Bicycle Accident Lawyers Serving California Help You Get Back on Your Feet
Rely on our experience to get the compensation you deserve
Bicycling can be a way to get where you’re going, get some exercise or simply enjoy the outside world. Unfortunately, drivers often don’t pay enough attention to bikes when they open car doors, change lanes or cross intersections. If you have been injured in a California bicycling accident, you need an experienced injury law firm like Crane Flores, LLP on your side. Our bicycle accident lawyers in Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara have more than 40 years of combined legal experience. We can help you get compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages.
Bicycle accident facts
Most roads are designed for cars and can be a dangerous place for bikes. In 2010, 618 bicyclists were killed and 52,000 more were injured in accidents involving motor vehicles. California led the country with 99 bicyclist fatalities in 2010. Whether you are in Oxnard or Santa Barbara, you should always bike with caution.
California bike laws
Under California law, bicyclists must wear a helmet each time they ride. Helmets protect you from most head injuries, but the force of the impact when struck by a car or truck can still result in serious harm. Because there is little to protect the rider, injuries can include bruises, fractures, head trauma and spine injuries, which are the same injuries typically seen in pedestrian accidents.
Both drivers and bicyclists have obligations on the roadways. Under California Vehicle Code Section 21200, “Every person riding a bicycle upon a street or highway has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.” This means that bicyclists and drivers must follow the same rules of the road, such as obeying stop signs, yielding to oncoming traffic and signaling when turning.
Common causes of Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara bicycle accidents
Drivers of motor vehicles often don’t share the road very well with bicyclists. Crashes frequently occur when:
- The driver fails to yield. Accidents frequently occur at intersections when motor vehicle operators fail to yield the right-of-way and turn into the path of a cyclist.
- The driver is inattentive. Drivers often do not exercise enough care when backing out of a driveway, changing lanes or passing a bicyclist.
- The driver is impaired. Drinking and driving accounts for a large percentage of all bicycle accidents. In many cases, the accident may also be a hit and run.
- The driver carelessly opens a car door. Although illegal under California law, drivers often open their car doors into the path of an oncoming bicyclist.
- The driver enters the bike lane. While riding in a bike lane should be safer, car drivers cause serious accidents by unexpectedly veering into these lanes if they are distracted while driving.
Pursuing a bicycle accident claim
When someone else’s negligence is to blame for a bicycle accident, victims are entitled to compensation for their injuries. Damages may include medical expenses, loss of wages and pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, insurance companies and other responsible parties often try to blame the bicyclist for the accident. Common allegations include that the biker was changing lanes improperly or rode into the path of a car. Because California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, it is always important to fight these claims. If you are found at fault for the accident, any recovery you receive in an injury lawsuit is reduced by your percentage of liability. For instance, if you were 10 percent at fault for the accident, your damages can be reduced by 10 percent. This is yet another reason to have an experienced bicycle accident attorney on your side.
Call now for a powerful legal ally
At Crane Flores, LLP, our seasoned lawyers help injury victims recover from serious bike crashes. With offices in Santa Barbara, Oxnard and Ventura, we serve clients throughout California. We also offer hospital or home visits to accident victims and their families. Call our offices today at 805.568.5927 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.