In the picturesque city of Bakersfield, California, where the warm sun and clear skies often beckon residents to hop on their bicycles, the unfortunate reality is that accidents can still occur. Bicycle accidents can lead to life-altering consequences, both physically and financially. If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycle accident, it’s crucial to understand your rights and seek legal assistance. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of bicycle accidents and why partnering with a reputable Bakersfield bicycle accident law firm is a decision you won’t regret.
Understanding Bicycle Accidents
Types of Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can take various forms, each with its unique challenges. These may include:
- Vehicle Collisions: Accidents involving motor vehicles are a common cause of bicycle accidents. The impact can result in severe injuries.
- Single-Bike Accidents: Sometimes, accidents happen without any external involvement, such as hitting a pothole or losing control.
- Pedestrian Collisions: In densely populated areas, bicycle-pedestrian collisions can occur, leading to injuries for both parties.
The causes of bicycle accidents are diverse and can be attributed to factors like distracted driving, reckless behavior, and poor road conditions. Understanding the root causes is essential in determining liability and seeking compensation.
The Importance of Legal Representation
Why You Need a Bakersfield Bicycle Accident Law Firm
Seeking legal representation is paramount when dealing with bicycle accidents, as the laws and regulations governing such cases can be complex. A Bakersfield bicycle accident law firm can offer several advantages:
- Expertise: They have a deep understanding of bicycle accident cases, ensuring your case is in capable hands.
- Navigating the Legal System: A law firm can guide you through the legal process, helping you avoid common pitfalls.
- Maximizing Compensation: They can work to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Qualities to Look for in a Law Firm
When searching for a law firm to handle your bicycle accident case, experience should be a top priority. Look for firms with a proven track record of successfully resolving cases similar to yours.
Expertise in Bicycle Accident Cases
Specialization matters. Opt for a law firm that has a dedicated team with expertise in handling bicycle accident cases, as these often require specific knowledge and strategies.
Choosing the Right Attorney
Before making any commitments, schedule an initial consultation with potential attorneys. This will give you a chance to discuss your case, understand their approach, and assess if you feel comfortable working with them.
The Legal Process
The legal process begins with a thorough investigation of your case. This involves gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, and assessing the extent of your injuries.
Many bicycle accident cases are settled through negotiation. Your attorney will work to secure a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
If negotiations fail, your case may go to court. A skilled attorney will represent you, presenting your case before a judge and jury.
Compensation in Bicycle Accident Cases
Injuries sustained in bicycle accidents can result in substantial medical bills. Compensation can help cover these costs.
Pain and Suffering
Physical and emotional trauma can have a lasting impact. Compensation may include damages for pain and suffering.
If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
Damage to your bicycle or personal property can be included in your compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim in Bakersfield?
- Typically, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
- What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
- California follows comparative negligence laws, which means you can still seek compensation even if you were partially at fault.
- What damages can I claim in a bicycle accident case?
- You can claim damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
- How much does it cost to hire a Bakersfield bicycle accident attorney?
- Most attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case.
- What if the at-fault party doesn’t have insurance?
- Your attorney can explore other avenues for compensation, such as your own insurance policy.
In the aftermath of a bicycle accident in Bakersfield, finding the right legal representation can make all the difference. A seasoned Bakersfield bicycle accident law firm will ensure your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t navigate this challenging journey alone – seek the guidance of a trusted attorney and let them fight for your justice.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
When you’re involved in a bicycle accident, one of the first challenges you may face is dealing with insurance companies. It’s essential to remember that insurance companies, even your own, are businesses looking to minimize their payouts. This can make the claims process complex and stressful.
Your Bakersfield bicycle accident law firm will act as your advocate in these interactions. They understand the tactics used by insurance adjusters to limit payouts and will work to ensure you receive the full compensation you are entitled to. They can negotiate on your behalf, gather the necessary documentation, and protect your rights.
