A bicycle accident lawyer is needed when someone is injured in an accident involving a bicycle. California is becoming increasingly bike friendly each year. Although we strongly support this trend, this growth and popularity of the sport is leading to an alarming rate injuries from bicyclist of all types. Most of these accidents occur because of the automobile drivers carelessness and their lack of attention to the roadway. Bicycle riders are more difficult to see, and therefore the actions of drivers places riders in a perilous position. In other cases bike riders are dealing with frustrated drivers who intentionally cause an accident and cause harm. Before you do anything to resolve your case, know your rights.
Determining Fault in Bicycle Accidents
Fault in bicycle accidents will depend on a few factors including, but not limited to: speed, helmet laws, side of the road you were on, how the accident happened and street conditions. These are all important factors, which can be used to determine fault for your accident. Another important factor is whether a police report was taken. Generally a police report or traffic collision report will be taken where you have a party who was injured. Police will not show up to an accident scene when no injuries are reported, so if they are not present you should make sure to get the necessary information for the at-fault parties.
If a police report is taken and you were not at the scene of the accident, DO NOT BE ALARMED. You can always make the request from the police department that took the report and most departments keep such reports for ten years. To get a copy of the traffic collision report you will need to have the name of the department that took the report, name of parties involved, location of the accident and a check in the correct. However, you attorney will generally get this information on your behalf. Keep in mind getting a police report depends on whether the report is actually completed, which can take up-to 6 weeks for serious accidents or fatalities.
Hit and Run Accidents
In some cases you have drivers who commit a hit and run. Some are intentional hit and run accidents. In such cases you need to follow these steps to ensure your recovery. First, file a police report. If you were transported to the hospital you can file a report after the accident took place. Second, get an attorney who will investigate the scene of the accident. This can include checking for surveillance cameras and witnesses that are important to finding the at fault party. Third, write down anything you can remember about the accident. This includes identity of the driver, make and model of the vehicle or anything else you can find important. While there is not always recovery, it does improve your chances.
Parked Car Door Causing Accident
According to California Vehicle Code 22517, it is the responsibility of the car owner, NOT THE BICYCLIST, to make sure it is reasonably safe to open a car door. Therefore, if you have been injured while legally bicycling down a roadway, and are injured when somebody sitting in a parked car suddenly opens their door, you are entitled to compensation.
Can I Use My Own Insurance?
In short YES, you can use your own insurance when the at fault party commits either a hit and run or when the at fault motorist does NOT carry sufficient insurance. Here, are some steps you need to file before you can file a uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. First, a police report needs to be filed immediately. You generally have 24 HOURS to report the accident to the police. Second, you must make a statement to your OWN insurance company within 30 days of the accident.
It is important to make sure these steps are followed to secure a UIM or UM motorist claim. If you have any questions about your accident let us know, we are here to help.
A Professional Bicycle Advocates Law Firm
Bicycle riders are subject to the most severe types of injures from traffic accidents. Victims are often left with thousands of medical bills, lost time at work, pain and suffering and more. It is our job to make sure you receive the maximum level of compensation as well as making this process as painless as possible. Call today to speak directly to an attorney about your claim.