Bakersfield Bicycle Accident Attorneys
If someone else is responsible for the injury you sustained in a crash while riding your bicycle, contact the Bakersfield personal injury attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers today. We might be able to represent you in your case against the negligent driver. The compensation you receive from an insurance claim or lawsuit could cover your medical treatment and other expenses.
Bicycles offer convenient transportation and a source of exercise. They’re enjoyable to take out for a leisurely ride and reliable for the daily commute to work. The pleasant weather in Bakersfield makes it possible to bike everywhere year-round. Unfortunately, more bicyclists mean more traffic and an increased risk of an accident.
Although bikers can take various safety precautions, they can’t prevent others from behaving carelessly. Crossing paths with an inattentive or careless driver puts bicyclists in harm’s way. Riders have a higher likelihood of death during a collision with a motor vehicle. The force of the impact can be violent and instantly cause debilitating or fatal injuries.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, we understand the trauma you experienced from the accident. We are ready to help you hold the negligent party liable for causing your injury. Our bicycle accident attorneys in Bakersfield, CA, will investigate and obtain evidence to prove fault. You can count on us to fight by your side and try to resolve your case favorably.
Call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers at (619) 233-5020 right now for your free consultation and learn more about the available options for pursuing compensation after a bicycle accident.
Common Types of Bicycle Accidents
Multiple scenarios can play out when an accident involves a bike, depending on the circumstances. A bicyclist could swerve to avoid a reckless motorist and crash into a telephone pole or collide with another bicyclist. Riders forced to share the road with cars could get sideswiped by a merging driver who doesn’t check their blind spots.
The most common types of bicycle accidents include:
- Sideswipe collisions – Drivers must ensure enough distance between their vehicle and bicyclists while passing. However, a distracted or careless motorist might pass too closely and sideswipe the rider as they drive by.
- Left-turn accidents – Motorists are supposed to slow down and allow approaching traffic to proceed ahead of them while attempting to turn left unless they have a green arrow. Turning without looking for others could result in the driver turning directly into the path of an oncoming bicyclist.
- Dooring – Many streets offer cyclists a designated bicycle lane to separate them from vehicles on the road. However, they’re often adjacent to parking spaces on the street. Drivers who don’t check behind them for passing bike riders could open the car door directly in their path.
- Backing up accidents – Although speeding doesn’t typically happen in parking lots, collisions can still occur. A bicyclist might cut through a lot while riding to their destination. If a motorist backs up out of a spot without checking behind them, they could hit a bike rider passing by.
- Rear-end collisions – Sometimes, there isn’t a bike lane for riders to use. That means they must share the road with cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Unfortunately, sharing the road increases the danger for bicyclists. A distracted or tailgating driver could collide with the back of the rider.
You shouldn’t allow too much time to pass before pursuing legal action against the negligent party. Whether a driver or someone else caused the crash, it’s critical to start preparing your case immediately. You should reach out to Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers so we can begin our investigation.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents
Motorists find it difficult to notice bicyclists around them. It’s hard to see a biker in a vehicle’s blind spot or while trying to turn at an intersection. Sometimes, a rider appears from behind a parked car, and the driver can’t stop in time to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, bicycle accidents are often the result of driver error. When motorists don’t pay attention to their surroundings, they put bicyclists in danger.
The most common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Distracted driving – Distracted driving is a serious problem on roadways. Many motorists allow distractions to take their focus away from driving. If a driver’s eyes, hands, or mind are busy with another task, they won’t notice a bicyclist in their path.
- Tailgating – When bikers and drivers must share a lane, drivers are sometimes impatient. Drivers often tailgate if the bicyclist isn’t going fast enough. Unfortunately, following anyone too closely prevents the person behind from slowing down or stopping when necessary. If the biker has to slam on their brakes, the driver might not have enough time to come to a complete stop and avoid a collision.
- Driving under the influence – Drugs and alcohol are dangerous when combined with driving. They impair physical and mental faculties. A driver under the influence can’t recognize dangerous situations or react quickly enough to hazards.
- Fatigued driving – It’s not uncommon for motorists to drive despite feeling tired. For many, it’s a normal part of life. Busy schedules and various responsibilities mean little time for sleep and rest. Unfortunately, fatigue endangers the safety and lives of everyone around the driver, including bikers.
- Speeding – Motorists have less control over their vehicles when they speed. It’s more challenging to swerve away from road hazards, stop when traffic comes to a standstill, and avoid crashing into a slow-moving biker around the corner.
It’s vital to contact Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers immediately following a bicycle accident. Our bicycle accident attorneys in Bakersfield, CA, understand the overwhelming journey ahead. You face doctor’s appointments, medical bills, and insurance claims. It’s stressful to take on everything alone. Our team can take over your case so you can focus on recovering.
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Even if you focus on your surroundings and follow all traffic laws, you can encounter a negligent driver and get hurt in an accident. Severe injuries are common for bicyclists involved in collisions with motor vehicles. The most common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Permanent scarring
- Facial disfigurement
- Road rash
- Burn injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb
- Spinal cord injury
Some bicycle accidents are deadly. In 2020, 932 bikers died in crashes involving motor vehicles. This figure represents a nine percent increase from the year before when there were 856 bicyclist fatalities.
Compensation Available for Bicycle Accidents
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, we represent clients in a range of cases involving bike accidents. The unique circumstances of your case will determine the compensation you are entitled to receive. We can’t predict the exact number but can review multiple factors to decide the value of your case and the monetary award we can pursue on your behalf.
Even if you were on your bicycle when the accident happened, you could file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company. Every motorist in California must buy liability coverage. The settlement you receive could compensate you for your accident-related losses, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
If you are a close relative of a bicyclist who died in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit. The compensation you receive might cover losses, such as:
- Loss of the deceased’s guidance
- Loss of enjoyment of intimacy by a surviving spouse
- Lost benefits or gifts family members could have received if the deceased survived the crash
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of the deceased’s moral support, comfort, love, affection, care, protection, assistance, companionship, and society
- The reasonable dollar value of lost household services the deceased can no longer provide
- Financial support by the deceased to surviving family
You might also be able to recover exemplary damages. This type of financial award is only available in a lawsuit. To receive compensation, you must show clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s oppression, fraud, or malice.
Deadline to File a Lawsuit in California
State law requires filing a lawsuit by the two-year period outlined by the statute of limitations. That means you must initiate your lawsuit within two years of the accident date if you want to seek compensation for your losses through the court system.
Although this is a strict deadline, you might be able to extend or delay the statute if one of these circumstances exist:
- Out of state – If the defendant leaves the state before you file suit, their absence won’t count towards the two-year statute, and the clock won’t start running again until they return.
- Legal disability – If you are under a legal disability at the time of the accident, meaning you are of unsound mind or under 18 years old, the statutory period won’t begin to run until you turn 18 or become mentally competent.
Since petitioning the court to extend the statute of limitations is complicated, you should consult Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers. We could prepare the required legal document and file the request on your behalf.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, our Bakersfield bicycle accident attorneys have been representing injured clients for over a decade. We know how to navigate state laws and legal procedures successfully. When you hire us, we will diligently work on every aspect of your case for you so you can take the time to heal your injuries and get your life back on track.
If you sustained an injury in a bicycle accident someone else caused, call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers for your free consultation at (619) 233-5020. We’re available 24/7 to speak with you.