Bicyclists face unique dangers on California’s roadways. Drivers of passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, and buses often fail to see bicyclists when they are riding in a designated bike lane or are sharing a traffic lane. Without the right knowledge, bicyclists who become injured often lose out on compensation and suffer unnecessary long-term injuries.
It is important for bicyclists to ride safely to avoid sustaining serious injuries on the road. Some safety practices include wearing a helmet, equipping your bike with mirrors and lights, wearing bright colors, signaling when turning or breaking, and avoiding distractions such as talking on cellphones and wearing headphones.
It's also important for bicyclists to be familiar with a few “rules of the road.” California law requires that all bicyclists ride with the flow of vehicle traffic unless they are passing, making a legal left turn, riding on a one-way street, riding on a narrow road, or when the right side of the road is closed due to construction. Also, on any California road with a designated bike lane, bicyclists traveling slower than the flow of vehicle traffic must use the bike lane unless they are making a left turn, passing, avoiding hazards, or approaching a place where a right turn is authorized.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER I’VE BEEN INJURED IN A BICYCLE ACCIDENT?
Dealing with the aftermath of a bicycle accident is extremely complicated. Rather than focusing on their health and getting back on their feet, injured bicyclists are left to deal with the maze of police reports, insurance adjusters, medical bills, and repair shops on their own.
There’s a few things you should know and do immediately after you’ve been injured as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle while riding your bike in order to protect yourself and strengthen your claim. First and foremost, you should never admit fault and always get a police report. If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their contact information. After this, it is important to follow these four steps:
1. see a doctor
It’s important to go to a doctor immediately after you’ve been in an accident, even if you are experiencing little to no pain. The reason for this is because many pain symptoms do not show up until a couple days later, and it’s good for you to make sure that you aren’t suffering from a spinal injury, a traumatic brain injury, or broken bones.
2. document the damage
Make sure that you take photographs of the damage and the area or street where you were injured. Also remember to save any receipts for any out of pocket costs and repairs.
3. say nothing
An adjuster from the other driver's insurance company will probably call you and ask for a statement. Keep in mind that they are searching for any way to reduce the compensation they’ll have to pay you. To best protect yourself, get their name and phone number, but do not speak about the accident, your injuries, or agree to sign any documents.
4. call a personal injury attorney
Calling the right attorney will not only help you get the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering, but will guide you through the legal minefield that victims are often left to deal with on their own. Don’t hesitate to get the help you need and deserve, attorney Fernando Brito is ready to fight for you. Give us a call today.
The Law Office of Fernando Brito Jr. works hard to make sure our clients receive the medical care they need and get the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one are a victim of a bicycle accident, you may need an injury lawyer to file a lawsuit so you can be compensated for your personal damages and injuries. Fernando Brito Jr. is an experienced bicycle accident attorney who will guide you through this complicated process, every step of the way.