To build a strong case, your attorney will help gather and preserve essential evidence. This includes photographs of the accident scene, medical records, accident reports, and any witness statements. The goal is to establish a clear picture of what happened, who was at fault, and the extent of your injuries. This evidence can be invaluable when negotiating with insurance companies or presenting your case in court.
Legal Expenses and Contingency Fees
You might be concerned about the cost of hiring an attorney, especially if you’re already dealing with medical bills and other expenses. Fortunately, most Bakersfield bicycle accident law firms work on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t have to pay any upfront legal fees. Instead, your attorney will take a percentage of your compensation if they win your case. If they don’t win, you don’t owe them anything. This arrangement ensures that you have access to legal representation without adding to your financial burden.
The Emotional Toll
Bicycle accidents can be traumatic events, and the aftermath can take a severe emotional toll. The physical pain, stress, and uncertainty about the future can be overwhelming. Your attorney not only handles the legal aspects but can also provide valuable support during this challenging time. They can answer your questions, provide guidance, and ensure that you feel heard and understood throughout the legal process.
The Role of Mediation
In some cases, mediation may be used as an alternative to a full trial. Mediation involves a neutral third party who works with both sides to reach a settlement. Your Bakersfield bicycle accident law firm can guide you through this process and ensure that your best interests are represented.
In summary, a bicycle accident can have far-reaching consequences, and it’s crucial to have a Bakersfield bicycle accident law firm on your side to navigate the legal complexities and secure the compensation you deserve. With their experience, expertise, and commitment, you can focus on your recovery while they handle the legal intricacies, ensuring your rights are protected.
Bakersfield Bike Accident Lawyers
When you are hospitalized, immobilized, or otherwise seriously injured following a bicycle accident in California, effectively handling an injury claim can be daunting. Yet, a misstep can lead to a significantly reduced award. It’s therefore important to obtain legal help from a law firm that will follow through on your need for knowledgeable, diligent, and caring legal advocacy.
The Bakersfield bike accident lawyers of Rodriguez & Associates have assisted injured cyclists in the Central Valley for over 100 years combined. Since 1980, dozens of injured cyclists and their families have turned to us following bicycle accidents. In return, we have achieved numerous five-, six- and seven-figure results. We always seek maximum compensation to help you cover existing medical bills, future expenses, and the trauma of your experience. To discuss your legal options following a bike injury or fatal bike crash, please contact our firm.
At Rodriguez & Associates, our initial consultations are free, and we charge on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing unless we obtain compensation for you. To discuss your accident, call (661) 777-7575 or 800-585-9262 Toll-Free.
Why Choose Rodriguez & Associates?
- Our Bakersfield bicycle accident attorneys hold over 100 years of combined experience in personal injury litigation. We have the skills and experience necessary to advocate for your right to compensation.
- We achieve the results of a large law firm while providing the dedication and personalized attention of a small firm. Our experienced attorney will handle all aspects of your case so you can focus on recovery.
- Our personal injury law firm has a strong track record of successful claims. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of our clients and achieved the highest personal injury verdict in Kern County history.
How Our Bakersfield Bicycle Accident Attorneys Can Help
Biking is a popular pastime in Bakersfield with biking events throughout the year. Numerous questions need to be addressed in order to resolve a bicycle accident injury case. What caused the accident? Did environmental factors such as impaired visibility or poor road and path conditions play a part in causing the accident? A distracted motorist? A drunk driver? What is the extent of injuries? And what level of insurance coverage applies to the accident?
Our law firm is composed of experienced trial attorneys and an engineer. We can knowledgeably address the many factors that led to your bike accident and draw on decades of experience when negotiating and litigating for your result. For more information regarding how we can help following a bike accident, please contact us for a no-charge consultation.
At Rodriguez & Associates, we know a thing or two about bicycling because the firm founder, Daniel Rodriguez, is a cyclist himself. He regularly rides and has been on bicycling trips in other states as well as in Canada, France and Italy.
