When drivers strike bicyclists, the bicyclists always lose. Bicycles can’t withstand the forces exerted upon them by larger, more powerful vehicles in collisions. This means that bicyclists can suffer fatal or devastating injuries while the motor vehicle’s driver can escape unharmed.
At Nadrich & Cohen, it is important to us that we hold at-fault motor vehicle drivers responsible for serious bike accidents in Sacramento. We fight for injured bicyclists in Sacramento, protecting their legal rights and advocating for fair financial compensation during the settlement process and in trial.
If you can’t afford medical treatment for your bicycle accident injuries, we can get you to doctors who will treat you on a lien, meaning they won’t charge you until your case is over. Best of all, we don’t charge a fee to represent you unless and until we obtain a recovery for you. That means you will never owe us any money out of your own pocket.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident in Sacramento, call us today at 916-443-5486 for a free consultation or text us from this page. You may be entitled to financial compensation.
Sacramento Bicyclists Have Responsibilities And Rights
Bicycles are classified as vehicles by California law. This means that bicyclists need to behave like they are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. They must obey the rules of the road, including riding in the same direction that traffic is moving in as well as stopping for red lights.
Bicyclists also have the same rights as drivers of motor vehicles. They are allowed to ride in the road when there is not a bike lane, and two bicyclists are allowed to ride side by side in the same lane. Bicyclists’ rights are often disregarded by drivers of motor vehicles, who try to pass them when it’s not safe or drive too closely to them. This can lead to death or serious injury.
California sees more fatal bicycle crashes per year than any other state. Most of these accidents happen in urban areas, where bicycles and cars interact frequently. The most common cause of bicyclist deaths and injuries in California is bicycles being struck by cars.
Often times, drivers don’t yield the right of way, run a red light or a stop sign, don’t check for bicycles before pulling out of a driveway, or don’t pay attention while behind the wheel. Careless driving, drunk driving and texting while driving can all lead to bicycle accidents.
Unfortunately, drivers of motor vehicles often escaped unharmed while the bicyclist in an accident is killed or catastrophically injured. You need to use common sense and prudence when riding on roads in Sacramento. You can’t assume that motor vehicles will yield the right of way or stop for you. Ride your bicycle defensively to reduce the chances of getting in an accident.
Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers
It isn’t always possible to avoid an accident when a motor vehicle’s driver acts recklessly or negligently. Speak with an attorney immediately after an accident. No matter how bad your injuries are, you deserve a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can talk about if you are eligible for financial compensation. You may be eligible for compensation for medical bills, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bicycle accidents often lead to catastrophic, severe injuries which can range from spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Bicycle riders have very little protection, so impacts with other vehicles or the pavement can cause many different injuries. Bicyclists are way more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries than those in motor vehicles. The Sacramento bike accident attorneys at Nadrich & Cohen accept clients with many types of severe injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Skull fractures
- Lower extremity injuries
- Internal injuries
- Road rash
Permanent, catastrophic injuries are common in serious bicycle accidents. The survivors of bicycle crashes often have to deal with the consequences of their accidents for the remainder of their lives. Common long-term injuries include head injury or brain injury, paralysis, and physical scars. Bicyclists may also suffer psychologically and emotionally from a traumatic bicycle accident. Working with a local bicycle accident lawyer in Sacramento can help you fight for the most financial compensation possible for your bicycle crash case, including damages such as medical bills, pain, suffering and more.
What Is The Most Common Cause Of Bicycle Accidents?
The most common cause of fatalities and serious injuries to bicyclists in Sacramento is speeding on the part of motor vehicle drivers. A small increase in speed above the speed limit means a large increase in the risk of death in a collision with a bicycle. A vehicle’s collision force and stopping distance are increased by speeding.
Other common bicycle accident causes include:
- Drivers making illegal U-turns or left turns, colliding with oncoming bicyclists in the opposite lane
- Drivers running red lights or speeding
- Drivers not giving bicyclists enough space while passing
- Passengers or drivers opening car doors without looking to see if a bicyclist is approaching (“dooring”)
- Drivers entering bike lanes illegally
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Inattentive or careless driving (such as texting while driving)
Sometimes, drivers of motor vehicles aren’t involved in bicycle accidents. Bicycle crashes can be caused by badly-marked construction sites, roadway hazards, gravel, sand or debris from a construction site on the road, or other dangerous roadway conditions.
If a public agency such as a city might be responsible for your accident, please contact us immediately at 916-443-5486 for a free consultation. The deadline for filing a claim (this deadline is known as a statute of limitations) against a public agency in California is only six months from the date of your accident.
Hit And Run Bicycle Crashes
It is unfortunately common for drivers who strike bicyclists to flee the scene of the accident illegally. They might realize the accident was their fault because they were texting while driving, not paying attention, or driving under the influence, and they might panic and try to avoid liability for the accident.
You have options if you were the victim of a hit and run bicycle crash. It is unlikely that the person who struck you will be found. However, you might possess uninsured/underinsured insurance that can cover your property damage and medical bills.
