Top Bike Accident Lawyer in California
If you’ve been injured in a bicycle accident, turn to Krasney Law’s experienced attorneys and staff to navigate the complicated laws of California. It takes the skill of an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer to get real results from your injury claim. We can help you recover the maximum amount of damages from negligent or careless drivers and their insurance companies.
California has more than its fair share of bicyclists due to the state’s beautiful weather and numerous cities where riding a bicycle makes more sense than adding another car to overcrowded roads. The state also has more bike crashes and fatalities than elsewhere across the nation. Only three other states, Louisiana, Hawaii, and South Carolina, have higher fatality ratings from bicycling accidents.
Common Causes of California Bicycle Accidents
In California, every bicyclist has the same rights and responsibilities as someone operating a motor vehicle. State laws also dictate where you can ride your bike and how you must equip it. It’s not only your responsibility to know the laws and abide by them. It’s also that of motor vehicle drivers on the roads.
Taking The Lane
One law that many drivers don’t understand or simply ignore is a cyclist’s right to “take the lane.” Even if the cyclist is moving slower than the traffic, they can ride in the center of the lane under any of the following circumstances:
- When passing
- Avoiding hazards in the roadway
- When the lane is too narrow to share
- When preparing to make a left turn
- When approaching an area where a right turn is authorized
Taking the lane allows cyclists to prevent accidents when they pass parked cars whose doors might suddenly open. It prevents traffic from overtaking them on narrow roads and makes it safer to maneuver or make turns. Although the law helps prevents some of the common causes of bicycle accidents, many drivers become hostile when bicycle riders observe this right.
Increasingly, drivers are becoming more distracted behind the wheel. Common practices like texting while driving greatly increase the likelihood of bicycle-related accidents. More importantly, motor vehicle drivers don’t give bicycles the consideration they deserve. It isn’t uncommon for them to try and put the blame for an accident on the bicycle rider even when they aren’t at fault.
Unfortunately, because of the negligence of some drivers of automobiles, cycling can be dangerous. Many drivers simply don’t pay attention to what is on the road ahead of or around them. Automobiles and trucks can be quite dangerous to a person riding a bicycle considering all of the distractions such as cell-phones, radios, and children yelling in the back seat, which many drivers have to contend with.
Although cars and trucks provide substantial protection to the driver, a bicycle doesn’t provide protection. Because of this, serious injuries and death can be the result of an automobile-bicycle accident. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the bicycle rider usually endures the greatest damage and injuries from an accident involving a motor vehicle. A California bicycle accident lawyer can work to get you a fair settlement and ensure you have the compensation you need to get your injuries treated.
If you were the victim of an auto accident, would you hire an attorney who wasn’t familiar with car accident law? If you’re the victim of a bicycle accident, you want an attorney who knows everything about the bicycle laws in your state. Krasney Law has more than 30 years of experience representing victims of bicycle accidents in California. If you have been injured by a car or truck while riding your bicycle, call the team at Krasney Law for a complimentary consultation.
What’s the Value of Your Bicycle Accident Claim?
The value of a bicycle accident claim varies significantly from one case to the next. A California bicycle accident lawyer from Krasney Law will look at the evidence in your case during your initial consultation. A knowledgeable attorney will determine the value of your case based on several factors including:
- The type and severity of injuries you received
- Your costs for current and future medical treatment for your injuries
- Your inability to work and earn an income due to your injuries
- Whether you have any long-term or permanent impairments, disabilities, or disfigurement as a result of your injuries
- Any physical and/or emotional suffering you have experienced
Will My Case Go to Court?
Most personal injury claims are settled without going to court. Negotiating a settlement before trial benefits both parties. It saves a great deal of time and money to litigate a case for months or even years. It also gives you more control over the final amount of your settlement. If left in the hands of a jury or judge, you must accept the final decision.
In some cases, both sides are unable to reach an agreement. Then the case will continue to trial. Even if your case might not go to court, you should begin collecting evidence and following your attorney’s advice throughout the process. This gives your attorney the tools needed to represent you in court and get the best possible results for your claim.
An experienced California bicycle accident lawyer has the skills to negotiate and litigate your individual case. They know what your claim is worth and won’t settle for anything less than a fair settlement.
How Can We Help?
If you are an injured cyclist, we can help you with your claim for compensation from the responsible auto driver. If you find yourself in this situation, call the team at Krasney Law for a complimentary consultation.
