More and more people in Orange County are choosing to ride their bicycles as a healthier, less expensive and more environmentally-friendly alternative to driving their cars or taking public transportation. With miles of off-street bike paths and designated bike lanes on many Orange County highways, there are more bicycles on the road now than ever before. Unfortunately, sharing the road with Orange County motorists has proven to be rather dangerous for bike riders, thanks to careless, impatient and reckless drivers who fail to consider the safety and extreme vulnerability of cyclists. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident in Orange County, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Contact our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys at DAG Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Affordable Orange County Bicycle Accident Attorney
In the aftermath of an Orange County bicycle accident, your first step should be to contact the police as soon as possible so that the accident is properly investigated. Then, seek medical attention to ensure that your injuries are thoroughly documented, even if you don’t think they are severe. Your next step, if your injuries were caused by a negligent driver, should be to contact an attorney who can ensure that your legal rights are protected and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Our personal injury lawyers at DAG Law Firm are committed to protecting the rights of Orange County bicycle accident victims and can help you obtain the compensation you deserve so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Injuries Resulting from Bike Accidents
The nature of a bicycle accident injury depends on a number of factors, including the location of the impact, whether the cyclist was wearing a helmet or other safety gear, and the speed at which the collision occurred. Because of their small size, bicycles are less visible on Orange County roadways, and the limited protection they offer riders make them particularly vulnerable to serious accidents that can result in debilitating injuries. Some common injuries caused by Orange County bike accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Back injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck injury
- Head injury
- Wrongful death
The sheer size and weight of the average motor vehicle means that any time a cyclist collides with a passenger car or truck, regardless of how fast or slow the vehicle is traveling at the time of impact, the cyclist is bound to lose. Even conscientious cyclists who wear their helmets and other protective equipment while riding can suffer devastating or life-threatening injuries when struck by a motor vehicle.
Common Causes of Orange City Bicycle Accidents
Regardless of whether a bike accident is a solo incident or involves a collision with another vehicle, the accident is, in most cases, the result of someone’s negligence. Driver negligence is the most common cause of bicycle accidents in Orange County, and many bicycle-vehicle collisions take place at intersections, where drivers tend to make right turns on red without first checking for cyclists coming up in the bike lane on their right. There are many possible causes of Orange County bike accidents though, including the following examples of driver negligence:
- Reckless driving
- Turning directly in front of a cyclist
- Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection
- Failing to judge a bicycle’s speed or path
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Unsafe lane changes
- Passing cyclists too closely
Determining Liability in Orange County Bicycle Accidents
In the state of California, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and cyclists therefore have the same right to the road as drivers operating motor vehicles and are required to follow the same traffic laws. Motorists traveling on Orange County roadways are, in turn, obligated to share the road responsibly, which means abiding by the laws designed to protect cyclists as well as other drivers. Too often, serious accidents are caused by negligent or careless drivers who fail to keep a close eye out for bicycles, and when that is the case, the injured cyclist may hold the negligent driver liable for his injuries.
In order to obtain the compensation they deserve, injured cyclists or their loved ones must show that the bike accident injuries were caused by the negligence of another driver or someone else. There are a number of other parties that could be held responsible for your bike accident, besides another driver. If, for example, the bike accident was caused by dangerous road conditions, such as large potholes, debris in the road, or damaged or cracked pavement, the local or state government agency responsible for maintaining the road may be liable for your injuries. If the accident occurred because of the defective design of the vehicle that hit you, the car manufacturing company may be found at fault for the accident.
Seeking Compensation for an Orange County Bike Accident
In California, bicycle riders account for 4.7% of all traffic fatalities, and many of these tragic deaths could have been avoided had other motorists practiced safe driving techniques behind the wheel. Victims of Orange County bicycle accidents caused by the negligence of another person or party may be entitled to financial compensation for damages including past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, long-term disability, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and more. If a loved one is killed in a bicycle accident, surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death.
Following a serious bicycle accident, the injured cyclist may file a claim with his – or the other person’s – insurance company to cover the cost of medical bills and any necessary bike repairs. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notoriously slow and claims adjusters often take advantage of accident victims who attempt to settle their own claims, offering low-ball settlements or denying claims altogether in hopes that victims will simply give up and settle for less than they deserve. For this reason and for others, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent your claim with the insurance company, or in court if you decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Free Bicycle Accident Consultation in Orange County
If you are an avid biker in Orange County, you know how dangerous the roads can be for cyclists. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 700 people are killed in bicycle accidents in the U.S. every year, and more than 40,000 others are injured. And despite statewide efforts to reduce the risk of tragic bicycle-vehicle accidents, cyclists are more likely to be injured or killed in California than in any other state, according to a study conducted by the California Governor’s Highway Safety Administration. If you have been injured in an Orange County bicycle accident caused by negligence, you may be able to pursue compensation for damages from the at-fault party. Consult our experienced personal injury attorneys at DAG Law Firm today to discuss your legal options.