Statistics show that, on average, more than 3,000 crashes occur every year in the Bay Area that involved a car and a bicycle. Too many times, those accidents were the result of a vehicle driver who was going too fast, not sufficiently attentive, or otherwise negligent in the driving of their vehicle. When that happens, you may be entitled to recover significant compensation, so you should waste no time in reaching out to an experienced San Mateo bicycle accident lawyer to find out more about the case you have.
Even more locally, a recent study looked at just San Mateo County alone. That study reviewed five years of vehicle crash data. During that five-year time span, nearly 1,200 bicyclists were hurt (nine fatally) in more than 1,250 San Mateo County crashes, according to the San Mateo Daily Journal.
In most of these bicycle accidents, a vehicle driver committed a traffic violation. The most common of those violations involved a vehicle driver who either improperly failed to yield the right of way, made an improper turn, or else was going too fast.
These traffic violation citations can be an extremely important part of your injury case if you were hurt aboard your bicycle. In California law, there’s something called negligence per se. In an ordinary negligence case, there are several elements that you have to prove liability. In a negligence per se case, you can use that driver’s traffic violation to bypass several of the proof requirements that you otherwise would have had if yours had been an ordinary negligence case.
You Can Still Win Even if You Made Errors
Another thing to keep in mind is that, here in California, your bicycle accident injury case is not an all-or-nothing proposition. It is completely possible to win an award of damages – even a very substantial award of damages – even though you made some mistakes. For example, say that the jury in your bicycle accident case found that the SUV driver who hit you made an improper turn, but also found that you did not keep a proper lookout. The jury found the SUV driver to be 80% to blame and that you were 20% at fault. In that situation, you’d be entitled to collect 80% of the damages that the accident caused. (In other words, $600,000 of harm would mean a judgment of $480,000.)
It’s also important to know that California is a “pure comparative negligence” state. What’s that mean? It means that you do not have to prove that the driver you sued was the main cause of the crash to recover something. Say that the jury found that you improperly turned in front of a car, but that the car’s driver was speeding. The jury found that you were 70% to blame for the crash, but the car driver was 30% at fault. If the jury found that you incurred $350,000 of damages, then you’d still be entitled to collect $105,000 from the car driver.
If you’ve been hurt aboard your bicycle in a collision with a car, truck, van, or SUV, you need diligent legal representation to pursue your case aggressively and get you the best possible result. Count on the experienced San Mateo bicycle accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos to be that kind of effective legal advocate for you. To set up a free consultation with one of our helpful attorneys, contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.