We have attorneys and investigators capable of dealing with insurance companies, who try to pay as little as possible, even less than what you have coming. Also, some pedestrian accident victims may need to file a lawsuit to get the insurance company to pay. Keep in mind, getting you back to good health is the No. 1 priority.
Krasney Law’s expert attorneys and staff can investigate the circumstances of an accident and file suit for maximum damages to see that our clients get what they need to cover medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Or, we can negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement in exchange for your injuries.
What Should You Do in Case of a Bike Accident?
No one expects to be in a serious bicycle accident. The reality is that every time you ride your bicycle, there is a chance that you will be in an accident with a motor vehicle. When the unthinkable happens to you, it’s important to know what to do and not do in the moments following the accident. Although you aren’t thinking about pursuing a claim at this point, this is the time to start collecting evidence to take to your California bicycle accident lawyer.
At the scene, first, check on all passengers, drivers and pedestrians involved. If they need medical help, summon an ambulance immediately. Don’t move anyone who is unconscious or reports neck or back pain.
Call the police to report any deaths, injuries or significant property damage and request a police report on the accident. Get the names and badge numbers of officers who come to the scene. It usually takes a couple of weeks to get the local police, sheriff or California Highway Patrol (CHP) to complete the report and make it available for pickup. Most law enforcement agencies charge a fee for the report.
Ask all the drivers for their names, driver’s license numbers, telephone numbers and address. Take down license plates and insurance information from every driver involved. Also get passengers’ names, addresses and phone numbers. This is a great time to start snapping pictures on your cell phone to help you with disseminating all of this information once you are calmed down. If there are witnesses, write down their version of what happened and their information too. Again, you can’t take too many pictures. The other side might argue against your account of the accident. Arguing against the evidence in pictures is a different story.
What You Should Not Do In Case of a Bike Accident
Make sure that you don’t:
- Don’t admit to any degree of fault.
- Don’t speak with the other side’s insurance company without first calling our office. Please keep in mind, the insurance company will want to take a recorded statement to protect themselves, not you. They represent the people that injured you, and they are trying to reduce their financial liability.
- Don’t give a recorded statement to anyone, especially insurance companies, they will use your own word against you later on in the case.
- Don’t talk about the accident, your injuries, or your treatment on social media. The other side knows where to look to find evidence to discredit your claim.
What To Do After You Go Home
When you go home or soon after, contact your insurance company and let them know about the accident. Don’t lie or misrepresent the truthful facts of the accident or they may deny coverage if you’re caught. Obtain a copy of the police report or contact our office and we can help you with that.
Photograph your bicycle and any damage to it. It can help with your case to show them before the accident, too.
If you are injured, make sure to record visits to doctors and other medical practitioners, the drugs and treatments they prescribe and what you spent on them. Pain and suffering are harder to quantify and qualify, but take notes on how you feel physically and mentally because of the impact of the crash.
Also write down all time lost at work, note what activities at work or home that you can no longer participate in, and tell how the aftermath of the wreck has affected your family life.
When Can It Be Considered as Neglect?
The driver of a vehicle who injures another party may be considered negligent when he acts in a careless and thoughtless manner. Negligence comes in two forms: when the driver failed to do something that would have prevented the accident, or when the driver did something he should not have done. A lot of distractions are usually considered negligence, for example, using a cell phone while driving.
California law requires drivers to be careful, and they may be considered negligent when they fail to act carefully. A person bringing a lawsuit must prove he was injured through the defendant’s actions, and that he suffered injuries or losses.
Negligent drivers include those who cause an accident by not paying attention, driving impaired, or failing to give the bicyclists the right of way. Your attorney will determine liability through witness evidence, surveillance cameras, citing by authorities of the motor vehicle driver, and photos you took of the accident site.
Bicycle safety starts with knowing the laws and rules of the road and observing them at all times. Motor vehicle drivers must also obey the laws and rules to create a safe driving environment for everyone on the roads. When failing to do so results in a bicycle accident, you might have a valid claim to help pay for your injuries. You only have one opportunity to prove your case. Make sure you entrust it to a California law firm with a proven record of success.
Hire Krasney Law—California Personal Injury Specialists
To get a free evaluation of your case, speak with an experienced California bicycle accident lawyer who understands the complexities of bicycle accident claims. We have been winning big awards for our clients for years. We have experienced attorneys and expert staff who will go all out to represent you for maximum damages. Call the team at Krasney Law for a free initial consultation. We will charge you nothing for an initial consultation, and we may arrange payment on a contingency basis. That is, we don’t get paid unless you get paid by either accepting a settlement or we go to trial and win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.