I Was in a Bicycle Accident. Do I Need a Lawyer?

I Was in a Bicycle Accident. Do I Need a Lawyer?

Bike accident lawyers

Startlingly, the U.S. witnesses an average of 11,000 bicycle accidents each year. When bicycles and motor vehicles collide, the result can be devastating injuries for cyclists but virtually no injuries to vehicle drivers. This is the reality that many cyclists face here in California and elsewhere in the U.S. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a bike accident due to negligence, our experienced Riverside bicycle accident lawyer can assist you in obtaining financial compensation from the driver who hit you. Our personal injury law firm offers free consultation and no upfront legal fees. Call us today at (909) 703-2420 or complete our quick online contact form. 


Why Do Bicycle Accidents Happen?

Bicycle injury lawyers

According to a recent safety report from BikeLA, a bicycle advocacy group based in Los Angeles, four main factors contribute to deadly bicycle crashes:

  • Speed exceeding 35 mph
  • A lack of dedicated infrastructure for cyclists
  • Multiple travel lanes on roadways
  • Poort street lighting 

The report found that 85% of bicycle fatalities happened on roads without dedicated bike lanes. Additionally, 77% of deadly bicycle accidents occurred on multi-lane roads with three or more lines in each direction. 

Many deadly collisions involving cyclists happen at night when visibility is poor. This is also true of pedestrian deaths, which hit a 40-year high in 2022. 


Who Is At Fault: The Driver or Bicyclist?

Determining fault in a bicycle accident depends on who acted negligently and caused the accident. There are instances where the driver, the bicyclist, or both parties may be at fault. 

When the Driver is at Fault

  • If the driver fails to yield the right of way to a bicyclist.
  • If the driver violates traffic laws or acts negligently, causing the accident.

When the Bicyclist is at Fault

  • If the bicyclist fails to follow the rules of the road, they can be held liable for the collision.
  • Examples of bicyclist negligence include running red lights, failing to yield, or riding against traffic. 

Shared Fault

Sometimes, the driver and the bicyclist share a degree of fault. In some states, like California, the principle of comparative fault means that both parties can share responsibility for an accident. 

For example, if a cyclist is found to be 30% at fault and the driver 70%, any damages awarded to the cyclist would be reduced by their 30% share of fault. 


Do I Need a Bicycle Accident Lawyer? 

Bicycle accident attorneys in Riverside

Injured victims of bike accidents, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of traffic accidents often turn to their insurance company or the other party’s insurance after an accident. 

While this may work for minor collisions involving minimal damage and no injuries, a bike accident lawyer can prove essential for more serious accidents involving bike accident injuries.

An experienced bicycle accident attorney can protect you from the insurance company’s deceit and ensure you receive full and fair compensation. After your accident, contacting a lawyer as soon as possible is important. The longer you wait, the less likely your bicycle accident case will be valid. 

Types of Recoverable Damages 

One of the main benefits of working with a Riverside bicycle accident attorney is recovering maximum compensation for your damages. Many bicycle accident victims suffer not only from serious injuries but also months-long rehabilitation and missed time from work. A lawyer will consider all this when calculating and presenting your damages to the insurance company. 

Some of the factors that go into determining the value of a bicycle accident claim are:

  • The severity of the injuries
  • The cost of past and future expenses 
  • Lost income from work 
  • Future loss of earnings 
  • Physical pain and anguish 
  • Emotional trauma
  • Diminished quality of life 


Bicycle Accident Frequently Asked Questions

Riverside bicycle accident attorney

Here are some commonly asked questions about bicycle accidents. 

What should I do if I’m involved in a bicycle accident?

If you’re involved in a bicycle accident, here’s what you should do:

  1. Check for Injuries: Assess yourself and others for bicycle accident injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately.
  2. Stay Calm and Safe: If possible, move to a safe location and wait for emergency services to arrive.
  3. Call the Police: Report the accident to the police and wait for them to arrive. Ensure a police report is filed, which will be crucial for personal injury claims.
  4. Exchange Information: Exchange contact details, insurance information, and driver’s license information with any other parties involved in the accident.
  5. Document the Scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including your bicycle, damage, and road conditions. This documentation can be valuable for your bicycle accident case.
  6. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel okay, seeking medical treatment is important to ensure no hidden injuries.
  7. Notify Your Insurance Company: Immediately notify your insurance company about the accident, but be careful with what you say. Do not apologize or discuss fault.

If I’m partially at fault, can I still recover compensation?

Yes. You can still recover compensation even if you’re partially at fault for a bicycle accident. California follows a pure comparative negligence rule, meaning you can still file a personal injury claim if you are technically 99% at fault. However, your settlement amount will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. 

When do I have the right-of-way?

Bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as vehicle drivers. However, vehicles must also share the road with bicycle riders and give them the right-of-way in bicycle lanes and paths. 

What are the bicycle helmet requirements in California?

In California, if you are under 18, you must wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet. While adults over 18 are not legally mandated to wear helmets, it is strongly recommended for safety. Helmets protect 

How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim?

Bicycle accident victims have two years from the date of their bicycle crash to file a claim against the other party. Beyond this statute of limitations, injured cyclists are most likely unable to pursue a claim. 


May Is National Bike Month

Bicycle safety tips

Every May, the League of American Bicyclists celebrates National Bike Month. It’s a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling and encourage more people to try biking. During National Bike Month, here are some important things to remember:

  1. Always wear a helmet. Protect your head in case of a bike accident. A helmet is your best defense against head injuries.
  2. Obey all traffic laws. Bicycles are considered vehicles; you must follow the same rules as motorists.
  3. Ride your bike in the same direction as traffic. This increases visibility and predictability on the road.
  4. Use hand signals. Communicate your intentions to drivers and other cyclists to avoid collisions.
  5. Be visible. Wear bright clothing and use lights, especially when riding at night or in low-light conditions.
  6. Stay alert. Watch for road hazards, pedestrians, and vehicles that may not see you.
  7. Plan your route. Choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds, and use bike lanes or paths when available.
  8. Maintain your bike. Regularly check your bike’s condition, including brakes, tires, and lights. 

If you are involved in a bicycle accident that caused an injury, you may need a California bike accident lawyer. Sycamore Accident Lawyers is a team of experienced bicycle accident lawyers who have experience winning bicycle accident cases. Our strong determination and aggressive negotiation tactics secure top compensation for our clients. With our dedication to the cycling community, we support bike riders across Southern California.

Our bicycle accident attorneys are available and ready to speak with you during a free consultation. Call our law firm today at (909) 703-2420 or online