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Posted in: Safety

What You Need to Know About Bicycle Accidents in California

May 16, 2018

A bicycle is one of the most fun and efficient ways to get around. It’s become a common choice for people who are trying to be a bit more ecofriendly in their lives, but it comes with some inherent risks. Being the speed and size they are, other vehicles on the road can cause serious damage when there’s an accident.

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, your primary focus should be recovery above all else. However, the longer you spend in recovery, the more medical costs you incur and the more work days you miss. Learn how an experienced bicycle accident lawyer can get you through this stressful experience with the compensation you deserve.

Side-of-the-Road Rules

All states including California have what are known as side-of-the-road rules. These rules mean that bicyclists have to stay in the bike lane or on the far right side of the right lane if a bike lane is unavailable. While these laws have done quite a bit to protect bicyclists from serious accidents, they have directly lead to some of the more common mishaps.

One of the most common bicycle accidents happen when a bicyclist hits the opening door of a parked car when the driver doesn’t check first. Sometimes, vehicles will also drive to close or too fast by a bike in the bike lane causing them to be brushed off the road. Another common occurrence is when cars in the right lane turn right without checking and a bike hits them as they turn.

Determining Liability

In most cases, the bicyclist will not be held liable for the accident, but that’s not always the case. Take a parked car’s door being opened for example. When that’s the cause of your bicycle accident, the driver can be held responsible. However, if there were no other vehicles on the road, they may be able to argue that you had ample opportunity to avoid it.

It’s common to see vehicles passing bicyclists on the road, but bicyclists aren’t actually required to make room for them. If no bike lane is present, the bicyclist has just as much right to be on the road as any other vehicle. If a vehicle passes you while on a bike before they have a safe way to do so, they’re liable if you have to swerve off the road to avoid a collision.

Right of Way

Right of way is a primary factor in many bicycle accident cases. Motorists often only look to the traffic on their left when determining when it’s safe to make a right turn. While this is generally enough, it can create a situation in which a bicyclist to their right collides with them as they make their right turn.

In these cases, the driver is almost always liable since basic road laws require a car not to turn right until it’s safe to do so even if their light is green. If they made the effort to pass you before making their right turn, you have an even better case since you know they were aware of your presence.

California Bicycle Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been involved in a bicycle accident, the recovery process can be tough. You need to focus on your health and not worry about navigating legal processes to get the compensation you deserve. Fortunately, a skilled bicycle accident lawyer can help and Dunnion Law Firm has exactly what you’re looking for.

We have a track record of successful cases dating back years and always provide the personal touch and dedication your case needs to be successful. There are no hidden fees and no upfront costs. You don’t even have to pay us at all if we don’t win your case. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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