Bike Accidents on the Rise in the Orange County

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Bike Accidents on the Rise in the Orange County

Upon an accident, bicyclists face a higher risk of serious injuries. Obtain necessary compensation by speaking to an established personal injury attorney today.

Bike riding in Southern California is very popular, as it provides a heart-healthy and eco-friendly alternative to traffic. Although many cities and counties have taken a bike-friendly approach to ensure the safety of bike riders in their communities, far too many drivers are not sufficiently careful around bike riders. According to data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), bike accidents have unfortunately hit an all-time high in the Golden State.

The NHTSA reports that bike accidents have been increasing since 2009. Although there are many factors that contribute to the increasing rate of bicycle accidents each year, negligence is one of the leading causes of bicycle accidents. Based on California personal injury laws, negligent parties that cause another’s injuries as a result of their intentional or wrongful actions could be held responsible for the damages they cause. After a bike accident, compensation could be obtained when the driver was negligent.

Bicycle accidents can lead to unique injuries that could affect a bike rider for a long time. Depending on the severity of the accident, some of the most catastrophic injuries bike riders are prone to are traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal injuries. Whenever a bike rider is injured in an accident, financial compensation may be obtained from the negligent driver.

When a vehicle collides with a bicyclist, the cyclist is more likely to sustain serious injuries than those in the motor vehicle. The injuries suffered by cyclists after a traffic accident can have debilitating consequences, but they can also have costly results. For example, if a cyclist is struck by a vehicle traveling at high speeds, the cyclist can suffer a traumatic brain injury, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injuries cost billions of dollars in medical expenses each year.

After an accident, it is not uncommon to have both parties attempt to place blame on one another. For one, drivers can be inclined to place fault on cyclists to avoid liability or to decrease the damages amount. As a result of California’s pure comparative negligence law, drivers can also be inclined to place fault on riders so that the rider bears responsibility for his or her part in causing the accident. Fortunately, establishing liability after a bicycle accident involves more than just pointing fingers. If you were injured in a bike accident, a well-versed bicycle accident attorney can help you recover the compensation you deserve.

Establishing fault after a bicycle accident is a complex process that requires the collection of important evidence, a thorough investigation, and the support of a well-established personal injury attorney. Bicycle accidents in California are subject to a strict statute of limitation; consequently, getting started on the claims process as soon as possible is imperative to a successful case. After an accident, discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney today.

Duty of Care for Drivers in California

Motorists in the State of California have a legal duty to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. This is to minimize the risk of potential collisions and/or injury to others sharing the road. Drivers have an obligation to remain vigilant of the road and their surroundings as well as abide by traffic laws. Drivers who fail to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner, ultimately causing harm to another, can be held accountable for their negligent actions.

While there are many different forms of negligent actions drivers can commit that could lead to bicycle accidents, the following are some of the most common: Driving while distracted, Driving while sleep-deprived or fatigued, Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Failure to follow traffic laws, right-of-way rules, or traffic signals, and Failing to check blind spots before opening the car door or making a turn.

Cyclists Also Have Responsibilities

Many bicyclists fail to recognize that they share the same responsibilities and duty of care as motor vehicle drivers. For example, when on the road, cyclists must abide by traffic laws, remain aware of their surroundings and the road ahead, as well as obey all traffic signals. When a cyclist fails to abide by the rules of the road, the cyclist may face liability for his or her share in the accident.

Examples of negligence on behalf of bicyclists can involve the following: Failing to signal when making a turn, Failing to use the designated bicycle lane, Failing to follow traffic signals, such as passing a stop sign, or Riding the bicycle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Establishing Liability After a Bicycle Accident

Negligence is an extremely complicated legal concept. The State of California defines negligence as the failure to act with a level of care that another reasonable party would have, given similar circumstances. In spite of its complexity, proving the driver’s negligence is necessary to achieve a successful bicycle accident case. The following four elements must be presented in the bicycle accident claim to demonstrate negligence: The accused driver owed the bicyclist a duty of care; The accused driver breached or violated his or her duty of care in some form; The violation led to the cyclists’ injuries; and The injuries caused significant damages.

As previously mentioned, all drivers in the state are obligated to drive safely, which translates into the driver’s duty of care. A breach of duty of care can be a traffic violation, but proving this can be difficult. In addition, providing that the damages sustained were caused directly as a result of the driver’s actions can be challenging. To ensure a strong case is built against the accused party, it is necessary to obtain skilled legal counsel.

Proving a Bicycle Accident Claim

Although a majority of bicycle accident claims involve the careless actions of a driver, identifying the at-fault driver’s negligence can be challenging. Ensuring the negligent act is strongly demonstrated in the case is of utmost importance in a successful bicycle accident case.

While there are many forms of negligence that could lead to a bicycle accident, the following are the most recurring negligent acts that give rise to personal injury claims in California:

  1. Careless Driving – All drivers in California have a duty to drive responsibly and they should share the road with bicyclists. Drivers must pay attention to the road ahead of them and ensure they are complying with all traffic signals and laws. Unfortunately, poor driving leads to many traffic accidents each year, including bike accidents. Careless driving can include failing to yield the right of way for a bike rider, forgetting to properly signal a turn, and driving while distracted.
  1. Road Rage – Many drivers in California can experience frustration when driving in heavy amounts of traffic. Driver frustration, coupled with impatience, can lead to aggressive driving that could result in reckless driving. Drivers who are engaged in road rage can attempt to improperly pass bicycle riders in an attempt to drive past them, they can also follow too closely or even side-swipe riders. Sadly, some drivers may intentionally threaten or purposefully injure riders.
  1. Intoxicated Driving – Intoxicated drivers can find it very difficult to concentrate on the road ahead, which unfortunately could lead them to strike a bicyclist riding in front of them. Intoxicated driving is a preventable cause of life-threatening bicycle accidents. In spite of this, intoxicated driving causes thousands of fatal and non-fatal injuries each year.

Obtaining Maximum Compensation is Possible With the Support of a Skilled Attorney

Bicycle accident cases can quickly and easily become challenging for injured cyclists. Many cyclists often face accusations from drivers who attempt to undermine the case in an effort to pay the least amount possible. Building a strong case against the negligent driver can be difficult, but it is possible with the support of a well-versed personal injury attorney. Even when a cyclist bears partial responsibility for the accident, such as failing to stop at a stop sign, compensation can still be recovered. If you or someone you love was injured in a bicycle accident, take immediate action and contact the support of a skilled attorney who can represent your case.

As a result of the severity of most bicycle accident injuries, injured riders can incur astounding damages. Fortunately, financial compensation can be obtained, which could cover past and present medical care costs, loss of income, emotional trauma, and other related damages. If you were injured in a bicycle accident, seek the legal support of an experienced attorney you can depend on.

If you have been injured while riding a bike in Orange County, CA, protect your rights by consulting with a local Orange County Personal Injury Attorney.

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Bike Accidents on the Rise in the Orange County

OrangeCountyLawyers.com is a highly localized attorney directory which includes comprehensive information about lawyers that we have verified based on their profile with the California Bar. We have determined this to be the best way to validate that an attorney is local because this is legally required to be up to date and accurate.