Did You Suffer Injuries in a Bicycle Accident?
Bicycle riding is a fun and healthy way to get around Fresno County, from the plethora of national parks to the famous Blossom Trail. Yet sharing the road with vehicles comes with many dangers, and recent bicycle-vehicle collisions have resulted in serious injury and death for cyclists.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in a bike accident, the bicycle accident attorneys at Central Valley Accident Lawyers can help get you justice. Our experienced and compassionate legal team maintains a 99% success rate and has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for injured victims of negligence.
To find out how we can help you, consult with our Fresno bicycle accident attorney in a free consultation by calling us at (559) 521-9869 or sending us a message online.
Why Choose Central Valley Accident Lawyers
Bike accident victims often suffer severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries and fractured bones. Injuries can lead to a long rehabilitation period, resulting in missed time from work and steep medical bills. All of this adds stress and worry to an already complicated situation.
This is why you need a trusted and experienced bicycle accident lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights. At Central Valley Accident Lawyers, we have handled all types of bicycle accident cases, from sideswipe accidents to left cross accidents. Our firm seeks the maximum compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
We understand the challenges and hardships that bicycle accident victims face. Our law firm is committed to providing you with compassionate and personalized legal service. We will listen to your needs, answer your questions, and keep you informed throughout the process.
Why Do You Need Fresno Bicycle Accident Attorneys?
Handling a bicycle accident case on your own can be incredibly frustrating, as you will likely be receiving calls from the insurance company day and night. You may also be tempted to accept their first settlement offer, which may not be enough to cover all of your expenses.
An experienced bicycle accident attorney can take the pressure of a bicycle accident claim off your shoulders so you can focus on your recovery and healing. A lawyer can help you:
- Investigate your Fresno bike accident to determine the at-fault party
- Collect evidence such as medical records, pay stubs, and dashcam footage
- Talk to accident reconstruction experts
- Calculate the value of your damages
- Communicate and negotiate with insurance company
- Schedule your medical appointments and treatment
- Take your case to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached
Hiring a bicycle accident lawyer in Fresno costs absolutely nothing upfront, as most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. If your lawyer does not win a settlement for you, you are not responsible for any costs. Contact us in a free consultation to learn more about our attorney fees.
Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Fresno
Fresno bicycle accidents can happen anywhere, from quiet residential streets to busy bike paths. In most cases, bicycle accidents are caused by driver negligence or recklessness. Bicyclists have a lower profile on the road, which makes them more likely to be hit by a vehicle.
Some of the most common causes of bike accidents in Fresno, CA include:
- Speeding: The more speed increases, the higher risk for fatal injuries. A lack of designated bike lanes can also increase the risk of a high-speed accident, as bicycle riders must share the road with vehicle drivers.
- Distracted driving: Cell phones are a huge distraction for drivers and can cause an accident within a few seconds. Other distractions like eating, drinking, and changing the radio can also cause a driver to swerve and hit a cyclist on the road.
- Impaired driving: Drivers intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs have a slower reaction time, more exaggerated behavior, and impaired judgment. Bike accidents caused by drunk driving are 100% preventable.
- Failure to yield: Fresno bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. They must respect the rules of the road, just as drivers must share the road with them. Driving recklessly and disregarding cyclists can cause serious harm.
- Dooring: This accident happens when a driver opens their car door without looking and strikes a bicyclist. While injuries are generally not severe, they should not be ignored.
- Road defects: A roadway hazard like a pothole or debris can cause a bicyclist to lose control and crash. In these cases, it would be the government or city’s responsibility to maintain the roads.
- Bicyclist error: There are instances in which the bicyclist may cause the accident, such as darting into the road, riding while intoxicated, or being distracted.
Compensation for Bicycle Accident Victims
The goal of Fresno bicycle accident claims is to provide compensation to the victim so they feel “whole” again. Damages can be divided into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
These damages are actual financial losses that occur as a result of the accident. They include past and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning capacity, and property damage.
Intangible, non-monetary losses are considered non-economic damages. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship and consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Damages labeled "punitive" are neither economic or non-economic, as they are designed to punish the defendant if their actions are deemed grossly negligent.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
With little protection from the impact of a motor vehicle other than a helmet, bicyclists often suffer much more serious injuries than drivers. While some injuries may heal quickly, others can leave lasting pain. Being hit by a car can also leave an injured cyclist with emotional trauma and PTSD. Some of the most common injuries in a bicycle accident lawsuit are:
While helmets can protect against most head injuries, bicyclists are still vulnerable to traumatic brain injuries, skull fractures, and other catastrophic injuries. A brain injury can be minor, moderate, or severe, and may lead to lasting brain damage.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
If a bicyclist is hit and thrown to the ground, the force of the impact can lead to several spinal injuries and even paralysis. Even a minor back injury can lead to chronic back pain requiring physical therapy.
Lacerations and cuts are common bicycle injuries. Road rash is a friction wound that happens when the skin is scraped against a hard surface, like pavement. While it is not life-threatening, it can still be very painful and cause scarring.
Fractured bones can put a bicycle accident victim out of work for an extended period of time. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, the victim may recover in a few weeks or even months.
Facial and Dental Injuries
Unlike a motorcycle helmet, a bicycle helmet does not protect the front of the face. In a bicycle-vehicle collision, the bicyclist may land face forward and suffer serious injuries to their eyes or teeth. These injuries are extremely painful and may require surgery.
If you lost a loved one in a bicycle accident caused by negligence, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim compensates the surviving family members for their losses, such as funeral and burial expenses, loss of inheritance, and more.
What To Do After a Bicycle Accident
The first steps after a bicycle accident are the most critical. If you are not seriously injured, take the following steps to protect your health and legal right to a personal injury claim.
- Call 911: In an accident involving an injury, you must call 911 and report the accident. An officer will be dispatched and create an official accident report. Make sure to obtain a copy of the police report.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine, always seek medical attention after an accident. You may experience a delayed injury or an injury that doesn’t show symptoms right away, like a concussion or internal injuries.
- Exchange information: If a negligent driver that hit you, get their name, number, address, insurance information, driver’s license number, and license plate number.
- Take photos: Document the scene of the accident as best as you can with photos or videos. Take pictures of your bike, the vehicle that hit you, road signs, and the location.
- Talk to witnesses: Make sure to obtain the contact information of any witnesses so you can get a statement from them later on.
- Contact a Fresno bicycle accident attorney: Do not talk to the other party or their insurance company without talking to a lawyer first. You don’t want to accept the first insurance settlement offer or make any mistakes that could hurt your personal injury claim.
Safety Tips for Cyclists
As a cyclist in Fresno or any other city, your safety is the most important. Not only are certain practices required by California law, other safety measures help drivers see you.
- Stay in the bike lane if you’re going slower than traffic.
- Wear a helmet. It is the single most important form of protection.
- Follow all traffic laws and signals.
- Be visible and alert, especially at night.
- Use hand signals to communicate your intentions to drivers.
- Avoid distractions and watch out for road hazards.
- Maintain your bike and check it before each ride.
Contact a Fresno Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today
Healing after a bicycle accident is tough without the proper compensation. At Valley Accident Lawyers, we will demand that the at-fault party pay for your damages so you can recover from your injuries. Let our Fresno bicycle accident lawyers be your ally during this difficult time. Call our bicycle accident law firm at (559) 521-9869 or contact us online to begin the claims process in a free consultation.