Due to year-round great weather, San Diego is known as bicycle friendly city. Despite this title, bicycle accidents happen everyday due to the negligence of drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, call the San Diego bicycle accident attorneys at Injury Trial Lawyers, APC today to discuss your case. We have over 20 years of combined experience helping accident victims recover for their damages. The consultation is free and we only get paid if you win.
What a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Do For You
A thorough investigation will more accurately determine liability. The police do not always:
- Get skid mark measurements,
- Photograph the accident scene,
- Speak with additional witnesses, or
- Measure and diagram the scene of the accident.
Because of this, speaking to an experienced San Diego bicycle attorney as soon as possible after your accident is crucial. Your attorney can ensure a proper investigation occurs to establish liability.
An accident attorney can also negotiate on your behalf. After an accident, you’ll probably be contacted by the negligent driver’s insurance company.
Insurance companies have a team of lawyers and adjusters whose only goal is to deny or minimize your compensation. Having a lawyer on your side levels the playing field. Let us focus on getting you money so you can focus on recovery.
Establishing Liability in a Bicycle Accident
If it is at all possible, you should wait for the police to respond to your bicycle accident so an official report can be filed. If you are injured, you must first take care of your injuries.
Try to get basic information from the driver, such as
- Address, and
- Insurance information,
Then wait for the police.
Once you receive a copy of the accident report, make sure the information in the report is accurate. If the driver was ticketed, this can help you settle your case.
The officer should have taken your statement as well as the driver’s, although in some cases the officer decides the cyclist is at fault without even asking for a statement.
In addition to the official investigation, it is always helpful for you to write down every single thing you can remember about the accident. Keep a journal and track:
- Your physical symptoms,
- Your doctor visits, and
- Every financial expenditure related to your accident.
You should never communicate with your insurance company before contacting a knowledgeable injury attorney.
Statute of Limitations in Bicycle Accidents
It is important that you contact an attorney soon after your bicycle accident. In the state of California you have two years from the time of your accident to file a case.
There are certain exceptions to the statute, however these exceptions are rare. If you were hit by a government-owned vehicle, you have even less time to file your case—just six months. Your attorney is your best resource for ensuring your case is filed in time. If the suit is not filed within that time, you could be forever barred from filing a lawsuit.
Potential Damages Following Your Bicycle Accident
Your actual damages will depend on:
- The circumstances surrounding your accident,
- Who was at fault, and
- The extent of your injuries.
You may be entitled to have all your medical bills related to the accident taken care of. This includes:
- Hospital bills you received as a result of your accident,
- Doctor bills, including those you can reasonably be expected to have in the future,
- Prescription drug medications,
- Rehabilitative services you may need, and
- Even possibly gas money to and from your doctor’s office if it is a significant distance away.
You may also be entitled to lost wages, particularly if you are hurt so badly you will never be able to return to your former employment. You may be entitled to past, present and future lost wages. You could also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, and, if the driver who hit you did so willfully or maliciously, you could be entitled to punitive damages as well.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Of course there are many factors associated with bicycle accidents, however those below are the most common:
A “right cross” is when a car pulls out of a
- Parking lot,
- Alley or side street,
and then either
- pulls right in front of a traveling bicyclist, or
- turns to the right,
hitting the cyclist who has just barely cleared the front of the car. The driver in this scenario has failed to yield to the bicyclist’s right-of-way, and has also failed to watch for the much smaller bicyclist.
Drivers can strike a bicyclist who is crossing the street, as the driver makes a right turn, and fails to see the cyclist. Known as the “right hook,” this can also occur when a driver passes a bicyclist, then quickly makes a right turn, causing the bicyclist to collide with the car.
Open Door Accidents
Drivers often park their car, then open their car door directly in front of a bicyclist, who simply does not have the time to make an evasive maneuver.
Drivers can rear-end a bicyclist, severely injuring, or even killing the bicyclist. This often happens in two different situations. When the driver cannot see the bicyclist, possibly at night. Or when an inebriated or drugged driver fails to see the bicyclist in front of him or her.
This occurs when a driver traveling in the opposite direction as a bicyclist makes a left turn in front of the bicyclist, striking the cyclist.
Types of Injuries Most Common in Bicycle Accidents
If you have been struck by an automobile, you likely suffered serious injury. This may require hospitalization and physical rehabilitation.
While any injury is possible when a 3,000-pound vehicle strikes an unprotected bicyclist, the most common type of injury includes:
- Head and neck injuries,
- Bruises, and
- Bumps and skull fractures
Brain trauma can result in cognitive problems, including:
- Difficulty concentrating,
- Inability to create new memories,
- Inability to speak, and
You may also experience behavioral issues such as:
- Laughing and crying, or
- Persistent repletion of words or actions.
Other problems may include:
- Balance issues,
- Slurred speech,
- Gastrointestinal disorders,
- Fatigue and visual disturbances can also occur following brain trauma.
Bicyclists who are struck by an automobile could have broken bones, spinal injuries, facial lacerations, and internal injuries as well.
San Diego Bicycle Accident Statistics
San Diego statistics for bicycle crashes and bicycle collision fatalities are a bit different from the national statistics, according to an article in the San Diego Tribune. Between the years 2011 and 2013, bicyclists between the ages of 15 and 19 were the most likely to be involved in San Diego County crashes, and males are much more likely to be involved in bicycle collisions. According to one San Diego County Report, there are many issues in the area which lead to bicycle collisions.
As an example, the bike lane on Mission Gorge Road is too narrow. Further, the higher the speed limits for autos, the higher the automobile-bicycle accident rate. The narrow bike lanes in downtown San Diego are particularly detrimental to bicyclists. Also, safety of bicycle riders is often ignored by motorists.
Speak to a San Diego Bicycle Accident Attorney Today
Contact a knowledgeable San Diego bicycle accident attorney. Your attorney will investigate your accident, ensure your rights are protected, and work hard to get you the compensation you are entitled to.