Arcata Bicycle Accident Lawyer
The City of Arcata, California, has an avid cyclist population. One reason for this is the temperate climate. Unlike many areas of Northern California, the summers are not stifling hot, and the weather is much more remarkable due to marine influences from the Pacific Ocean and Humbolt Bay. While the region sees a fair amount of rainfall yearly, that does not keep people from getting out for a bike ride. In fact, because of the large number of cyclists in the area, the City incorporated a Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan in 2010. The county put together a Humbolt Regional Bike Plan in 2018. Both programs were designed to help make bicycling safer, more interconnected, and more convenient to travel between nearby regions.Risk of Serious Bicycle Accidents
Unfortunately, there is the risk of serious accidents whenever bicyclists and vehicle motorists travel the same roads together. Collisions between bicyclists and motorists occur regularly, and the number of bicyclist fatalities nationwide has been on an upswing in recent years. This has led to cities adopting plans to provide safer passageways for cyclists and pedestrians.
When bicyclists suffer injuries because of the negligent actions of motorists, an experienced Arcata bicycle accident attorney can ensure that the injured's rights are protected and the financial compensation to which they are entitled is maximized.
Below is a clip documenting the City of Arcata's steps to promote safe bicycling.What to Do After an Arcata Bicycle Accident
If you are hit by a vehicle while riding your bike, there are several things you should do to preserve and strengthen the value of any claim for damages you may have related to the accident. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may want to ensure that the following steps are taken:
- Immediately call the police and report the incident.
- Give your statement about how the accident happened to the investigating officer.
- Seek medical evaluation and treatment even if you believe your injuries to be minor.
- Ensure the negligent motorist gives the investigating officer contact information and insurance details. If no police come to the scene, you should obtain this information or have someone do so on your behalf.
- Ask for contact information from any independent witnesses to the incident.
- Take photos with your phone of all involved vehicles, your bike, any visible injuries, and details of the scene, including street signs.
- Note any businesses or residences in the collision area with cameras that may have recorded the crash.
- Following the accident, keep track of your symptoms and medical appointments, and document the healing of any visible injuries with photographs.
Of course, the above steps should only be attempted if you are physically able. Sadly, many times, a bicyclist who has been struck by a car is severely injured and unable to do anything besides wait for an ambulance to arrive.Injuries Common to Bicycle Accidents
Because bicyclists have nearly no impact protection, bicycle versus car accidents can cause devastating injuries. Some common injuries suffered by cyclists are:
- Concussion/traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Deep abrasions/road rash
- Complete or partial paralysis from spinal cord injury
- Ruptured discs in the back and neck
- Ruptured ligaments
- Strains and sprains
- Limb amputations
- Wrongful death
It may surprise you how the negligent driver's insurance company begins to call soon after a bicycle accident. The adjuster will likely act friendly and assure you they seek your best interest. Do not believe it. An insurance adjuster understands that the most essential part of the job is to save the company money. First, they will want to take a recorded statement to find any information they can use to downplay your injuries. Then, they will attempt to get you to settle quickly, often before the extent of your injuries is even known. You are not required to provide information to the other party's insurance, and we advise that you don't - at least not until after you speak with an experienced Arcata bicycle accident lawyer.Deadlines to File a Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
If your case does not settle before the second anniversary of the accident, a lawsuit must be filed before that date, or you will likely lose all rights to recover any damages. California has a personal injury statute of two years, and the time you must act is shorter - only six months - if you were hit by a government vehicle. Because of these complexities and many other reasons, you must contact an experienced injury lawyer as soon as possible after a severe accident.Call an Experienced Arcata Bicycle Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our team of skilled injury lawyers to help with your case at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. We are happy to offer compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice with no obligation. Since 1982, our firm has advocated for Arcata and Humboldt County residents injured due to others' negligence.
Editor's Note: updated [cha 10.10.23] Photo: Pixabay mm [cs 886] cha