Davis Bicycle Accident Attorney
An increasing number of cities in California and throughout the country are taking steps to make their infrastructures friendlier for bicyclists by constructing bike paths and bike lanes on roadways. While other cities and parts of the country are jumping on the “bike-friendly” bandwagon, bicycling has played a prominent role in Davis for the past 50 years. While some surveys and statistics might indicate that bicycling in Davis is not as prevalent as it was in years past, data from the City of Davis’s Bicycle Action Plan estimated that of the city’s 65,622 residents, there were approximately 6,000 commuters who used bicycles as their primary means of transportation.
Just because Davis has been a pioneer in making itself a “bicyclist-friendly” place to live does not mean that Davis is always a safe place to ride a bike. Bicyclists must still share roadways and intersections with motor vehicles and large commercial trucks. This puts bicyclists at serious risk of being involved in a Davis bicycle accident. Statistics from the City of Davis suggest that about 65 bicyclists are involved in crashes and accidents each year.
Whether you are a dedicated and committed cyclist or simply enjoy the occasional bike ride, you can be seriously injured in a Davis bicycle accident. When you are, the assistance of a dedicated and zealous Davis bicycle accident lawyer can help you recover the monetary compensation you need to meet your financial expenses and obligations.Frequent Bicycle Accident Injuries
It’s just common sense: when a bicyclist and a motor vehicle collide in a crash, the bicyclist is most at risk of suffering serious or catastrophic injuries. The precise extent of a bicyclist’s injuries will depend on a number of factors such as the size and speed of the car, angle at which the bicyclist was struck, safety equipment that the bicyclist was wearing, and any other obstacles or objects the bicyclist struck if he or she was thrown from the bicycle. These injuries can include:
- Cuts, lacerations, and/or “road rash”-type abrasions;
- Broken bones and dislocated joints;
- Groin and pelvic injuries;
- Spine, neck, or spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries; and/or
In general, the more serious the injuries suffered by the bicyclist, the greater the amount of medical bills and expenses the bicyclist will face. But these bills are just one of the many types of expenses and losses an injured bicyclist can suffer. He or she may also face:
- Loss of use of the bicycle;
- Lost wages due to hospitalization or recovery periods;
- Ongoing medical needs or rehabilitation costs;
- Lost future wages due to being temporarily or permanently restricted in the type of work he or she can perform after the accident;
- Scars and disfigurement;
- Temporary or permanent disability;
- Pain and suffering; and/or
- Losses experienced by the bicyclist’s surviving family members (if the bicyclist sustains fatal injuries).
This makes retaining an experienced and aggressive Davis bicycle accident attorney so important after you or your loved one has been injured in a California bicycle crash. The sooner you hire a lawyer to represent you, the sooner he or she can investigate the facts and circumstances of your case, take action to preserve important evidence and locate crucial witnesses, and begin to pursue compensation on your behalf.Common Causes of Davis Bicycle Accidents
A bicycle accident can be caused by the negligent (or careless) acts of the bicyclist, by one or more involved motorists, or a combination of the two. Generally, California law allows an injured bicyclist to recover compensation from any at-fault party or parties, even if the bicyclist him- or herself contributed to the accident. In fact, a Davis bicyclist can be found to be primarily at-fault for an accident and still be entitled to recover some compensation (although the bicyclist’s compensation that he or she would receive from a motorist who contributed to the crash will be reduced proportionate to the amount of fault attributable to the bicyclist).
Most bicycle accidents happen at intersections where cars and other cyclists traveling in perpendicular directions meet. (In fact, the City of Davis suggests that almost three-quarters of all bicycle accidents – nearly 75 percent – happen at intersections.) Some of the more common causes for bicycle accidents include a bicyclist and/or a motor vehicle driver who:
- Fails to yield to opposing traffic or bicyclists while making a left-hand turn;
- Riding or driving too fast for the prevailing road conditions;
- Changing lanes without providing a proper or sufficient signal for others;
- Violating the directions of stop signs and/or traffic lights;
- Opens his or her car door in the path of a bicyclist;
- Other causes for crashes.
Determining the cause of your bicycle accident is just one of the tasks your Davis bicycle accident lawyer will undertake on your behalf. Establishing what caused the crash to occur as well as how much fault is properly attributable to other motorists is essential in helping you obtain the maximum amount of monetary damages possible for your injuries and losses.What Should I Not Do After a Bicycle Accident?
You are bicycling around Davis and have just been involved in a bicycle accident. Your next moves and actions can have a serious impact on your future bicycle accident lawsuit. As much as is possible, avoid making any of the following mistakes:
- Saying “I’m sorry” or admitting fault: Even if you are certain that you ran a red light or were not paying attention, avoid making any statements suggesting that you were entirely at fault for causing the crash. These statements can (and often are) be used against bicyclists to limit or deny compensation. Besides, you do not know what negligent conduct the motorist was engaged in that may have contributed to the accident.
- Not seeking medical attention as soon as possible: Even if you “feel okay” after an accident, you should still seek medical attention as soon as you can following the crash. You may have suffered internal or latent injuries that have not yet manifested physical symptoms. Prompt medical evaluation and treatment are necessary in order to limit the damage these serious injuries can cause you. Failing to seek treatment can not only make it more difficult to causally link your injuries to the bicycle crash, but it can also be seen as a form of negligent conduct on your part – meaning your compensation award can be adversely affected.
- Not taking note of witnesses and evidence: In the moments immediately after your crash, your potential lawsuit is probably the last thing on your mind. Nevertheless, taking note of potential witnesses, taking photographs, and recording your observations and recollection of the crash son after it occurs can help your future lawsuit’s odds of success. If witnesses observed the crash, make note of their names and contact information. If you are able to take photographs of the accident scene and your injuries with your smartphone, do so. Record what you remember about the accident in detail as soon as you can following your accident. Then give this information to your attorney so he or she can make efficient and effective use of this material.
Choosing a Davis bicycle accident attorney following your crash need not be stressful or confusing. I’m Ed Smith, and I have been representing injury victims in Davis and throughout California since 1982. My team of legal advocates and I will devote personalized attention to your case and your concerns: we are not seeking to get money, we’re committed to getting you the monetary recovery you need. Contact our offices after your bicycle accident by calling (916) 921-6400 for caring, experienced, and dedicated legal assistance and representation.
We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a prestigious group of trial lawyers who have won multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements.