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Del Paso Heights Bicycle Accident Lawyer

del paso heights bicycle accident lawyerRiding a biсусlе is an excellent activity for fitness, commuting, or simply pleasure.  Sacramento, and specifically the Del Paso Heights area, is home to many bicyclists.  Our mild climate and plentiful bike lanes make the region a natural choice for bicycle enthusiasts.  There are, however, many significant safety risks associated with riding a bicycle in Del Paso Heights.  When a bicycle accident causes injuries or death, it is important to consult with a skilled and experienced Del Paso Heights bicycle accident lawyer.  

A Deadly Place to Ride

In 2018, a study found that the Sacramento area was the fifth deadliest in the country for bicyclists.  In California, there were 455 cyclist fatalities between 2016 and 2018. Throughout the state, more males are killed in bicycle accidents than females.  Another statistic shows that, unfortunately, many injury-causing bicycle accidents involve children.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents

California has adopted numerous laws aimed at protecting bicyclists on the roads.  Dеѕрitе that fact, close to 30 percent оf biсусling ассidеntѕ involve an automobile collision. Vehicle versus bicycle accidents are commonly caused by negligence, carelessness, and/or errors on the part of the vehicle driver.  Some examples of negligent driver behavior are:

  • Failing to check for сусliѕtѕ bеfоrе turning at an intersection
  • Not stopping at a traffic control signal or ѕtор sign and striking a crossing сусliѕt
  • Ignoring right-of-way traffic rules
  • Not checking for oncoming bicyclists before opening the саr dооr
  • Distracted driving - taking еуеѕ and attention off thе road, such as when using a mobile device
  • Impaired driving due to drugs or alcohol
Bicyclists’ Legal Rights

The California Vehicle Code outlines the regulations relating to how and where cyclists are allowed to ride on the streets and roads of Del Paso Heights and other neighborhoods throughout the city and state. In general, bicycle riders have the same legal rights and responsibilities as other vehicle operators.

Drivers Must Maintain Three Feet 

California Civil Code § 21670 (the Three Feet for Safety Act) requires that motorists give bicyclists ample space when passing. The code states that a vehicle operator must maintain a buffer of at least three feet between their vehicle and a bicyclist if the motorist is attempting to pass the bike. The law also states that if the driver cannot keep that amount of distance while passing, they must slow their vehicle to a “prudent and reasonable” speed and only begin to pass when it is safe.  The driver must not put the cyclist’s safety at risk. If this code section is violated and, as a result, the driver causes an accident, the driver can be held liable (legally responsible) for any injuries suffered by the cyclist. If such an unfortunate event occurs, an experienced injury lawyer can help the injured cyclist by acting promptly to preserve evidence and by beginning the process of filing a claim against the negligent party or parties.

Watch the YouTube video: the video below comically reminds drivers to maintain three feet for bicyclists.

Steps to Take Following a Bike Accident

If you are hit by a vehicle while riding a bike and are physically able to do so, get the full name, phone number, and insurance information (company name and policy number) from the driver who hit you. Other information that may be important includes the vehicle’s license plate number, the driver’s license number of the person who hit you, and the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the incident.  Also, take many pictures at the scene - of your bike, the vehicle, the scene details, and any visible injuries.  

After you have been evaluated and treated by a medical professional, contact an experienced Del Paso Heights bicycle accident lawyer for assistance with the complex legal process.

Serious Injuries Caused by Bike Accidents

Safe cyclists wear helmets and reflective clothing, but other than that, they have very little bodily protection in the event of a crash with another vehicle.  As such, the potential for life-altering injuries in a car versus bike accident is high.  Some common injuries suffered by cyclists are:

  • Head injuries including concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Fractures/broken bones
  • Deep abrasions/road rash
  • Spinal injuries
  • Rib injuries
  • Injuries to the lower extremities, including knees
  • Lacerations
  • Paralysis
  • Death
Legal Action After a Bike Accident

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in Del Paso Heights bicycle accident, The laws of California provide a way to pursue financial compensation for the damages you have sustained.  Filing a personal injury claim against the negligent driver who caused your injuries can result in the recovery of your lost income and medical expenses, as well as financial compensation for your pain and suffering.

Time Limits to File an Injury Claim

The statute of limitations in California for personal injury matters is generally two years.  That means that your claim must be settled or a lawsuit must be filed with the court before the second anniversary of the accident.  In some cases, such as those involving a government entity, the time limit is shorter - just months.  If you miss the deadline that applies to your claim, you may be barred forever from recovering any monetary damages.  That is another reason why it is so important to contact a skilled bicycle accident lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected.

Del Paso Heights Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Hello, and thank you for reading.  I’m Ed Smith, a Del Paso Heights Bicycle Accident Lawyer. To receive free and friendly legal advice from one of our case managers or injury lawyers, please reach out to our office at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400.  We also provide an online contact form, if you prefer.

For prior case results, see our Verdicts and Settlements page. 

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

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