Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

Imagine you are a driver who is stopped at an intersection. Out of the blue, another vehicle slams into you from behind. You heard the crash… and now you feel the pain. You probably have a lot of things on your mind in those stressful moments after the crash. One of the first thoughts is probably… what do I do? What can I do? This post will hopefully provide some helpful answers to that and other related questions.

As an example, let’s look at the accident involving P.J., an elderly driver in Salinas. According to a report by The Californian, P.J. was approaching an intersection in Salinas and wanted to turn right. However, as she attempted to turn, she noticed a bicyclist. In order to avoid hitting the bicyclist, P.J. swerved. In so doing, she ended up rear-ending another car at the intersection the report stated.

If you’re injured in crash like that, there are several things you may want to do. First, if you’re pain-free, you may want to take a few moments to record the accident scene with your cell phone. You can take pictures or take video, but only do so after you’ve made sure it is safe to re-enter the crash scene.

Bicyclists have certain obligations when they take to the roads. They are required to observe the rules of the road, for example. Additionally, when a road has a bike lane and a bicyclist is traveling slower than vehicle traffic, the bicyclist is required to use that bike lane. This, of course, presents its own potential issue. What if you, as a bicyclist, are using the bike lane as required by the law and you encounter unsafe conditions in your bike lane, which eventually cause you to crash and suffer injuries? What legal options do you have? Whether you’re hurt in a bicycle accident like this or in a different way, you need answers. Be sure to get them from an experienced San Mateo injury attorney.

As reported by the Fresno Bee, D.B. and M.R. were two bicyclists in Fresno County who found themselves in the position of traveling down a bike lane that became treacherous. They were among seven members of the Fresno Cycling Club out for a Sunday morning ride northeast of the city. As the road dropped into a descent, D.B. and M.R. hit an area where the bike lane was covered in sand and gravel.

M.R., who was in front, was unable to stop before hitting the debris. She wiped out and fell into the northbound travel lane, where a passing vehicle struck her. She suffered a broken arm and dislocated shoulder joint, which eventually necessitated two surgeries. D.B. wiped out, too. He suffered a broken wrist and broken finger, requiring surgery to address the finger injury, the Bee reported.

Any time a loved one is killed due to the negligence of another person, it is heartbreaking. It is also a scary time, as the loss of a loved one may, in addition to causing great emotional damage, also inflict financial hardship upon the loved ones left behind. While no sum of money can replace the loss of loved one, an award of compensation may be both proper and necessary to address the possible financial crisis that a loved one’s sudden death might bring about. To make sure your family gets the compensation that you should, be sure to work with a skilled California injury attorney when it comes to handling your case.

A recent Southern California accident demonstrated how harmful alleged negligence behind the wheel can be. According to a Los Angeles Times report, the accident occurred on a straight and unobstructed stretch of Mulholland Highway in Los Angeles County. A Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputy was returning from having responded to a call. A he traveled down the straight stretch of highway, he allegedly sent a personal text message to his wife and also typed on the patrol car’s computer. The patrol car eventually strayed into the bicycle lane and crashed into a bicyclist at roughly 48 mph. The bicyclist slammed into the police vehicle’s windshield.

Although he was wearing helmet, the bicyclist was declared dead at the scene. The Los Angeles government and the cyclist’s family reached a settlement in which the family received payment of $12 million.

As a bicyclist, a pedestrian, or another user of public roads or sidewalks, you are entitled to expect that the roads and sidewalks will be maintained in a safe condition and, if a hazard exists, that you will be appropriately warned about it. When that doesn’t happen, and you get hurt as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. Sometimes, this compensation may be achieved through a judgment and, other times, a settlement. A skilled Southern California bicycle accident attorney can provide you with needed representation in your case, including helping you analyze decisions like settling versus going forward with litigation.

A few months ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on one California bicyclist whose serious injures led to a large settlement. Peter was operating his bike along Valley Vista Road in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles when his accident took place. While pedaling down the road, Peter encountered a large pothole. Unable to avoid the pothole, the bicyclist tried to drive through the hazard. The attempt was unsuccessful, and Peter lost control, with the crash throwing him to the ground. Peter then sued the City of Los Angeles.

In a case like Peter’s, there are certain essential things that you’ll need to accomplish in order to achieve a favorable result. First, you will need to show that the entity you sued was liable for the harm you suffered. In Peter’s case, he presented proof that the pothole was hazardous due to the deficient maintenance of the road and the low lighting in the area of the hole, which made the pothole “a concealed trap” for people like bicyclists, the Times reported.

As a bicyclist, there are certain risks that come with taking to the road on your bike. That is especially true if you are a racing bicyclist. One of the risks that shouldn’t “come with the territory,” though, is the risk of injury or death due to the negligence of a driver of a car, truck, or van. In one recent case, a van driver’s decision to park that vehicle in the path of a group of bicyclists was potentially an action that elevated the risk of harm to the bicyclists and allowed the family of one dead cyclist to pursue their wrongful death claim. Whether you’re bicycling to race or simply as a means of transportation, you may be entitled to damages if you are hurt by a driver’s negligence. You should act without delay to contact an experienced California bicycle accident attorney about your case.

