Injured in a Car vs. Bicycle Accident?
San Jose Bicycle Accident Attorney Representing Injured Cyclists
Bicycle accident cases present a unique set of challenges for injury victims. Collisions are particularly frustrating. Anyone who rides has likely experienced a vehicle making a sudden and unexpected move into one’s path of travel, as though the rider were invisible. No turn signal, no head turn, no eye contact, nothing. As if that were not enough, there is frequently bias against cyclists. We all know that motorists are required to share the road. However, that does not mean a motorist can be oblivious to their surroundings. They cannot make a sudden lane change, a sudden turn, or open a door for that matter unless and until it is safe to do so. If a negligent motorist caused your bicycle accident, then you have the right to fight for compensation.
San Jose attorney Braid Pezzaglia has handled motorcycle and bicycle personal injury cases for 20 years. He has proven common misperceptions wrong time and again. Police reports often assess liability based on incomplete, inaccurate or biased information. It is Mr. Pezzaglia’s years of reviewing investigative reports, testing evidence, finding “unfound” evidence, and questioning assumptions that have led to millions of dollars of settlements and judgments.
What Are Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
Across California, the number of cyclists that commute and ride for fun is increasing. To support the increased interest in cycling, more and more bike lanes and trails are being built, cycling laws are being enacted to protect riders, and bike activity groups are booming. With an increasing number of riders on the roads, it is unfortunate that bicyclists face a higher risk of being injured in a bike accident. There is no doubt that the biggest risk bikers face is motor vehicles. Whether sharing the road, in a bike lane, or on the sidewalk, motor vehicles pose an immediate threat to cyclists.
Common causes of cycling accidents include:
- Driver of a motor vehicle failing to see cyclist
- Drivers failing to yield to cyclist
- Motor vehicle operator making an unsafe turn
- Distracted driving
- Intoxicated driving and/or cycling
- Road rules disregarded by a motorist or cyclist
Whether your ride of choice is a sport bike, a cruiser, a mountain bike, or a road bike, the bodily injuries caused by careless and inattentive motorists are usually serious and sometimes catastrophic. Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries, such as post concussive syndrome, are very real though not always easily observable to a random untrained stranger. Additionally, fractures to a leg, arm, head or spine is common to these types of crashes. Road rash, which results in asphalt, glass and/or gravel embedded in the skin, can also be disfiguring.
The California Vehicle Code mandates that cyclists and motor vehicles take certain precautions to prevent such collisions. For instance, bike riders are required to use hand signals when stopping or turning. The law also states they must ride in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic. Still, even when cyclists follow these rules, accidents still occur.
What Do I Do If a Car Hits Me on My Bike?
While it is important to know about bicycle riding safety, even knowledgeable experienced cyclists are at risk. If you have been hit by a car while riding, then the following information will help you deal with the aftermath of the motor vehicle accident:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Bicycle accidents are very serious, even if you think you are okay. Major injuries often seem minor at first. If necessary, call an ambulance or have someone take you to the hospital. If going to the emergency is not necessary, then go to your regular doctor as soon as possible.
- Notify the Authorities: Call law enforcement immediately after the crash, just as you would for a car accident. It is important that they identify the involved parties and write a report detailing the facts and circumstances. Obtain a copy of this report. You should also write down your version of how the accident happened. Before the scene is altered, take photos of any evidence you think may be important. Ask witnesses and everyone involved for their names and contact information.
- Consult a San Jose Bicycle Accident Attorney: Because cycling accidents often involve a motor vehicle, injuries can be catastrophic. When liability is disputed, it is important to be represented by an attorney who regularly handles claims involving cycling accidents. It is important to have the skill of an attorney when communicating with insurance companies and investigators.
Bike Accident? Contact Our San Jose Bicycle Accident Attorney
We understand that the first thing on your mind after a cycling wreck is recovering, which it should be. You may be unable to work and have bills piling up. It is important to keep in mind that if you were not at fault, someone may be responsible for your lost wages and medical bills. With the help of our bicycle accident lawyer, you can get your life back on track and pursue the compensation that you are entitled. Contact us online or call the Law Offices of Braid Pezzaglia at 408-752-5834 for a free case evaluation.