle before, during, and after the crash. They interview witnesses and review reports from the police for inaccuracies. When all information is readied, the data is released to our legal team as we build a strong case for our clients.Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Antioch
Being hurt in a bicycle accident can be traumatic for cyclists and their families. Reach out to our legal team for free and friendly advice at (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400. See our past cases of Settlements and Verdicts.
Editor's Note: updated [cha 9.15.23] Image by 272447 from Pixabay cd llo [cs 1136]