Crescent City Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Boasting picturesque trails and majestic redwoods, Crescent City, California, is a favored destination for both cyclists and tourists. With renowned spots like Kellogg, Crescent, and South beaches, the city particularly appeals to those seeking scenic beauty. Notably, Pebble Beach Drive, known for its bicycle-friendly environment, offers breathtaking views of coves and sea stacks, attracting cyclists who enjoy the exercise and scenic ride daily.
Riding a bicycle is an eco-friendly alternative to driving, walking to school or work, or hitting the gym. Despite these advantages, some risks come with cycling. Each year, bicyclists are injured or killed due to careless or negligent drivers who fail to share the road safely. Seeking accountability and justice starts with holding the at-fault party liable through a claim for damages. The right attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of a Crescent City bicycle accident case.Bicyclist Injuries and Fatalities
In 2020, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reported 184 accidents causing injury or death in Del Norte County. Of these crashes, approximately 8 cyclists were injured or killed. Some vehicle versus bicycle collisions may go unreported. This may mean that the numbers may be much higher. A personal injury claim or wrongful death action may be filed against a negligent driver or entity with the assistance of a knowledgeable bicycle accident lawyer serving Crescent City, California.What are the Common Reasons for Cycling Crashes?
The avoidance of bike collisions may be accomplished by understanding what causes them. Most collisions are caused by negligent drivers. According to a 2022 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 64 percent of bicycle fatalities occurred in areas outside of intersections, 26 percent occurred at intersections, and 10 percent occurred in other areas, including driveways, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, parking zones or lanes, and roadsides or shoulders. The following scenarios are some of the common reasons for motor vehicle accidents involving bicyclists:
- Right Turns: Motorists may often forget to check their blind spots when making a right turn. The vehicle may end up in the direct path of the cyclist if the driver does not look before turning. The bicyclist may approach the vehicle from the right side and be struck.
- Rear-End Collisions: A motorist may be unable to stop in time to avoid rear-ending a bicyclist if they are distracted, speeding, and following too closely. Rear-end collisions account for approximately 83.2 percent of fatal bicycle accidents, according to a 2022 NHTSA report.
- Crashes While Backing: A motorist may cross into a cyclist’s path as they reverse out of a driveway or parking stall. Motorists often do not spot bicyclists because they do not pay enough attention.
- Sideswipe Collisions: In California, drivers must maintain a minimum distance of three feet away from cyclists to avoid sideswipe crashes.
- Intersections: As previously mentioned, approximately 26 percent of all car versus bicycle accidents occur at intersections. In some areas, there may not be designed bicycle lanes, which may increase the risk of accidents and injury to cyclists.
- Road Defects: A government entity may be liable for damages if it is determined that a roadway defect caused or contributed to a cycling crash. These cases are subject to a six-month filing deadline instead of the general two-year statute of limitations.
- Dooring Accidents: Cyclists riding on busy streets may come across drivers and passengers who may not check their surroundings before opening their vehicle door. If a vehicle occupant fails to check for a bicyclist before opening the door parked on the street, it may lead to a catastrophic crash.
Cyclists can avoid many traffic collisions by being responsible bicycle riders, and most do. However, cyclists may be injured or killed in crashes due to their vulnerability and lack of physical protection. Careless or reckless drivers cause one too many bicycle accidents, most of which are attributed to:
- Speeding: Cycling crashes are commonly due to speeding drivers. Drivers are unable to stop in an emergency due to higher speed. Furthermore, speeding may increase the risk of injury and death when a cyclist is involved.
- Drunk Driving: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol causes many motor vehicle collisions. A bicycle rider may get seriously injured or killed due to a driver’s careless choices to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired.
- Distracted Driving: A leading reason for traffic collisions involving bicycle riders is driving while distracted. Motorists may text or talk on the phone, drink, eat, talk with passengers, adjust the stereo, or get distracted in other ways, causing crashes.
- Fatigue: A driver who is drowsy or fatigued can cause a roadway crash involving a bicyclist if they are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. It is possible to become fatigued from staying up late the night before or an untreated condition.
An experienced California personal injury lawyer can conduct an in-depth investigation to uncover the evidence supporting a bicycle accident case. This allows the attorney to build a strong case to recover economic and non-economic damages. At AutoAccident.com, our legal team reviews traffic incident reports for errors and works with expert witnesses like accident reconstruction specialists to prove what caused the incident. Our attorneys also collect other types of evidence, including the following:
- Video surveillance footage of the cycling crash from nearby cameras
- When motor vehicle collisions involve cyclists, it is crucial to determine if the motorist violated the three feet for safety law, which is in place in California
- Take photos of the crash site immediately following the incident, including skid marks in the road, traffic signage, foliage obstructing the street view, and more
- Experts perform accident reconstruction to determine the sequence of events leading up to the bicycle accident and establish negligence on the driver’s part
Once all the necessary evidence is collected and preserved, our legal team will work diligently to build the strongest case possible to support our client’s claim. We will handle verbal and written communications with the insurers and defense counsel, including negotiations. Since not all insurance carriers are cooperative and fair regarding the claims process, we will take the case to court if necessary to obtain a favorable resolution. In the video below, our firm owner, attorney Ed Smith, discusses choosing the right lawyer to handle your personal injury case.What Losses Are Recoverable in a Bicycle Accident Case?
If an individual has been injured in a cycling crash caused by the negligence or carelessness of another party, they may be entitled to financial recovery for all the losses they have experienced due to the incident. This requires filing a personal injury claim against the driver or entity that caused the bicycle accident and their insurance company. Compensation in a bodily injury claim for a cycling crash may include but not be limited to:
- Past and future costs of medical treatment
- Wage loss and diminished future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering due to the incident and resulting injuries
- The cost of repairing or replacing the bike if it was damaged in the crash
- Loss of quality of life due to visible disfigurement or scarring and by permanent disability
- Loss of consortium due to physical limitations and marital damage from crash-related injuries
Do not accept an insurance settlement offer without discussing your case in detail in a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney. The right Crescent City bicycle accident lawyer can help you understand your rights under California law and account for the full scope of your damages. Your attorney can help you seek the full financial recovery you need to help move forward from the traumatic cycling crash and rebuild your life.Contact a Bicycle Accident Lawyer Serving Crescent City, CA
An experienced Crescent City bicycle accident lawyer can help identify all negligent parties, build a strong case, and seek maximum financial recovery. The right attorney will work diligently to protect the rights and best interests of an injured bicyclist or surviving family member. You can expect that when you work with our law firm. Call us to speak with one of our lawyers and receive free, friendly case advice at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400. We work on contingency, meaning our legal team only gets paid if we resolve your case successfully.Photo Credit: CristianaRaluca on Pexels.com ds [cs 1402]