Bicycle Accidents

Orange County Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable for Bike Injuries in Irvine

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 Orange County 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 in Irvine.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents

A bicycle accident refers to any incident involving a cyclist and usually involves some form of collision or loss of control resulting in injury or damage. Bicycle accidents can occur for various reasons, but when motor vehicles are involved, common causes include:

  • Failure to Yield: Motor vehicles failing to yield to cyclists at intersections, crosswalks, or when merging into traffic can lead to collisions.
  • Dooring: When a motorist opens their car door without checking for cyclists, it can result in a cyclist colliding with the door or swerving into traffic to avoid it.
  • Right Hook: This occurs when a motorist turns right without properly checking for cyclists on their right side, leading to a collision.
  • Left Cross: A left-turning vehicle fails to yield to an oncoming cyclist going straight, resulting in a collision.
  • Unsafe Passing: Motorists passing cyclists without leaving sufficient space, or passing too closely, can cause accidents, especially if the cyclist is forced off the road or loses control.
  • Distracted Driving: Drivers distracted by mobile phones, passengers, or other activities may not see cyclists or react in time to avoid a collision.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed reduces reaction time and increases the severity of accidents involving cyclists.
  • Drunk Driving: Intoxicated drivers are less able to react to cyclists on the road, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, debris, or uneven surfaces can cause cyclists to lose control, especially when trying to avoid motor vehicles.
  • Driver Inexperience or Inattention: Inexperienced drivers or those not paying proper attention may fail to anticipate the movements of cyclists, leading to accidents.
  • Failure to Signal: Drivers failing to use turn signals or other indicators of their intentions can surprise cyclists and lead to collisions.
  • Aggressive Driving: Aggressive behaviors such as tailgating, honking, or passing too closely can intimidate cyclists and increase the likelihood of accidents.

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
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Hand and arm injuries
  • Amputation
  • 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.

Legal Remedies for Injured Cyclists

In many cases, bicycle accident claims are resolved through negotiated settlements between the injured bicyclist and the at-fault party's insurance company. On the other hand, cyclists who suffer catastrophic injuries may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover additional damages, including pain and suffering, emotional anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.

Additionally, if the at-fault party in the bicycle accident does not have sufficient insurance coverage or is uninsured, the injured bicyclist may be able to seek compensation through their own uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, if they have it. This coverage can help cover medical expenses and other damages when the at-fault party cannot pay.

Assisting Injured Cyclists in Irvine and Surrounding Areas

Our team at the Law Office of Marshall Silberberg has a 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!


Millions of Dollars Recovered for Our Clients

The Law Office of Marshall Silberberg is proud to be able to represent clients in some of the most difficult times of their lives. With decades of experience as former defense attorneys, we are able to provide our clients with well-rounded representation that has earned us the respect of our peers and even opposing counsel! We fight for maximum compensation on behalf of our clients and have obtained more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements to date. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm for more information about your case. We have offices in Irvine and Los Angeles for client convenience.

Call (949) 565-4281 for a free case evaluation with our firm!

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        Under our representation, your case will be backed by decades of experience; experience that includes hundreds of trial cases and countless courtroom wins. Our straight-shooting, no-nonsense approach has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements.

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