Arcata Bicycle Accident Lawyer

bicyclist

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 cooler due to marine influences from the Pacific Ocean and Humbolt Bay. While the region sees a fair amount of rainfall each year, 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 convenient to travel between nearby regions.  

Risk of Serious Bicycle Accidents

Unfortunately, whenever bicyclists and vehicle motorists travel the same roads together, there is the risk of serious accidents.  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 make sure that the rights of the injured are protected, and the financial compensation to which they are entitled is maximized. 

Below is a clip documenting steps taken by the City of Arcata 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 contact information and insurance details to the investigating officer. 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 that 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
  • Lacerations
  • 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
The Other Insurance Company

It may surprise you how the negligent driver's insurance company begins to call soon after a bicycle accident. The adjuster will likely act very friendly and assure you that they are looking out for 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 for 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, reach out to 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. If you prefer, you may send your inquiry online.

Since 1982, our firm has been advocating on behalf of Arcata and Humboldt County residents who have been injured due to others' negligence. 

Please see AvvoGoogle, and Yelp for reviews from our clients.

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 12.9.21]

Photo: Pixabay

mm [cs 886] cha

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.