Legal Options for Injured Bakersfield Cyclists
If you are injured in a bicycle accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. California is a fault accident state, meaning that negligent drivers are financially liable for the accidents that they cause. If another driver is responsible for your collision, you could file an insurance claim or lawsuit against him or her.
You could also file a lawsuit against a manufacturer if your accident was caused by a defective product, such as a malfunctioning bike or vehicle component. If the collision occurred due to dangerous road conditions, such as potholes, you could file a claim against the agency responsible for maintaining the road.
There are many legal options available to you, depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident. A Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyer from Rodriguez & Associates can evaluate your claim and identify your optimal path to compensation.
What Are the Leading Causes of Bicycle Accidents in Bakersfield?
A Bakersfield bicycle accident can occur unexpectedly, even if the biker is cautious and follows all of the local traffic laws and regulations. Some common causes of bike accidents include:
- Impaired or distracted driving
- Speeding vehicles
- Vehicles swerving through traffic or driving erratically
- Drivers making a turn without looking
- Vehicles running a red light or stop sign
- Failure to yield to a bike or motor vehicle
- Leaving an inadequate amount of space between nearby vehicles
- Drivers veering into the designated bike lane
Common Injuries in Bicycle Accidents
Bicycle accidents can be very dangerous. Cars are much larger and heavier than the average cyclist and, as a result, these collisions often lead to serious and life-threatening injuries. Injured cyclists often require extensive medical care, disability accommodations, and specialized treatment, such as physical therapy.
Common injuries in bicycle accidents include the following.
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
- Scrapes, bruises, and lacerations
- Facial injuries
- Back and neck injuries
What Damages Are Available in Bicycle Accident Claims?
A bicycle accident can result in significant financial losses, from thousands of dollars worth of medical expenses to months of lost wages and extensive property damage. The physical and psychological impact of the accident can be difficult to cope with, resulting in further hardship. If someone else is responsible for your collision, you deserve to hold him or her accountable.
Under California law, you can collect compensation for the economic and non-economic losses that you experienced.
- All past and future medical expenses, such as medications, surgeries, and doctor’s visits
- Lost wages that you incurred during your recovery time and while receiving treatment
- Loss of future earnings or benefits if your injuries prevent you from returning to your job
- Property damage that you sustained in the accident, including bicycle repair or replacement
- Disability accommodations, including mobility equipment, live-in care, and modifications to your home or vehicle
- Physical pain and suffering, such as chronic pain and permanent disability
- Emotional pain and suffering, such as emotional distress, mental anguish, depression, and anxiety
As a bicycle accident victim, it can be difficult to understand the full extent of your injuries and damages. Your bike accident lawyer from Rodriguez and Associates can calculate your estimated settlement, identifying all potential avenues to compensation.
What You Should Do After a Bakersfield Bike Accident
For many California residents, biking is both a pleasant pastime and an efficient method of environmentally friendly transportation. However, there is always a chance that you or a loved one may be involved in a collision while on your bicycle. Our Bakersfield motor vehicle accident lawyers recommend doing the following if you’re involved in a collision:
Call for Medical Assistance: As a biker, you have far less protection than the driver or passenger of a motor vehicle. Modern-day cars are designed to protect their passengers, with rigorously-tested airbags, efficient seatbelts, shatter-resistant glass windows, and deformation zones. If an accident occurs, bicyclists have only the protection of the clothes and equipment they’re wearing. As such, even if you feel alright in the moments following the accident, you may be more injured than you know. It’s best to be safe and have you and any other accident victims inspected by medical experts.
Remain at the Scene: After a Bakersfield bicycle accident, you and anyone involved in the crash are obligated to remain at the scene if there was property damage or injuries caused. If you and the car’s driver are uninjured, exchange contact information. Be sure to get their name, phone number, insurance information, address, license plate number, driver’s license information, and insurance policy number.
