Ventura Bicycle Accident Attorney Daniel A. Higson
Bicycling is great exercise and great for the environment, and with California’s wonderful weather, it’s no wonder that cycling has become so popular. California law states that bicyclists have the same rights on the road as any other vehicle, but that doesn’t stop accidents involving bikes from occurring frequently. Bikes are smaller, harder to see, and offer much less protection to the rider than most other vehicles. As a result, a cyclist who is involved in an accident has a much higher chance of injury or death. If you or a loved one has experienced a bicycle accident and needs a personal injury attorney, look no further than Dan Higson. He can help you get the monetary compensation you deserve.
Common Bicycle Accident Situations
Collisions between automobiles and bicycles can occur in many ways. Here are some of the most common scenarios that occur between these two vehicles:
Left-hand Turn – California law states that all drivers who are turning left should yield to oncoming traffic, including bicycles. Unfortunately, sometimes the driver doesn’t see the bike and takes the turn into a collision.
Door Opening – In California, people are required to check and make sure that the way is clear before opening a vehicle door when parked on the side of the road. Often, this law is ignored and a door is opened without proper observation, which can cause a collision with cyclists.
Reversing – California law states that drivers must exercise caution when backing into the street from a driveway or side street. When a motorist suddenly backs into traffic without properly checking around them, they can easily run into an oncoming cyclist.
Merging – Due to blind spots or a lack of observation, drivers can easily cause accidents when merging or changing lanes. Since bicycles are harder to see than most other vehicles, they are often the victim of a collision.
Improper Distance – Although bicyclists are supposed to be given the same respect as any other vehicle on the road, many motorists fail to give them enough space. Many accidents are caused by unobservant or impatient drivers who try to pass too close to cyclists.
Intersections – Intersections are a common location for all sorts of motor accidents. That’s especially true for bikes. If a driver is not paying attention to all directions, rolls through a stop, or is otherwise unobservant, they can easily cause a collision with a cyclist.
Unsafe Road Conditions – Bicyclists are especially susceptible to accidents due to improperly maintained roadways. Debris in the road, potholes, and other poor conditions can all cause accidents. If the road is privately owned, the owner is responsible for keeping it maintained and safe. If it is a public road, the government is responsible. In either case, the owner may be liable for damages.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
Since bikes offer no real protection to the rider, accidents can cause severe injuries, including:
- Concussion or other head injury
- Broken or fractured bones
- Spinal injuries
- Organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Contusions and abrasions (aka “road rash”)
If a bicycle accident occurs, causes injury, and was the fault of another party, the victim should seek the help of an attorney to get proper compensation for medical costs.
What to Do When in a Bicycle Accident
- Seek medical attention, even for minor injuries.
- Cooperate with the police and make a statement.
- Get contact information from witnesses.
- Take photographs if you can do so safely.
- Do not sign medical authorizations or release of claim paperwork.
- Contact an attorney.
When in an accident, it’s important to consider that the insurance companies and the people whose negligence caused the accident might not have your best interest in mind. Seek medical attention first, but then also seek legal help. A good Ventura Bicycle Accident Attorney, such as Dan Higson, can guide you through the tricky paperwork and make sure that you get the most from your personal injury claim.