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Drivers are required to provide a duty of care to others on the road, including bicyclists. Under California law, a driver must keep at least three feet of space when passing a bicyclist. Unfortunately, there are negligent drivers who go against these requirements, which have, in turn, resulted in bicycle accidents.

Newport Beach is one of many cities in California that has endured multiple bicycle accidents caused by negligent drivers. In response to these unfortunate circumstances, the Newport Beach Police Department began conducting bicycle and e-bike safety enforcement and education to both drivers and bicyclists. The motive for this is to teach both parties about road safety.

The officers also are committed to keep an eye out for any violations that have been made by drivers and bicyclists. This includes speeding, driving while under the influence, riding a bike on the wrong side of the road, not paying attention to traffic lights or signals, or making improper turns. The city hopes that all of these efforts can help reduce the likelihood of a bicycle accident from occurring.

Those who have fallen victim to a bicycle accident in Newport Beach may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the party at-fault for their losses. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our Newport Beach bicycle accident attorneys are available 24/7 to offer legal assistance to bicycle accident victims. We have over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. With our track record of winning more than $1 billion in settlements for our clients, we are confident that we will meet or exceed your expectations and get you the compensation you deserve.

To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our Newport Beach personal injury law firm, please contact our legal team by calling (949) 822-9593 or emailing [email protected].

Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident

Hitting Someone With a Car on Purpose

Bicycle accidents can significantly impact a person’s life both mentally and physically. If you are a victim of a bicycle accident, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim against the party at-fault, however, you will need to acquire evidence of negligence being involved. You will also need to show additional proof of any injuries or damages you sustained from the accident. In order to create a convincing claim, you will need to take these steps into consideration:

  1. Remain at the scene of the accident. You will need to help or cooperate with the other parties involved.
  2. Call the police if you notice any injuries or damages. The police will arrive at the scene of the accident and conduct an official police report. Paramedics will also be present to provide immediate medical care to those who need it.
  3. Gather information from all parties involved in the accident. You will need to obtain the other party’s contact information, insurance information, license plate number(s), and drivers license details.
  4. Document the accident in a journal or diary. Do not forget to include the date and time of when the accident took place.
  5. Take pictures and/or video footage of the accident. This includes your injuries, damages, and the location of where the accident took place.
  6. Acquire witness information. If you notice any witnesses nearby, you should ask for their consent to get their contact information.
  7. Visit a doctor or the ER. If you have sustained moderate to severe injuries, it would be ideal to visit the ER to receive immediate medical care. However, if your injuries are mild and you believe that you do not need any medical treatment to recover, you should still make an appointment to visit a doctor to have your wound examined. The doctor will determine whether a diagnosis should be made. Either of these visits will be saved on file and can be used as evidence that you were, in fact, injured from the bicycle accident.
  8. Be careful with what you say. You may be flooded with emotions after the bicycle accident, however, you will need to keep your opinions to yourself. Furthermore, you should never apologize or suggest who may be at-fault for causing the bicycle accident. These statements can be used against you by the other party.
  9. Contact a personal injury attorney. One of the biggest mistakes a bicycle accident victim will make is to handle the case on their own. Bicycle accidents often involve complex causation and damages that are best handled by an experienced bicycle accident attorney. It is important to speak to a bicycle accident attorney before you reach out to your insurer or provide any statements to the other party’s insurance company. Your attorney will help you take the right steps to increase your chances of getting maximum compensation for your losses.

Is It Safe to Ride a Bicycle in Newport Beach?

Not necessarily. Based on the most recent data available for bicycle accidents in Newport Beach, the city has been ranked third, compared to 103 other cities in California, in having the highest number of traffic collisions involving bicyclists.

Riding a bicycle is considered more dangerous compared to driving a car. Even though bicycle trips contribute to 1 percent of trips in the United States, bicyclists are still at a high risk of getting involved in fatal accidents with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, you are twice as likely to get killed while riding a bike than driving a car. This is all due to lack of protection and excessive impact caused by a large machine, also known as a car or truck.

Pollution is also another factor that can impact a bicyclist’s health. According to a 2015 study referenced by the Washington Post, bicyclists inhale nearly 3 times as much air pollution as drivers.

With all of that being said, driving a car isn’t inherently safer than riding a bike, given drivers and bicyclists both run their own set of dangers. However, bicyclists are more vulnerable to injuries and death in the event of an accident over drivers.

Moreover, the number of bicycle deaths and injuries don’t actually tell the entire story, nor does it account for all the people who commute on bikes. The truth is that if you take cars out of the equation, biking is entirely safe. So even though bicyclists can take precautionary measures like having on a fitted helmet, wearing reflective or neon clothing, or installing lights all over their bikes, the best bet is for a driver to drive safely around them. The precautions a bicyclist takes are second to this since they are not the ones in control of a vehicle.

Available Damages for Bicycle Accidents

Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. It is calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries. A few examples of economic losses include loss of earning capacity, medical bills, and lost wages.

Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. This may include compensation for emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. It is relatively rare and, in fact, is only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you have sustained injuries in a bicycle accident as a result of someone’s negligence or deliberate acts of malice, you have the right to hold the guilty party responsible for your losses. A Newport Beach bicycle accident attorney at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Reach out to us today by calling (949) 822-9593 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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