Do Not Negotiate With the Motorist On-Scene: A bike accident can be a nerve-wracking, traumatic experience for you and everyone involved in the situation. Even if the motorist admits fault for the crash, do not attempt to negotiate a payment for the damages caused. You may not be aware of the full extent of injuries caused or damage done to your bicycle, and the driver may attempt to go back on any verbal agreement reached the scene.
Document What Occurred: If you are safely able to, document the scene of the accident in detail. Take photographs of your bike, the vehicle that struck you, any property damage caused, any injuries you sustained, and the road conditions. Ask for the contact information of any witnesses, so they can provide their account of the incident if needed.
Make Sure the Police Make a Report: When the police arrive, make sure that they get your side of the story. Report any injuries you sustained in the Bakersfield bicycle accident, no matter how insignificant they may seem in the moment. If the accident is minor enough to the extent that law enforcement does not respond, contact your local police station via their non-emergency line and they can help you file a report.
Seek Legal Assistance: Before speaking to the driver’s insurance company, hire an experienced bicycle accident attorney in Bakersfield. We work closely with you, handle negotiations with any insurance companies involved, and can help you file a personal injury claim. Our legal team works diligently to hold wrongdoers responsible for their actions.
Contact One of Our Bakersfield CA Bicycle Accident Attorneys
Rodriguez & Associates is conveniently located in downtown Bakersfield. Our personal injury lawyer is available for weekend and evening appointments, charge no fee for consultations, and speaks both English and Spanish. To contact us, please call (661) 777-7575 or 800-585-9262 Toll-Free to schedule a free consultation with one of our Bakersfield bike accident attorneys today.
Bicycling continues to grow more popular in the United States. After all, it is a convenient and inexpensive method of travel, especially in lieu of heavy traffic and parking problems.
Even though most cities recognize this increase in bicycle traffic and have constructed special bicycle lanes, automobile drivers often do not respect these lanes or bicyclists’ right to share the road, which can be a direct cause of many bicycle accidents.
At Chain | Cohn | Clark, we have a successful track record representing victims of bicycle accidents. So if you or someone you know has been involved in a bicycle accident due to the fault of another, contact our law firm immediately.
Can You Claim for a Bicycle Accident in Bakersfield, CA?
When you or a loved one have been injured in a bicycle accident because of someone else’s negligence, you can pursue a legal case with the help from the Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark.
If you aren’t sure who is at fault in your bicycle accident, contact us right away. We can review the details, gather evidence, and use our qualified resources to get you the help you need.
We believe that if you have been injured due to the negligent actions of another person, that person should be held accountable. Our experienced Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyers are well-versed in the legalities of bicycle accidents. We can help you better understand your rights and help you seek justice by making a claim for your injuries.
Bakersfield Bicycle Accident Statistics
The United States Department of Transportation statistics show that more than 800 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents in 2019.
Bicycle accidents are on the rise in Bakersfield and the Central Valley, and sadly, so are deaths. Between 2016 and 2018, 455 bicyclists were killed on California roads, more than any other three year period in the past 25 years. And in Kern County in 2017, there were 47 pedestrian and bicyclist deaths.
Among the main factors in many bicycle accidents are failing to yield right of way, speeding, improper turning, using the wrong side of the road, and not following traffic signs or signals. Kern Medical, a trauma center in Kern County, reported that many of the most severe cases they saw in the trauma center were due to roadway collisions, including bicycle deaths.
The latest City of Bakersfield Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Report states that the age of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities ranges from four years old to 89 years old, with the average age of fatalities being 45 years old. When it comes to gender, 78% of bicyclist fatalities were male and 22% were female.
Thankfully, the City of Bakersfield continues to take measures to encourage bicycle safety, including:
- Bikeways—Bakersfield has about 260 miles worth of existing bikeways
- Traffic signal bicycle detection
- Advocacy groups like the non-profit Bike Bakersfield and city meetings for Kern County Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Coalition
- Build-A-Bike Program
- Phone apps that allow users to report road safety issues
- Bakersfield Police Department Programs
- Outreach for more bicycle safety projects
Although the City of Bakersfield advocates for bicycle safety, accidents still continue to happen in Bakersfield and Kern County.
