Murrieta Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Riding a bicycle is one of life’s simple pleasures. It is great for your wallet, your health, and the environment. Besides, bikes, despite their simple design, are amazingly efficient, so much so that Steve Jobs once described Apple computers as “a bicycle for your mind.” California’s traffic laws require cars to share the road safely with bicycles, and the even better news is that bike lanes and bike trails are plentiful in Riverside County. The bad news is that, if a bicycle collides with a motor vehicle, the consequences can be dire for the cyclist. Even if you wear a bicycle helmet, there is little else to protect you from serious injury. If you have suffered serious injuries in a collision between your bicycle and a motor vehicle, contact the Murrieta bicycle accident lawyers at Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP.
Why Bicycle Accidents are So Dangerous
Most people involved in car accidents do not suffer serious injuries, especially now that all cars on the road, except for the very oldest, have seatbelts and airbags. Besides that, when a car strikes your car, there is a big metal box protecting you from the impact. If a car hits your bike, however, your body bears the brunt of the crash. Serious injuries such as bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries can occur. Besides the physical pain, these injuries require costly treatment and are severe enough to make you unable to work for an extended period.
Staying Safe on Your Bicycle
When a 33-year-old bicycle commuter took to the road one Thursday morning, he surely had no idea that it would be his last ride. The cyclist, who did not have a helmet on, was struck from behind by a vehicle that fateful day and lost his life. It was one of many horrendous bicycle accidents that occur with frightening frequency. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bicycle collision, it may be a good idea to consult with a local personal injury attorney.
Sometimes, despite the cyclist's cautious riding, they wind up in collisions. The types of injuries that can result from bike accidents can be serious. Across the nation, 580,000 people go to emergency rooms due to injuries that occur while riding every year. The range of treatment issues ranges from minor issues like road rash to more serious issues ranging from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries. In the worst of cases, victims of accidents die.
California Bicycle Incidents
With the steady increase in bicycling for exercise, pleasure, and transportation, it is no surprise that crashes are on the rise in the state, as well. The statistics relating to bicycle/vehicle crashes are alarming:
- The rate of bicycle fatalities is at its highest rate in 25 years;
- Over 450 cyclists were killed in accidents in a three-year period;
- Males die at eight times the rate of females in bicycling accidents;
- In the past five years, there have been nearly 50,000 reported bicycle collisions, resulting in almost 800 deaths.
Increased Exposure Requires Safe Riding
Clearly, in an auto-bicycle collision, a bicyclist is much more vulnerable to injuries, making it critical that bicyclists take every possible precaution to stay safe on the roads. Some fundamental safety tips from AAA include:
- Wear a helmet to reduce the risk of serious injuries by as up to 85%;
- Always ride single-file on the road;
- Use accepted hand signals to give others a heads-up on your intentions;
- Pay particular attention at intersections before proceeding.
- Never wear headphones that could hinder your ability to hear traffic;
- Never double up on a bike that is built for one person;
- Make sure your bike is in good working condition with functioning brakes, reflectors or lights, gears, steering, and well-inflated tires;
- Pay attention to road hazards that may cause you to dodge into traffic;
- Avoid riding in slick or icy weather;
- Wear bright colors or reflective clothing to improve visibility.
How a Murrieta Bicycle Accident Lawyer Can Help
If you are fortunate enough that your injuries in a bicycle accident are relatively minor, the insurance company of the at-fault driver or your own MedPay insurance could be sufficient to cover your medical bills. Insurance companies are not known for their generosity, however; you may need the help of a Murrieta bicycle accident lawyer in order to get a fair settlement. If the insurance company sends you a settlement offer for an amount that is not enough to cover your bike accident-related medical expenses, do not sign the letter; instead, bring it to a Riverside County personal injury lawyer.
If your injuries are so serious that they require hundreds of thousands of dollars of treatment and render you unable to work, then filing a bicycle accident lawsuit may be the best solution. In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek damages from the at-fault driver in an amount equivalent to your past and future accident-related medical expenses and past and future lost income. You might also be able to collect non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering, for how your accident-related injuries have negatively affected your quality of life.
Contact a Murrieta Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bicycle accidents happen each week in the United States, and many of them involve serious injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you recover damages if you have suffered serious injuries in a collision between a car and your bicycle. Contact Gibbs & Fuerst LLP in Murrieta, California to discuss your bike accident case.