Palm Desert is a great city for bicyclists. It has a warm climate and numerous bike routes. This makes bicycling a very attractive option for residents of Palm Desert.
However, bicycle accidents are a reality of life and they do occur. Cyclists lack the protection of an outer frame which is afforded to occupants of most motor vehicles. Injuries caused by bicycle accidents can be severe and life-altering, or even fatal. A Palm Desert bike accident attorney can assist you in understanding your legal options and can help you pursue a claim for financial compensation.
What Must You Prove In A Bike Accident Claim?
All personal injury claims, including bicycle accident claims, necessitate that the victim prove that the party at fault was negligent when the accident happened. A negligence claim must prove the following:
- The at-fault party owed the victim a duty of reasonable carefulness
- This duty was violated by the at-fault party’s negligence
- The victim suffered damages because of this negligence
California drivers are duty-bound to drive safely and reasonably under the circumstances. Drinking and driving would be an example of a decision that is not reasonable.
Negligence is usually an example of not acting reasonably. Speeding while texting in foggy conditions would be unreasonable and negligent. Ignoring a red light would be unreasonable and negligent.
The victim in a bicycle accident claim must prove that their damages were directly caused by the negligence of the at-fault party. Damages victims can recover in bicycle accidents include:
- Past, present and future medical bills
- Loss of wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost employment benefits
- Disability-related costs if the accident led to a disability, such as handrails or wheelchair ramps
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Bicycle Accident Types
Types of bicycle accidents include:
- Right cross accidents: These are the most common type of bicycle accidents. This is when a car pulls out into the road from the right side of a street into the path of a cyclist. The car can be coming from another road, an alleyway, a parking lot or a driveway.
- “Dooring”: This is when a parked car opens a door into the pathway of a cyclist, causing the cyclist to collide head-on with the door. This is common on streets with parallel parking and a bike lane right next to the parked cars.
- Intersection accidents: These typically occur at intersections where only one street has stop signs. One party goes through the intersection with the right of way, the other party stops at the stop sign, then proceeds into the intersection right into the path of the other party.
- Riding against traffic: A large percentage of bicycle accidents are caused by cyclists illegally riding against the flow of traffic. Some cyclists may feel safer riding against traffic because they can see the cars coming towards them, but this is illegal and dangerous. Bicycles are considered vehicles and cyclists must obey traffic laws.
- Left turn accidents: These occur when a cyclist and an automobile approach the same intersection from opposite directions. The automobile then turns left into the cyclist, who is going straight.
- Right turn accidents: These occur when a bicyclist is to the right of a car at an intersection. The car then turns right, either directly into the bike or cutting off the bike in the process.
Bicycle Accident Causes
Most bicycle accidents would never happen if drivers would simply follow the law and remain attentive to their surroundings. Common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs
- Defective roads
- Failing to obey street signals and signs
- Bad weather
- Road rage
- Not giving bicycles enough space
- Weaving through traffic
- Changing lanes in an unsafe manner
- Turning before looking
- Fatigued drivers
- Aggressive driving
Interest in green transportation is only growing, meaning the number of bicyclists on the road is likely to increase. It is important for us all to drive more safely and design roads with cyclists in mind.
Other drivers are not always responsible for bicycle accident injuries. Public entities and bicycle equipment manufacturers can also be held liable for damages in some bicycle accidents. Public departments of transportation are duty-bound to design and maintain roads that are safe, and bicycle and helmet manufacturers are duty-bound to sell safe products. Public entities can be held liable for bike accident injuries when their unsafe roads cause the accident and bicycle and bicycle equipment manufacturers can be held liable for bike accident injuries when their defective products directly contribute to the injuries.
Nadrich & Cohen Is Here For You
We know what you’re going through. We know you’re in pain and unable to work and make money and, to make things even worse financially, you’re facing huge medical bills. We can help. We can obtain the best medical care for you on a lien, meaning you won’t have to pay for it until your case is over. We can obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity and medical bills. We can deal with the insurance companies for you while you concentrate on recovering from your injuries, which is absolutely critical because insurance company employees are trained to trick you into saying things they can take advantage of to pay you less.
Best of all, we can do all these things for you while giving you our no fee promise! You will never owe us a single penny out of your own pocket because we never charge a fee to people who we do not obtain a recovery for. We only charge you a percentage of your recovery if and only if we obtain a recovery for you.
Call us today at (760) 860-1001 for a free consultation if you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident. You can also fill out our free case evaluation form, email us at email@example.com or chat with our live chat.