Orange County Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable for Bike Injuries
Even the most experienced cyclists can become injured in bike accidents. From dangerous road conditions to careless car drivers and pedestrians, there are many threats to bicycle riders on the California roadways. However, the state of California does permit bicyclists to pursue damages if they are seriously injured in an accident with any party.
At the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg, our experienced Orange County bicycle accident attorneys can help you determine where liability falls after your accident. Injuries from bike crashes are costly, painful, and may leave you with long-term physical and psychological damage. When that happens, you deserve to seek compensation, and we can help you request maximum recovery for your injuries.
Have you been injured in a bicycle accident in OC? Give us a call at (949) 565-4281 to discuss your case with our skilled legal team.
The Risks of Injury in Bicycle Accidents
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are more than 400,000 bicycle-related injuries annually, with even higher numbers for total visits to the ER after riding a bicycle. Additionally, the productivity losses and lifetime medical costs resulting from these catastrophic injuries can top $10 billion year over year. These numbers serve to underscore how risky it can be to ride a bicycle on the road, even if you obey all the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.
Some of the most common injuries riders can sustain after a bike accident include:
- Head and facial injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Hand and arm injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Joint dislocation
- Spinal cord injury
- Paraplegia and tetraplegia
- Nerve damage
- Abrasions or “road rash”
Road Rules for California Bicycle Riders
The California Vehicle Code allows bicyclists to hold the same legal rights – and obligations – as drivers in cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles (Section 21200). That means you can pursue a civil lawsuit to recover your losses if you’re gravely injured in a biking accident. However, it also means that you have certain responsibilities as a bicycle rider on the road, and you may ultimately be held partially responsible for an accident if you fail to observe them properly.
California follows the rule of pure comparative negligence, which means the compensation awarded on a personal injury claim is proportionate to the plaintiff’s percentage of fault in their accident. If, for example, you were legally required to use the bicycle lane but opted to use the road instead, you might be ruled 30% responsible for a serious car accident, which would reduce your compensation to 70% of the amount claimed.
Here are a few of the most critical laws governing bicycle use on California roads:
- Motor vehicle drivers must give cyclists at least 3 feet of space at all times.
- No one can obstruct a designated bicycle lane or path, and motor vehicles are forbidden to drive in the bicycle lane.
- Bicycle riders must use bike lanes if they are slower than traffic, unless otherwise allowed.
- Bicyclists do have the right to use the road if they are passing, swerving to avoid road hazards, preparing for left turns, and/or unable to share a narrow road.
- Neither bicycle riders nor drivers of motor vehicles can operate their vehicles under the influence of marijuana or alcohol.
Breaking any of the above laws, whether you are a driver or a cyclist, can be considered negligence in certain contexts, and can make you liable for the other person’s injuries. However, because these cases are often so complex, it’s recommended that you speak with an experienced car accident lawyer who has an understanding of their intersection with bicycle cases.
Assisting Injured Cyclists in Irvine and Surrounding Areas
Our team at the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg has the history of success in bicycle accident cases that you need after a serious injury. Since 2004, our leading attorney Marshall Silberberg has been committed to building a community of experts we can rely on to build your case strategy. Attorney Silberberg is also a skilled trial attorney who has tried more than 250 cases to verdict, and with experience as an insurance defender, he knows how to negotiate with insurance companies and other major players to get the compensation you need.
Contact our Orange County bicycle accident lawyers today at (949) 565-4281 for a free case review!