Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle Accident Statistics in California
While California’s year-round sunshine and mild temperatures may make it seem like the perfect place to ride a bike on a regular basis, the truth is that cycling in California is very dangerous. To be sure, data shows that not only are there hundreds of bicyclist-involved crashes in the state each year, but also that the number of fatal bike accidents is on the rise. Over a three-year period in the state, there were over 450 cyclists killed in traffic accidents--a number that is shockingly high, and yet doesn’t even account for the number of cyclists involved in crashes who suffered severe, but not fatal, injuries. In Sacramento County, data shows that over a five-year period, there were 2,783 bicyclist collisions reported. These numbers are unacceptable. Call a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer in California right away. We will protect their future.
How Bicycle Accidents Happen
Bicycle accidents are almost always entirely preventable and would not occur but for the negligence of one of the parties involved; often, the at-fault party is the driver involved in the crash. Driver behavior that leads to bicycle accidents include:
Following too closely;
Failing to provide enough room between a motor vehicle and a cyclist when driving side-by-side or passing;
Failing to yield;
Driving while distracted;
Driving while intoxicated;
Failing to look before turning; and
These behaviors often result in the following types of bicycle accident crashes:
The right hook accident. This type of accident occurs when a driver who is making a right-hand turn fails to see a cyclist directly to their right, usually who is traveling straight through the intersection. This results in the driver turning directly into the cyclist.
The left cross accident. Similar to the right hook, a left cross accident happens when a driver who is making a left-hand turn through an intersection does not see a cyclist who is traveling straight through the intersection. It is very important that cyclists always make eye contact with drivers before proceeding through intersections, even when they have the right of way.
Dooring accidents. One of the most terrible types of car accidents is a dooring accident. This type of bicycle accident happens when a driver opens the driver-side door of their car directly into the path of a cyclist who is traveling to the right side of the road, often in a bike lane.
Driveway accidents. Driveway accidents occur when a bicyclist is traveling on the road, bike lane, or sidewalk and passes a driveway where a driver is backing up their vehicle. If the driver does not see the cyclist, there is a strong chance that the driver will back up their vehicle directly into the cyclist or into the cyclist’s path, both of which can have devastating consequences. Call a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer in California right away. We will protect their future.
The above list of types of accidents does not fully capture all of the potential accident types that can occur. If you have been in a crash and have been severely harmed, please call our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer to learn how we can help.
Injuries from Bicycle Accidents in Sacramento
When a cyclist is struck by a motor vehicle, the damages are often deadly. When injuries are not fatal, they may be severe enough to cause long-term harm and disability. Common types of bicycle accident injuries include:
Traumatic brain injuries A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is one of the injury types that a cyclist involved in a crash is most at risk of sustaining. This risk is exacerbated if the cyclist is not wearing a helmet. In a crash, it is nearly impossible for a cyclist to not hit their head. TBIs can be fatal or impact memory, thinking, learning, language, sensation, emotion, and more long-term. Call a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer in California right away. We will protect their future.
Spinal cord injuries. When a cyclist’s body is hit with force, the spinal cord could be damaged in the process. A spinal cord injury can have devastating results--the spinal cord is responsible for communicating messages between the brain and the rest of the body. If this messaging system is disrupted due to an injury, the injured cyclist can suffer complete or partial paralysis from the site of the injury in the spinal cord downwards. Spinal cord injuries are permanent.
Broken bones and soft tissue injuries. Bone fractures and strains and sprains to ligaments and muscles are all likely in a bicycle crash. Wrist, elbow, and collarbone fractures are especially common in cycling accidents.
Amputation and crush injuries. Sometimes, a cyclist isn’t only hit by a motor vehicle, but actuallyruns over. This type of crash is one of the most horrific, as it often results in fatal injuries. When this type of accident is not fatal, the cyclist may be left with crushed or amputated limbs, as well as internal injuries.
Psychological injuries. The above injury types touch on some of the most common types of physical injuries that a cyclist is likely to suffer in a crash, but don’t mention any of the psychological injuries that are common. One of the most common psychological injuries following a bicycle accident is the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. Anxiety and depression are common, too, especially as a person grieves over their injuries and disabilities.
Why Are Bicycle Accidents So Deadly?