Fatalities and bicycle accident injuries are more than statistics; they are people whose lives are altered, often due to someone else’s negligence. If you have been involved in a bike accident, contact the Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark to pursue a legal case.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents?
The unfortunate truth is that many bicycle accidents can be avoided. Many times, bicycle accidents are due to collisions between bicyclists and drivers who share the road. When accidents involving bikes and cars happen, the lack of physical protection for bikers can lead to severe injury and, in some worse case scenarios, fatality.
Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of bicycle accidents. Whenever a vehicle driver’s attention is anywhere other than the road, they are practicing distracted driving.
Distracted driving can lead to collisions with bicyclists. It can also cause bicyclists to be forced to steer in reckless ways as they try to avoid an accident. Even if the car does not make contact with the bicyclist, the distracted driver may still be at fault for injuries sustained due to their inattentiveness on the road.
Distracted driving includes:
- Texting while driving
- Eating or drinking
- Changing music/looking at the radio or other device
- Not concentrating on the road due to heightened emotions or mental states
- Reaching for something in the car
- Interacting with others in the car
When a driver is distracted, the chances of colliding with a bicyclist or making a hasty decision can endanger everyone around them.
Another common factor in bicycle accidents is vehicle defects. This includes potentially defective cars that are involved in bicycle accidents as well as defective bicycle parts that may contribute to an accident.
Your experienced Bakersfield bike accident lawyer at Chain | Cohn | Clark will evaluate all possible causes of your bicycle accident. We do so to ensure you get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Road defects are another common cause of bicycle accidents. Road defects can include:
- Uneven pavement
- Missing signs
- Inadequate traffic signals
- Faded lane markers
- Construction site negligence
- Faulty street lighting
Unsafe road conditions can cause bicyclists to sustain an injury. Many bicyclists do not know that they may be eligible for compensation if and when their accident is caused by defective roads.
Talk to the Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark to see what type of compensation you may be eligible to receive if road defects were a cause of your accident.
In addition to distracted driving, other types of driver violations common in bicycle accidents include:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Aggressive driving
- Reckless driving
- Failing to signal correctly
- Violating a bicyclist’s right of way
- “Dooring,” or opening a car door and thus blocking a bike lane
Unsafe driving leads to accidents. When a bicyclist is involved, the risk of injury increases greatly. If you have been injured—or a loved one has been killed—by the reckless actions of a driver, your Chain | Cohn | Clark Bakersfield bike accident lawyer is here to help you seek justice.
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in Bakersfield, CA
The very first thing you should do after a bicycle accident happens is to get to safety. Your health and life take priority in these types of situations.
The attorneys here at Chain | Cohn | Clark believes that providing our clients with personal attention is one of the most important actions we can take. That means that after an accident, we want you to find safety so that no further injury occurs.
See a Doctor or Medical Professional
If you have an obvious injury, call 911 and/or immediately seek medical attention. Oftentimes after an accident, the injured party’s adrenaline level will be very high and they might not even notice they are hurt. This is why it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention after any accident.
As the saying goes, better safe than sorry. Especially since it could also be the case that although you feel and look unharmed from the outside, you could have internal injuries, such as a concussion or internal bleeding.
Seek medical help right away after suffering from a bicycle accident. Your health and safety should always be your top priority.
Save Receipts & Keep Medical Bills
Seeking medical help can also act as future evidence in your case. It will date the accident and show the measures you took afterward.
