Bicycling in southern California has always been a popular leisure activity, but it has recently re-gained popularity through citywide efforts to promote healthy living, green transportation, and family fun. Additionally, the access to a bicycle has become easier than ever as companies have given people the opportunity to temporarily use a bicycle for a nominal fee. Without a doubt, cycling enthusiasm has risen exponentially.
With the excitement surrounding cycling, many cities across the state have promoted movements such as “Share the Road”, where drivers are encouraged to be mindful of cyclists. Furthermore, cities have also worked to improve their streets by establishing designated bicycle lanes that help ensure rider safety.
In spite of the amount of support and awareness for safe roads, an increasing amount of cyclists are continuously exposed to roadway dangers such as being struck by careless motorists. Unfortunately, when a cyclist suffers an injury on the road, the consequences are often catastrophic.
Statistics Involving Cycling Accidents
Throughout the United States, bicycle accidents are a very serious concern. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012, 726 cyclists lost their lives as a result of car accidents. The following are other important stats:
Although visibility on rural highways is a major concern, metropolitan areas account for a majority of bicycle accident deaths. About one-third of all bicycle accident deaths occur between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Each year, about 49,000 cyclists are reportedly injured as a result of being involved in a traffic accident.
Roughly 20 percent of those who suffered injuries were cyclists under the age of 15.
After a Bicycle Accident, Obtain the Legal Support of an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Ontario, CA
Riding a bicycle is a great recreational activity that offers a multitude of perks. Unfortunately, cyclists are regularly exposed to countless roadway hazards and an injury can often have serious, life-changing consequences.
At Schwartzberg & Luther, APC, we understand that many drivers fail to pay attention to bicyclists and their negligence often leads to serious injuries for the cyclist. Our firm has extensive experience in handling bicycle accident cases and we have worked hard to establish a reputation in achieving successful results for our clients. If you or someone you know was injured while riding a bicycle, contact us today for a free case evaluation.
The Effects of a Bicycle Injury
In an accident, a cyclist is prone to serious injuries because of his or her exposure to the elements. For example, upon impact, a cyclist can be thrown off his or her bike and land on the hard asphalt. The following are common injuries associated with bicycle accidents: Scrapes, Cuts, Broken or fractured bones, Neck injury, Spinal cord injury, Serious head trauma, or Death.
For many cyclists, the injuries can be permanent, and this can be particularly true if the rider suffered a traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries happen when the victim’s brain undergoes an abrupt physical impact. Symptoms following a traumatic brain injury include, but are not limited to the following:
- Blurred vision,
- Difficulty in focusing,
- Fatigue, and
- A change in energy levels
For many victims, a traumatic brain injury can affect his or her ability to move certain body parts, a serious deficiency in cognitive levels, and trouble with language and speech. Because traumatic brain injuries are serious injuries, many people lose their inability to earn a living and also face the possibility of needing lifelong medical care, which could quickly become very expensive.
Understanding the Legal Rights of Bicycle Riders in California
In California, a cyclist that is on a street or highway has the same legal rights as a motor vehicle driver. A cyclist that has been injured while on his or her bike on a public street may be able to receive financial restitution for his or her medical costs, loss of earnings, loss of quality of life, and pain and suffering. Although the reason behind the accident is essential in obtaining financial compensation, the rider has legal rights that protect him or her in the event the accident was caused as a result of another’s negligence.
How an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Your Case
Bicycle accidents are often difficult cases because the victim will be blamed by the other party for the incident. By seeking the support of a qualified attorney, a bicycle accident victim has an opportunity at achieving a successful case. Skilled personal injury attorneys can help a victim’s case through the following:
- Look into the facts of the case, including police reports, medical records, and other documentation
- Collect hospital bills and other expense reports to calculate the amount the victim has had to pay out of pocket for the damages
- Identify the cause of the incident. This is crucial because there are several parties that could be identified as being the cause of the accident, including the victim. When the victim is found to be partially at-fault for the accident, he or she may still be able to recover a portion of the total compensation. Other parties that could be identified as the cause of the accident include the city where accident took place or the manufacturer or the car or bicycle
- Negotiate with the driver’s auto insurance claims adjuster
- Champion on behalf of the injured cyclists for a just financial settlement
Contact the Support of an Experienced Bicycle Accident Attorney in Ontario, CA
When it comes to bicycle accidents, it is vital to immediately seek medical attention and obtain the legal support of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Bicycle laws in California are ever changing and cities have the power to enforce where a cyclist can ride. An accident without the proper legal representation can easily result in the rider being blamed for the incident. If you or someone you know was injured in a bicycle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.
At Schwartzberg & Luther, APC, we are committed to defending the rights of cyclists that have been injured while on the road. Bicycle accident cases are complex and they can often involve several parties. Because of this, it is important to act quickly and contact the legal guidance of an attorney who can help you build a strong case.