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Placerville Bicycle Accident Lawyer

bicyclist
Bicycle accidents are a problem everywhere in California, especially in collisions with motor vehicles. Placerville offers a lot of opportunities for bicycle enthusiasts as well as riders who use this mode of transportation to get around town. Because Placerville is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the area offers great biking opportunities with varied elevations and plenty of scenic beauty. It draws not only locals but visitors from other places. When out enjoying the weather and being outdoors, it’s easy to forget that accidents can happen.

If you were in a bicycle accident caused by a negligent motorist, an experienced Placerville bicycle accident lawyer can help.

Best Biking Trails Around Placerville

There are many great biking trails around Placerville, including the 28-mile El Dorado trail that starts on Mosquito Road, following the route around Sly Park Lake and the 8 Loop in Eldorado National Forest. Because of its scenic location, Highway 50 and Highway 49 are the major routes to Placerville from locations such as Sacramento and South Lake Tahoe. Because of this, traffic can interfere with a rider’s ability to safely navigate through the area on public roads.

Bicycle Accidents That Cause Trauma

Traumatic injuries are not uncommon when a negligent motorist collides with a bicyclist because of the rider’s lack of protection when compared with a vehicle. Some of the more common accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Contusions and road rash
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Neck injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Chest trauma
How Motorists Are Negligent in Bicycle Accidents

When a motorist is in a collision with a bicycle rider, negligence is often the cause. Many times, the driver will say they did not see the bike rider. However, a driver has the responsibility to use duty of care toward others on the roadway. When they fail at that duty, they can be held financially liable. Under personal injury law, an injured person may place a claim to cover all of their medical expenses, pain and suffering and for their lost wages. This amount can be calculated by an experienced Placerville bicycle accident attorney and can include future damages if the injury is expected to continue. Some of the ways a motorist exhibits negligence that causes bicycle accidents include:

  • Making a right turn at an intersection in front of a bicyclist can cause the rider to crash into the vehicle.
  • Moving too close to a rider in violation of the California three-foot distance rule can cause a collision.
  • A driver ignores the bicycle rider’s right of way, which can force the bicyclist to make an emergency maneuver and crash.
  • A motorist backs out of a driveway or exits a parking lot without checking first for bicyclists.
  • A driver parallel parked at a curb and opens their car door without checking to see if a bicycle rider is coming.
  • A motorist stops suddenly in front of a rider, which can cause a rear-end collision, ejecting the bicyclist. 
Safety Tips for Bicycle Riders

Bicycle riders are at risk of severe injuries when involved in a crash with a motor vehicle. However, there are ways to increase their safety. These include:

  • Always wear a helmet, even though they are only required for those under 18. Bicycle helmets have been proven to help prevent serious head injuries in an accident.
  • Make yourself more conspicuous by wearing brightly colored clothing and never wear black after dark. It is too difficult for motorists to spot you.
  • Ensure your bicycle is the correct size for you and in compliance with California law. That includes a white light in front, red reflector in the rear and pedal reflectors in yellow or white.
  • Don’t drink or do drugs and ride a bike. 
  • Don’t use earphones or earplugs while biking. This makes it more difficult to hear surrounding traffic.
  • Obey traffic laws. They apply to bicycle riders just as they do to motorists.
  • Use hand signals when turning.
  • Avoid distractions and stay alert for problems.

Watch the following video on how to choose an attorney:

How a Lawyer Helps Following a Bicycle Accident

When bicycle accidents occur, the first people who arrive at the scene are the police and emergency responders with the fire department. We send our investigators to the crash site immediately to begin collecting important evidence to support your injury claim. What they do includes the following:

  • It is the responsibility of the police to make an accurate record of how the accident occurred by compiling accounts by those involved and witnesses. The police also gather evidence to corroborate those statements. Investigators for our law firm independently collect evidence to confirm witness statements and ensure the accuracy of the police report. 
  • Performing accident reconstruction is an important part of an investigation involving bicycle accidents. Reconstructing the accident shows the positions of the motorist and bicycle rider before, during, and after the impact, which is a strong indicator of who was at fault. Evidence of this type is used by insurance companies and in court cases.
  • Searching for videos of the accident: In some cases, an accident between a bicycle rider and motor vehicle is caught on tape by a nearby business, traffic camera, or even a homeowner’s security system. 
  • Road damage evidence: Road damage caused by the driver in an accident can tell whether the driver tried to stop or not through tire tread marks left at the scene. This type of evidence can point toward speeding, drunk driving, a distracted motorist, and other causes.
  • Government negligence: Because the upkeep of roadways is the responsibility of a government entity, neglect can come into play in bicycle accidents. Poor road design, potholes, obscured signs, and other types of negligence mean that the government entity can be held financially liable in an accident.

Once all the evidence is compiled, our lawyers use it to build a case in favor of our client. It can either be used when negotiating on the client’s behalf with the insurance company or in preparing a strong case to present in court.

Placerville Bicycle Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Placerville bicycle accident lawyer. When you are injured by a negligent motorist, you have the right to claim financial compensation. If you would like to hear my free and friendly advice, please call me at (530) 392-9400 or at (800) 404-5400 if you are phoning long-distance.

Reading client reviews and looking over cases a law firm has handled in the past is an excellent way to decide whether or not to call for legal advice. Information on my law firm is found below for your convenience:

The National Association of Distinguished Counsel and Million Dollar Advocates are two groups I belong to as a member of California.

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

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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.