Bicycle accidents are so deadly because cyclists have few protections to prevent injuries. While drivers are protected by the frames of their vehicles, airbags, and seatbelts, a cyclist has nothing--sometimes, not even a helmet. As such, it is the cyclist’s body that absorbs much of the force of the crash. If a crash happens at high speeds, which increases the amount of force involved in a collision, then it is much more likely to be fatal. With that in mind, even accidents that occur when a driver is traveling slowly can be devastating.
Steps to Take After a Sacramento Bicycle Crash
If you have been involved in a Sacramento bicycle crash, or if you are a loved one of someone who has been severely harmed or killed in a bicycle accident, it’s important that you take certain steps. While it can be hard to know what to do--as well as to actually do anything as you cope with loss--the following will be important for preserving your right to file a claim, as well as increasing your chances of recovering your full settlement amount.
Make sure the accident is reported to the police. You need to report the accident and request a copy of the police report. You will need this for filing an insurance claim, and a police report is an important type of evidence. Contact our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer for immediate help.
Gather as much evidence at the scene of the accident as possible. While your injuries may preclude you from gathering evidence, if you are able to, you should take pictures of the accident scene and your visible injuries, make note of lighting and weather conditions, draw a diagram of how the accident happened, get the driver’s information and vehicle information, and write down the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses, as you may need to contact them at a later date.
Go to the hospital and get medical care, and be sure to follow your doctor’s orders. In most cases, injuries are so serious that choosing to not get medical care isn’t an option; immediate medical care is necessary. If you are in a situation, though, where your injuries aren’t life-threatening, you still need to get medical care. You also need to make sure that you follow your doctor’s orders precisely; if you don’t, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case could argue that you didn’t do your due diligence to mitigate further harm. Contact our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer for immediate assistance with your case.
Call your insurance company to report the accident. After your accident occurs, you need to call your insurance company--even though you weren’t driving a car--to report the accident. In many cases, your policy may still provide some form of coverage, even though you weren’t in a car.
Hire a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible. As soon as you are able, you should hire a Sacramento personal injury attorney. Sacramento bicycle accident Lawyer can help you to build your case and gather evidence while it’s fresh. Working with an attorney early on in the process also helps to ensure that you don’t breach the statute of limitations on your case.
Damages Recoverable in a Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawsuit
If you have been involved in a bicycle accident in Sacramento, you no doubt have suffered serious losses and are wondering about compensation and payouts during the insurance claims process. While our law firm cannot provide you with a guarantee of how much you will recover, Our Sacramento bicycle accident Lawyer can promise to advocate for your right to recover your full settlement amount. Types of damages that are recoverable in a Sacramento bicycle accident claim or lawsuit include:
Medical expenses to pay for your medical costs and future medical costs, including hospital stays, doctors’ bills, surgery costs, medication costs, rehabilitation costs, and more;
Lost wages and loss of earning capacity if your injuries prevent you from being able to return to work or being able to earn the same level of compensation that you did before your accident;
Property damage costs to compensate you for the value of your bicycle and any other personal property damaged during the accident; and
Pain, suffering, emotional distress and any other noneconomic losses you’ve suffered.
What to Do After Being Offered a Bike Accident Settlement
When you are severely injured in a crash and are facing economic and noneconomic losses, being offered a settlement can be a huge relief. Hoping to settle the case as soon as possible rather than to draw it out any longer, you may be tempted to accept the settlement offer. Unfortunately, the insurance company realizes this and plays on your vulnerabilities; they may offer you less than you deserve precisely because they believe that you will take it. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you have your settlement offer reviewed by a legal professional and that, in most cases, you reject a first-time settlement offer. Through the negotiations process, you can ask for an amount that you believe more fairly compensates you for your losses. Contact our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer for immediate assistance with your case.
Keep in mind that once you accept a settlement offer, there is no going back--when you accept, you release your right to further claims, which means that you will not be able to pursue any further damages.
How an Experienced Sacramento Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
When you call the experienced Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer of Cutter Law, P.C., we will work hard to get you every cent that you deserve. Our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer or attorneys know how to investigate a case, can bring in experts to help build your claim, and understand the ins and outs of proving fault and liability. Our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer also know how to calculate damages and prove that you deserve to be compensated in full.
Not only are we skilled negotiations , but talented litigators, too. If your case goes to court, we’ll be by your side to support you along the way.
To learn more about our Sacramento bicycle accident attorneys and your rights after a serious crash, please call our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer directly today. Our Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer or attorneys are here to support you and help you seek justice when your life has been unfairly and wrongly impacted by another’s negligence.