Medical bills can potentially be compensated, so saving all medical bills and receipts that are related to the bicycle accident is critical. Receipts and medical bills include:
- Transportation costs
- Hospital bills
- Loss of income
- Receipts for bicycle repairs
- Receipts for medical equipment
- Any other receipts or bills related to your case that can be used as evidence to support your claim
File a Report With the Police
Filing a police report is an important step to take after your bicycle accident. A police report is considered inadmissible evidence in California, which means it cannot be used as evidence in your case. However, filing a police report after your accident is extremely helpful.
Your Bakersfield bike accident lawyer at Chain | Cohn | Clark can use the police report to:
- Help determine liability
- Use as a starting point to conduct an investigation
- Learn important information, such as the date, time, location, and description of the accident
When making a police report, make sure that the officer who fills out the report also provides their name and badge number. This is so your bicycle accident attorney in Bakersfield can follow up if additional information is needed.
Another important step in the process of building a case for your bicycle accident is to collect as much evidence as you can. This evidence could include:
- The insurance information of the other person or people involved
- Name(s) and contact information of the other person or people involved
- Names and contact information of any eyewitnesses
- Photos and videos of the scene where the accident took place—pictures and videos are invaluable pieces of information that can be used as evidence, so try to get as much evidence on film as you can, including the accident scene
- Written personal statement that records your perspective of the accident—doing this sooner rather than later means you are likely to remember the accident more clearly
- Journal entries about how your day-to-day life has been affected by the accident
The Bakersfield accident lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark have the resources necessary to conduct a thorough investigation of your accident. The more evidence that is collected, the more we can utilize that evidence to build a strong case and maximize your compensation.
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Getting into a bicycle accident can have major impacts on your life and wellbeing. Injuries that cyclists sustain can be catastrophic. Though helmets help with protection, bicyclists are exposed to much more danger than someone protected by a car or truck.
The Bakersfield bicycle accidents lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark are here to represent you after a bicycle accident. Some of the most common physical injuries that bicyclists sustain from an accident include:
- Abrasions and cuts
- Road rash
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Injuries resulting in amputation
- Wrongful death
In addition to physical injuries, there can also be mental, emotional, and financial hardships that come with bicycle accidents. Non-physical injuries may include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of income due to the inability to perform a task at work or because of your absence due to physical recovery/therapy
- Lower quality of life
- Mental pain and suffering
- The costs of rehabilitation and medical expenses
A bicycle accident can have a big impact on your everyday life. When that happens, the Chain | Cohn | Clark Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyers want to make sure that you get the compensation and justice you deserve so you can focus on your recovery.
What Can a Bakersfield Bike Accident Lawyer Do for You?
After you suffer from a bicycle accident, your whole world may be turned upside down. The local bicycle accident attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark have the resources, experience, and knowledge to get you the maximum compensation that you deserve.
We concentrate on protecting the rights of the people of Bakersfield and greater Kern County when they have been injured because of another party’s actions or inactions. We want to make sure the person responsible for your injuries is held accountable.
Our goal is to ensure that you don’t get nickel-and-dimed by insurance companies, but instead get the maximum payout you are entitled to. We do so for the sake of your justice on the road to recovery.
Many bicyclists and their families are not aware of their rights. If you are a cyclist, you may be entitled to more compensation than you might think. We will help you prove negligence and fault, a task that involves the resources that the Chain | Cohn | Clark Bakersfield bicycle accident lawyers can provide with full force.
We can and will build the strongest case possible for you. As Kern County’s leading accident law firm, we know what it takes to make sure you get the justice you deserve.
Available Bakersfield Bike Accident Compensation
Compensation that is available to cyclists after bicycle accidents includes economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are measurable damages, such as medical bills and other accident-related expenses. That’s why it’s so important to keep all receipts and bills connected to your accident.
Non-economic damages are those that are a bit trickier to put a price tag on, like pain and suffering or loss of quality of life.
Insurance companies want to pay the least amount possible to you. Talk to us before speaking with any insurance companies. Here at Chain | Cohn | Clark, we work tirelessly to make sure our clients get the compensation they deserve.