Antioch Bicycle Accident Lawyer

bicyclistCyclists in Antioch and the rest of California are in some measure of danger every time 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 are not paying attention to the bicyclists they encounter every day. In Contra Costa County alone, there were 197 accidents involving cyclists in 2019, according to the Transportation Injury Mapping System. This alone is a frightening statistic, and motorists and cyclists alike need to pay attention to it.

Should You Get a Lawyer for a Bicycle Accident?

As an Antioch bicycle accident lawyer, I’ve witnessed first hand the catastrophic nature of bicycle accidents. I’ve seen people’s lives turned upside down both physically and financially. My staff and I do everything in our power 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 there were 857 cyclists killed in the United States in 2018. In 2019, that number increased by 10 percent. This results from the overall number of motor vehicles and bicyclists on the road. In addition, there were approximately 500,000 ER visits each year in the United States. This is accompanied by an increase in the number of motorists and cyclists who are using cell phones while they are on the move.

Rules That Protect Cyclists

There are special rules that protect bicyclists in California. One is called the Three Foot 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 they are parked alongside the roadway. By ignoring these rules, many bicyclists having nowhere to go 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 as they would 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 that have to do with bicyclists. For instance, while on the road, bicyclists are under the same obligations as motorists, 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 is traveling at a slower speed, 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 is expected to 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 rear of the bike 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 day time 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 find yourself involved in a bike accident, you need an experienced injury lawyer at your side to obtain justice and fair compensation on your behalf. For information on what to look for in the best bicycle accident lawyer in Antioch to handle your case, watch the video below.

Who Is at Fault for a Bicycle Accident?

It is not always the motorist who is at fault for a bicycle accident. However, in the majority of cases, the accident is due to driver error. That is why 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

As an Antioch bicycle accident attorney, I place a great deal of emphasis on the evidentiary aspects of a case. I dispatch my investigative team to the site of the accident immediately before evidence is hidden or disappears 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 my legal team as we build a strong case for my clients.

Bicycle Accident Lawyers in Antioch

I’m Ed Smith, an Antioch bicycle accident lawyer. Being hurt in a bicycle accident can be traumatic for a cyclist and their family. Reach out to me for free and friendly advice at (925) 428-5220, (800) 404-5400, or online.

I am proud to be a member of the following organizations:

I’ve helped clients in all types of car accidents, motorcycle crashes, wrongful death cases, and others involving traumatic brain injuries.

Take the time to learn about my practice by reading reviews by my peers and previous clients and looking at the way prior cases were resolved by visiting the following pages:

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Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.