Gather information from any witnesses after a hit and run accident. Their witness statements might help investigators find the person who collided with your bicycle and hold them accountable for damages. Immediately file a police report. The police have the resources to try to track down the driver who hit you.
Even if the police can’t find the driver, your insurance company will probably need a police report. Get medical treatment for your injuries immediately. Call your car insurance company immediately and find out if you have uninsured/underinsured insurance. Your claim can end here if you do.
How a Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer May Prove Bicycle Accident Negligence
A key element in a Sacramento bicycle accident lawsuit is accountability. Whatever party caused your bicycle crash and injuries will be financially liable for your damages. Holding the right party accountable might require a collision investigation from an experienced Sacramento bicycle accident attorney. The driver will usually be legally responsible, but your crash could have been caused by other factors, like a defective bicycle or a pothole. Once the proper defendants have been identified by your lawyer, your lawyer can help you prove who was at fault for your injuries.
Negligence is the critical element of proof in a California personal injury claim. Negligence is the failure to be reasonably careful to prevent harm. Your attorney must prove with evidence that an at-fault party’s negligence was what caused your accident and injuries. Proving negligence might require interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence from the scene of your bicycle accident, and hiring bicycle accident reconstruction experts. Nadrich & Cohen has the resources to build the strongest possible case for you against one or multiple defendants in Sacramento.
Who Can Be Held Responsible In A Bike Accident?
Bicycle accident injury liability will depend on who was at fault for the accident and the cause of the accident:
- A cyclist may file a claim against a driver or a driver’s insurance company if the accident was caused by the driver of a motor vehicle
- A cyclist may file a claim against a government agency responsible for maintaining or designing the road if a bicycle accident was caused by debris or a road in poor repair
- A cyclist may file a claim against a bicycle manufacturer or repair shop if an accident was caused by a negligently designed or repaired bicycle
- A cyclist may file a claim against the owner of a dog if a dog jumps at them and causes their accident
- A cyclist may file a claim against another cyclist or a pedestrian if their right of way was violated by them
Bicycle Accident Damages
Injured cyclists may receive multiple types of damages, including:
Economic damages: these include losses which can be quantified, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage
Non-economic damages: these include quality of life issues as well as pain and suffering
Punitive damages: These may be awarded to punish egregious offenders such as drunk drivers or street racers
The damage types you will collect in a bicycle accident will depend on the individual circumstances of your case as well as the skill of your lawyer.
What Do I Do If I’m In A Bicycle Accident In Sacramento?
- Ensure your own safety. Move to the side, out of the way of vehicles and other bicycles, if you are in the middle of a bike path or road.
- Call 911 for emergency medical personnel and the police, even if you don’t think you’re badly hurt. It’s common to not realize you’ve been hurt in an accident, and the longer you wait to seek medical treatment, the harder it becomes to obtain financial compensation for that treatment.
- Exchange information with anyone else involved in the accident. Exchange name, license, contact and insurance information.
- Don’t react angrily, but, at the same time, do not apologize or say anything that can be interpreted as admitting fault for the accident. Don’t say “I should have been more careful,” or “I’m OK.” Just be businesslike and polite. Keep talking to a minimum. Anything you say at the scene can and will be used against you by an insurance company or in court. If you say “I’m OK,” an insurance company can claim you weren’t injured and refuse to pay you. If you say “I should have been more careful,” an insurance company can claim the accident was your fault and refuse to pay you.
- Do not agree to a settlement or negotiate with another driver.
- If the vehicle that strikes you flees the scene, try to put together the most detailed description of it as you can, including model, make, description of driver, license plate, any damage to the vehicle, etc., and report this to the police.
- When the police show up, be sure to report to them your version of the accident events, and get a name, police report number and badge number from the officer. You can order a free copy of the police report with this information later.
- Collect evidence if you can. Get the contact information and names of any witnesses.
- Take pictures and/or video of the accident scene, damages and your injuries.
- Don’t try to fix or clean your clothing, helmet or bicycle if they are damaged. Leave them as is.
- Write down how the accident happened as soon as you can, as well as where you and the vehicle were at the time.
- Take pictures and notes of obstructions, road damage or debris in the road. Note if there was a bike path, if you were in the far right lane, or if there was missing or confusing road signage.
- Keep detailed loss records after your accident, including property damage bills, lost wages, and the ways which your injuries interfere with your daily life.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company representing the at-fault party, or an at-fault party’s lawyers. Leave this to your lawyers. It is too easy to accidentally say something an insurance company can use to pay you less or nothing at all.
- Don’t accept a settlement offer before having a lawyer review your case.
- Hire an experienced bicycle accident lawyer, and leave the legal wrangling and advocacy to your attorney.
A law firm that knows the personal injury law system, and has vast experience negotiating with insurance companies will assist you in obtaining much more compensation than you would without a lawyer. They will also do everything for you so you can simply focus on recovering from your injuries.
Call us today at 916-443-5486 for a free consultation or text us from this page if you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident in Sacramento. We don’t charge a fee unless and until we win your case.