Suzanne, the cyclist whose fatal accident spawned a recent lawsuit, was from Bakersfield but was participating in a road race in Mariposa County in May 2012. During the race, the race organizer had support vans to assist riders. At one point, a support van stopped to help a rider, and the driver parked the van in the road, within a lane designated for racers. When Suzanne and a group of other racers encountered the van in their lane, the other cyclists were able to swerve into a lane intended for vehicle traffic. Suzanne wasn’t able to steer around the van and crashed into it. As she lay on the ground, at least one other cyclist was unable to avoid her and ran over her. The woman died from her injuries.

Suzanne’s family sued the organizer for wrongful death. The family faced some clear hurdles to success in their case. The law says that there are certain types of activities that carry with them a degree of risk. When you voluntarily choose to participate in that activity, you do something called “assumption of the risk.” That means that you have voluntarily chosen to accept the consequences, including possible harm, that can come from taking part in that activity. In other words, if a football player breaks his leg as a result of a regular and legal tackle executed by an opposing player, the injured player is generally not entitled to a recovery for his damages (absent other special circumstances) because he voluntarily chose to take part in the potentially dangerous activity of football.

There are many different rules established by the law (whether through statutes or court cases). Some are very well known, while others are known mostly only by lawyers. One of these rules, called the “going and coming” rule, affects whether the law considers you to be on the job or on your own time when an accident happens. While many people often associate this rule with claims for workers’ compensation benefits, it can also play an important role in your personal injury case, potentially in a negative way. With representation from a knowledgeable California accident attorney, however, you may be able to overcome this rule and still maximize your claim for damages.

One recent case in which this rule had an important impact was the injury lawsuit filed by a bicyclist named Andres. Andres was riding his bicycle in San Diego County when he collided with a vehicle owned by Brian. Andres hit Brian’s vehicle because Brian opened his vehicle door into Andres’ path, and the bicyclist could not avoid the collision.

Clearly, Andres had a potential claim against Brian, alleging that Brian was negligent in opening the door and that that negligence caused the accident. Pursuing only Brian, however, might mean that Andres might not be able to recover a damages award that fully covered all of the harm he suffered.

Many times, a bicycle accident is a result of the negligent conduct of another driver on the road. Sometimes, though, the source of your injuries may have nothing to do with the conduct of any other driver. In a portion of bicycle injury instances, the harm the bicyclist suffers results solely from the presence of a dangerous condition located along the path the bicyclist took. Just like drivers who are injured by such dangerous conditions, bicyclists too may be entitled to compensation, which is why, if you’re injured in a bicycle accident, it pays to consult a California bicycle accident attorney right away. A recent case from Southern California reported by the San Diego Union Tribune illustrates this.

In other recent cases, injured drivers in the Los Angeles area have recovered damages awards based upon a failure to maintain public property properly. The family of a scientist killed at a blind intersection in San Pedro recovered $23 million in 2016. Another intersection in Redondo Beach with sight-line issues was the basis for a former UCLA football player recovering $35 million.

Further south, a bicyclist who was injured in 2014 while cycling in the early afternoon hours along a sidewalk in Del Cerro, a neighborhood in the eastern part of San Diego, recently secured a multi-million dollar settlement for his injuries. The bicyclist’s injuries resulted when he hit an area of the sidewalk that was raised roughly seven inches, due to the growth over time of a tree root. The root’s effect of raising part of the surface had created an incline such that the sidewalk had become, in the bicyclist’s description, a “launching ramp.” In his lawsuit, the bicyclist contended that the dangerous condition did launch him some 28 feet. After that, he allegedly skidded for another 10 feet, the Union Tribune reported.

A bicyclist injured in a crash during a charity road race successfully managed to revive his case after a trial court had previously issued a summary judgment against him. The bicyclist’s defeat had arisen from his lack of proper evidence in opposition to that summary judgment motion, which was the result of the bicyclist having an attorney who was unable to perform properly due to a serious pulmonary illness. The First District Court of Appeal recently upheld the lower court’s decision to revive the case. The bicyclist’s ability to continue pursuing compensation for the damages he suffered highlights the importance of responding properly when faced with unexpected events that you could not necessarily anticipate but that could damage or destroy your case.

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Health insurance touches many parts of our lives, including how much your doctors charge for your care, since insured people often pay less than uninsured people. One way this can affect you is if you are injured in an accident. In an important ruling issued by the California Court of Appeal, the court decided that a man was entitled to recover the full cost of his reasonable medical bills. The fact that an insured person would have incurred lower costs did not affect his right to recover because he was not insured (and therefore incurred higher actual costs), so he was entitled to receive most of the $3.752 million judgment an Orange County jury awarded him.

The victim in this case was O.B., a bicyclist who was standing next to his bike on a sidewalk when he had the misfortune of being in the vicinity of an auto accident. F.C.’s vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by Nathan Heacox, with the impact sending Heacox’s vehicle crashing into O.B. The incident caused O.B. to suffer serious injuries, including, among other things, a broken pelvis that required multiple surgeries to correct and a broken kneecap.

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In the past decade, there have been more than 30,000 collisions between bicycles and cars in the Bay Area, according to the California Highway Patrol. Most cyclists escape with cuts, bruises and bent wheels, but nearly 2,000 of those bike accidents resulted in death or serious injury. Continue reading ›