Frequently Asked Questions About Bicycle Accidents in California
Riding a bicycle on highly trafficked roads can be quite dangerous. However, if you are struck by a motorist or injured in an accident while cycling, you still have rights. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand your case.
I was injured in an accident on my bicycle. What do I do next?
- Contact the police
- Photograph the site and take physical evidence
- Keep a written, detailed record of your memories of the incident
- Gather pertinent information from the driver and available witnesses
- Contact a bicycle accident lawyer
How soon should I meet with a lawyer following my accident?
As soon as possible. Though you will want to file your claim after all medical treatment and rehabilitation have been paid for, to get the most from insurance, a California bike accident lawyer can be of service from the beginning, including evidence retrieval.
In an accident between a bicycle and car, is the motorist always at fault?
Not necessarily. Bicyclists have responsibilities on the road; if fault is uncertain or debated in an accident, the court will take as much evidence as is available and determine a shared percentage of fault to divide the damages appropriately.
Are there responsibilities owed to bicyclists by motorists on the road?
Yes. Motorists are expected to watch for cyclists and never cross into marked bike lanes. Cyclists are also treated as pedestrians in terms of crosswalks and intersections.
Are there special laws that govern my behavior on the roadway, as a cyclist?
Yes. Driving on the appropriate side of the road, outfitting yourself with reflective gear, watching for motorists, and observing sidewalks and bike lanes are all required.
What damages might I be able to accrue through a lawsuit?
- Coverage for medical bills
- Bicycle repair
- Coverage for lost wages
Can I still file a claim if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Absolutely. The court will determine percentage of fault by assessing the case. Damages can then be adjusted depending on negligence.
What should I do if my loved one was killed by a motorist while cycling?
You may be entitled to compensation if you are financially burdened by the death of a loved one. This type of case would fall under Wrongful Death.
Can I file a claim if I was attacked or obstructed by a dog while riding?
Potentially. If the dog owner violated leash laws and his or her pet was obstructing the road or bike path, you may be eligible for damages.
What should I do if I was struck by a hit and run driver?
If you are physically able to, call the police. Provide as much identifying information about the vehicle, the driver, and your whereabouts as possible. If possible, find witnesses immediately. In many cases, police are able to track down the responsible party, especially if license plate information is obtained. In cases where the driver was not identified, turn to your own insurance company’s Uninsured Motorist liability coverage. An experienced lawyer can assist this process.
Does my automotive insurance protect me while cycling?
Not in California. However, the other motorist’s insurance will if you are in an accident with a motor vehicle. The only exception is when you are harmed by another motorist and he or she leaves the scene or has no insurance. In that case, the uninsured motorist portion of your own insurance can assist you.
Is there such a thing as bicycle insurance?
Yes, there are companies that insure cyclists for liability up to $100,000.
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident and believe you are eligible for compensation due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, contact the law offices of Estey & Bomberger, LLP today. (619) 295-0035
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