Were you injured in a bicycle accident in Orange County, California? Was someone else to blame? If so, the bicycle accident attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law want to help you pursue compensation for your medical bills. During this challenging time, you should not be left paying out-of-pocket for your medical expenses and other losses caused by a careless motorist.
You deserve What’s Right. We can help you demand it.
Contact Sam & Ash Injury Law today to speak with a bicycle accident attorney in Orange County. The initial consultation is free. There is no risk in exploring your legal options. It will help you make well-informed decisions with your future in mind.
What You Need To Do After a Bicycle Accident in Orange County
If you are injured in a bicycle accident in Orange County, you must act immediately to protect your well-being and your rights. If at all possible, you should:
- Call 911– When you call 911, the police respond to the scene and dispatch emergency medical services (EMS) as necessary. The police can secure the area, direct traffic to reduce the risk of a further incident and file an accident report. The police report will document the facts of the bicycle accident and who was involved. A police report will be essential to any insurance claim you file.
- Get medical attention– If emergency responders do not respond to the scene, get medical attention as soon as possible. Some internal injuries such as head injuries may not be immediately apparent. Bicycle crashes can cause serious injuries that may worsen if not promptly treated.
- Gather evidence– If it is safe to do so, gather evidence at the scene. Your phone is an excellent evidence-gathering tool. Take photos and videos to capture what happened. Get all relevant contact information for the other parties involved in the accident, such as names, phone numbers, insurance details, and vehicle information.
- Do not apologize– Do not apologize for the accident. If you do, the insurance companies can twist your words and claim you admitted fault for the accident. Tell the responding police officer your recollection of the accident. But do not apologize or assume fault for the accident.
- Contact a bike crash lawyer– It is essential to get legal representation immediately after the accident. An experienced Orange County bicycle accident attorney can investigate to determine what happened and who is liable, then pursue compensation for you through an insurance settlement or personal injury lawsuit.
Why Choose Orange County Sam & Ash Injury Law for Your Bicycle Accident?
If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Orange County, turn to the legal team that is dedicated to fighting for accident victims’ rights. Sam & Ash Injury Law believes you deserve What’s Right. Our Orange County bike accident attorneys will seek the maximum compensation for your injuries and accident-related losses. We will work tirelessly for the best possible outcome. Our hard work pays off in results for our clients – more than $400 million to date and counting.
California Bike Accident Statistics
California is the most populous state in the nation and boasts beautiful weather and varied terrain. It’s not surprising that so many people here choose to ride bicycles. Unfortunately, as the number of bicycle riders increases, so does the number of bicycle accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 129 bicyclists and other cyclists were killed in accidents in California in a recent year, the second-highest number of fatalities in the country.
There are many reasons for the high rate of bicycle accidents in California:
- Climate – Much of California enjoys beautiful biking weather year-round, which makes cycling an option for commuting, exercising, and enjoyment.
- Traffic – California, especially Southern California, is notorious for terrible traffic. Congested roadways can make biking a more efficient option for getting around. However, it also means bicyclists share the roads with cars driven by frustrated commuters stuck in traffic.
- Deficient roads– According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, California roads rank 49th in condition. Poorly maintained roads frequently cause or contribute to bike accidents.
Common Bike Accident Injuries
According to a study published in the journal American Family Physician, the most common bike accident injuries are:
- Road rash
- Head injuries
- Facial trauma, including eye and dental injuries
- Neck injuries
- Abdominal injuries
The study found that 22 to 47 percent of bicyclists suffered head injuries, which were responsible for more than 60 percent of bicycle-related deaths and the majority of long-term disabilities.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
The most common causes of bicycle accidents in Orange County are:
- Distracted driving– Distracted driving causes car crashes and bicycle accidents. Both motorists and bicyclists can get distracted, leading to preventable collisions. A motorist who is not paying attention to the road may not see a bicyclist in the roadway in time to avoid a collision. Taking one’s eyes off the road, even for a moment, increases the likelihood of an accident.
- Speeding – A speeding driver will have more difficulty stopping in time when encountering a bicyclist.
- Driving under the influence– An impaired driver may be slower to recognize and respond to a traffic hazard.
- Failing to yield– Bicyclists have the same rights to the road as motorists. Unfortunately, some drivers may disregard bicyclists at key moments, such as when changing lanes, approaching an intersection, making turns, or backing up.
- Road hazards– Road hazards frequently cause bicycle accidents, especially in California. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that L.A. paid out more than $19 million in one recent year to bicyclists and their families for injuries and deaths caused by road hazards. Examples of road hazards include potholes, uneven or ruptured pavement, wet roads, or debris.
- Bike defects or malfunctions– Bike parts can malfunction, resulting in a sudden loss of control that leads to an accident.
What You Need To Know About California Bike Laws
Under California law, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as other drivers, except in instances the law does not apply to bikes. Here are some laws that apply specifically to bicycles:
- Bicyclists must ride on the right side of the road in the direction of traffic, except when passing, making a left turn, riding on a one-way street or narrow road, or when the right side of the road is closed.
- If a roadway has a bike lane, bicyclists must use it when traveling slower than the traffic speed, except when passing, making a left turn or avoiding a hazard.
- There is no statewide law regarding biking on sidewalks. Cities and counties can pass laws and regulations governing bikes on sidewalks.
- Bicyclists are prohibited from riding on interstates, freeways, expressways, and toll bridges unless permitted by the California Department of Transportation.
- Bicycles must be equipped with the following:
- Handlebars higher than the rider’s shoulders
- Any bike ridden after dark must be equipped with the following:
- A headlight on the front
- A red reflector or light on the rear
- A white/yellow reflector on each pedal or the rider’s shoes
- A reflector on the front half of the bicycle and each side of the back half of the bike
- Bicyclists and their passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.
- Bicyclists may not wear earplugs in both ears or headphones covering both ears.
- Bicyclists may not ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Bicyclists must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections.
How Fault Is Determined in a Bicycle Accident in California
After a bike accident, investigators will consider the following types of evidence to determine a cause:
- Photos and videos from the accident scene
- Phone records
- Driving records
- Peace officer’s crash report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
Using the evidence available, a bicycle accident attorney will seek to prove that another party acted negligently and is financially liable for the accident. Negligence means that the party failed to act reasonably to prevent others from coming to harm – for example, by driving irresponsibly, recklessly, or illegally and consequently causing an accident.
Under California’s comparative negligence system, more than one entity may be at fault for an accident. Suppose a vehicle driver is distracted by their cell phone and doesn’t see the bicyclist ahead of them. The bicyclist makes a left turn but fails to signal before doing so. If the vehicle driver collides with the bicyclist, a court may determine that the driver was 80 percent at fault and the bicyclist 20 percent at fault for the accident. In this scenario, the bicyclist would still be able to recover compensation, but that compensation would be reduced by 20 percent in proportion to the fault the cyclist bears for the accident.
Compensation You Can Get After a Bicycle Accident
Depending on the specific facts of your case, you could be entitled to compensation for the following losses after a bicycle accident in Orange County:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Contact Our Orange County, CA Bicycle Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation Today
If you have been hurt in a bicycle accident in Orange County and someone else was at fault, the attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law want to help you understand your legal options. You may be entitled to hold the motorist who hit you accountable. Contact our Orange County bike accident attorneys today for a free consultation. We only receive a legal fee if we win your case.