Experienced Bicycle Accident Representation
Bicycle accidents do not happen with great regularity, but they do happen. Generally, these types of accidents result in more severe injuries than other types of motor vehicle accidents because the person is less protected on a bicycle. They have no metal surrounding them, or seat belts or air bags like you would have in a car.
At The Sexton Law Firm, we handle all types of bike accident cases for clients in Southern California. If you or a loved one is in need of a bicycle accident attorney, please call us today at 619-678-1833 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with a lawyer at our Chula Vista or Oceanside office.
What Is The Most Common Reason For Bicycle Accidents?
The vast majority of vehicular accidents are car accidents, of course. But, there are bicycle accidents that happen from time to time. When we see them, we gladly accept them. We enjoy helping people.
Generally, these types of accidents are the more severe injury type of accidents because the person is less protected on a bicycle. They have no metal surrounding them, or seat belts, or air bags like you would have in a car. When someone is impacted by another vehicle in a bicycle versus car accident, the injuries are generally more severe. We are talking broken bones, sometimes head injuries, and sometimes every once in a while, even death. So, we do handle all those types of cases and we have seen them over the years.
The most common reason for bicycle accidents is usually visibility factors. A lot of the bicycle accidents usually occur during darkness or very low lighting conditions. Often accidents have to deal with vision, that the driver of the car did not see the bicyclist. Sometimes the bicyclist did not see the driver of the car. Sometimes the bicyclist is not wearing any type of reflective clothing, no reflectors on the bike, no lights on the bike, those types of things. Usually, it is from lack of visual impairment in these bicycle accidents. It is sometimes due to inattentiveness, sometimes due to the weather; but, generally it has to do with a sight type of issue where the driver of a car did not see the bicyclist.
People who ride bicycles are held to the same standards of the rules of the road as a driver of a vehicle. Sometimes we see bicycle accidents occur where the bicyclist is on the wrong side of the road. He is going against traffic instead of with traffic. That is a contributory fault factor. The bicyclist has to obey the rules of the road. He should be driving on the side of the road, on the shoulder, with traffic, not going against traffic. Even though it might not be the bicyclist’s fault that he was struck by a vehicle, if he was going in the opposite direction and not obeying the rules of the road, there is going to be some contributory fault against that bicyclist. We see that a lot in intersections. Sometimes people drive across an intersection, going against traffic versus with traffic. Even though they are struck by a vehicle in that intersection, it is still somewhat the bicyclist’s fault for not obeying the rules of the road and going with traffic. If the bicyclist is obeying all traffic rules and he is going with traffic, it is going to be the motorist’s fault for striking the bicyclist. Other contributory fault factors against the bicyclist could be lack of reflectors on the bike. He could be at the shoulder of the road going with traffic but was wearing dark clothing, no lighting, no reflectors on the bike, the street was dark, no lighting on the street. A motorist is just driving along and clips the bicyclist on the side of the road, and we see that a lot. The majority of fault would rest with the motorist, but there would be some comparative fault or contributory fault with the bicyclist for not wearing reflective gear, reflectors on his bike, or even lighting on the bike. That can happen too.
How Do You Help Prove Fault In A Bicycle Accident?
To prove fault, it is very good to try and get photographs at the scene. Many people have cameras in their cellphones. It is always good to find witnesses at the scene. Although, sometimes it is the last thing a person is thinking about if they have been knocked off their bike by a vehicle. They are usually in pain, might have a broken bone, or might be worse. Most of the time, in bicycle accidents, there are more serious injuries. The police are called to the scene and the police do a good job of documenting things, documenting evidence, documenting the point of impact between the vehicle and the bicycle. They are generally good about trying to contact witnesses at the scene as to what happened.
Sometimes you need an accident reconstructionist to reconstruct an accident. Sometimes you need biomechanical experts to talk about things like the human factor type of things such as vision impairments. Experts are especially needed when we are talking about lack of vision, lack of sight, what a driver could see or could not see; also, when we are talking about comparative fault of the bicyclist not having a reflective gear or reflectors on the bike or even a light. Should the person still have been able to see that bicyclist anyway or was he hidden in the darkness type of thing? Sometimes you need experts for those types of things to sort out fault and liability.
The Sexton Law Firm can help any type of injury accident victim, including bicycle accidents. Unfortunately, of the bicycle accidents we do take on as clients, the vast majority tend to be children, because they are the ones who are generally riding bikes (in an unsafe manner?). I feel bad for children when they are injured in accidents. I have children myself. We help their families. We help them get through it and make sure they get to the right kind of doctors. We try to backtrack and get documentation about the accident if we have to. If we need to get experts to prove causation and fault, we get them.