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San Bernardino Bicycle Accident Attorney

Bicycles provide easy and eco-friendly transportation for people to travel around San Bernardino. It can also be seen as a good source of exercise. However, using one while sharing the road with other motorists may put you at risk of getting into an accident. If one does occur, the outcome could cause you sustain anything from minor to debilitating injuries.

If you were struck by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to sue them to recover compensation. At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Bernardino bicycle accident lawyers will protect your rights, negotiate with the opposing side, represent you in court if your case heads to trial, and get you maximum financial compensation.

We run on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you owe us nothing until your case has been settled. To schedule a free consultation, we welcome you to contact us by calling (213) 927-3700 or completing our quick contact form. Our legal team is available 24/7 to answer phone calls and form submissions.

Statistics on Bicycle Accidents in San Bernardino

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 961 bicyclists were involved in fatal accidents with motor vehicles in 2021. Ninety percent of them were people who were 20 and older. The data further goes on to mention the following:

  • 61 percent of bicyclists who were killed in an accident did not have on a helmet.
  • 19 percent of bicyclists had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at or above 0.08 percent.
  • September had the highest number of bicyclist deaths (12 percent), and October followed after (11 percent).
  • 35 percent of deadly bike crashes took place on intersections.
  • 65 percent of bicyclist deaths happened on major roads besides interstates and highways, and 32 percent were on minor roads.
  • Bicyclists younger than 20 (52 percent) were more likely to get into a fatal accident on minor roads compared to those who were 20 or older (30 percent).
  • 85 percent of fatal bike accidents occurred in urban areas.

Common Types of Bicycle Accidents in San Bernardino

Bicycle accidents occur due to a variety of factors. Understanding them is important for all parties to know to keep them informed about the potential dangers they can encounter while out on San Bernardino roads. In the following sections, we will discuss each scenario and what can trigger it.

Bike vs Car Accidents

Bike and car accidents are very dangerous for bicyclists. A standard motor vehicle has some form of barrier surrounding the driver, making it less likely for them to sustain fatal or serious injuries. However, a bicyclist is left vulnerable, and only relies on protective gear to reduce the likelihood of getting severely harmed.

There are several elements that can contribute to a bike and car accident, such as:

  • Failing to yield the right of way. This is one of the most common causes of bike and car accidents. It occurs when either a bicycle rider or a driver does not give the other the right of way at intersections or when merging into traffic.
  • Distracted driving. A driver who loses focus of the road to adjust the audio or answer a text message can put themselves and others at risk of getting into an accident.
  • Speeding. A negligent driver who speeds will reduce the amount of time they have to react to vehicles ahead.
  • Poor visibility. Since bicycles are much smaller in size compared to a regular motor vehicle, it can make it difficult for a driver to spot a bicyclist. Bad weather conditions, such as heavy fog or rain, could also impede a driver’s view of the road.
  • Impaired driving. Drugs and alcohol will influence drivers to make unsafe decisions, such as speeding or making sudden lane changes.
  • Inexperienced bicyclists or drivers. Those who are new to bike riding or driving a vehicle are more likely to engage in dangerous behavior, like going against the flow of traffic.

Bike vs Bike Accidents

Various circumstances can cause a bike and bike accident. This includes the following:

  • Riding through intersections. It is possible for bicyclists to miscommunicate with one another or get confused about who has the right of way.
  • Attempting to pass another bicyclist. Miscalculating the speed and space between one another could cause a collision.
  • Riding in groups. Any sudden stops or turns could trigger more than one bicyclist to crash into another, creating a domino effect.
  • Allowing distractions to ruin your focus of the road. Using your cellphone to text or call someone while on the road could affect your bike riding abilities and reduce your alertness. This can lead to a bike on bike accident if you do not notice another bicyclist nearby.

Bike vs Pedestrian Accidents

Bike and pedestrian accidents occur due to multiple reasons, like:

  • Visibility issues. This particularly happens when both parties are using crosswalks or intersections.
  • Riding against the flow of pedestrian traffic. Bicyclists who do this are likely to collide into a pedestrian while on a sidewalk or crosswalk.
  • Distractions. A bicyclist or pedestrian who is not paying attention to their surroundings will have a reduced reaction time to a person or object ahead.
  • Sudden movements. Bicyclists who make abrupt stops or turns can confuse a pedestrian, which can lead to an accident.
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians. A bicyclist is going against traffic laws to make it easier for themselves to navigate their way across the city without properly sharing the pathway with others.
  • Speeding. Bicyclists who are riding too fast will have a difficult time stopping if they notice a pedestrian nearby.

Poor Road Conditions

Bicycle accidents are not always caused by motor vehicles. Another big contributing factor is poor road conditions, such as debris, uneven pavements, and potholes. These hazards can trigger bicycle riders to swerve off course to avoid making contact. However, the outcome may vary based on what is surrounding the bicycle rider. In some cases, they will turn out fine, whereas in other instances, they could crash into something.

If you were involved in such a situation, you may be entitled to sue the party responsible for the particular area in which the crash occurred in. You will need to speak with a San Bernardino bicycle accident attorney to get legal insight on your case, and whether you should move forward with the filing process.

Defective Bicycle Accidents

A defective bicycle can affect a bicyclist’s ability to ride safely on the road. The following are some examples of what could happen if a specific feature is not operating as it should:

  • Faulty brakes will make it challenging to slow down or stop.
  • Damaged tires or wheels can cause you to lose control and crash.
  • A malfunctioning chain will result in loss of balance or control.
  • Improperly constructed handlebars can affect your ability to steer a bicycle.
  • A flawed pedal will make it challenging for you to use the bicycle since it might not respond to your foot’s pressure against it to move forward.

Common Injuries in a Bicycle Accident

Commonphysical injuries that have been reported in bicycle accidents are:

It is encouraged that you seek medical attention soon after a bicycle accident injury, even if your physical pain appears to be minor. Your physician will examine your condition and form a diagnosis if they notice anything concerning.

If you fail to do this after the incident, the opposing side may argue that your injury was not as serious as you claimed or will assume that another factor caused it.

What to Do After a Bicycle Accident in San Bernardino

Getting into a bicycle accident in San Bernardino can be a traumatic experience. Although it is easier said than done, you should try to do the following actions to help strengthen your claim.

Contact the Police

If you notice any injured bicyclists or drivers, you should call the police. Once they arrive at the accident scene, they will conduct a police report. Be sure to ask the police officer for a copy of it to use as evidence in your bicycle accident case.

Collect Evidence

Take photographs or video footage of your injury, damages, and the location of where the bicycle accident occurred. You should also document your perspective of the incident in a diary or journal entry. Be sure to include the date and time of when it occurred.

Obtain Witness Information

If you see any witnesses nearby, you should ask them for their contact information. Their statements can greatly support your personal injury case.

Seek Medical Attention

As previously stated, you should get medical treatment immediately after a bicycle accident. Your doctor visits, prescription, and procedures will be saved on file and can be used as proof that you suffered injuries as a result of the bicycle accident.

Hire a San Bernardino Bicycle Accident Lawyer

You should seek legal assistance from a San Bernardino bicycle accident lawyer. They will evaluate your case and determine what should be done to ensure you get enough financial compensation to cover the costs of your losses.

How to Avoid Bicycle Accidents in San Bernardino

It is crucial for every bicyclist to know what safety practices should be considered to reduce the likelihood of getting into a bicycle accident while riding on San Bernardino roads. The sections below will go over each one.

Prepare Yourself Before Going Out

It is important that you prepare yourself before heading out for a ride. You should pick out a bicycle that fits you and works well. Do not forget to wear protective gear, such as a bike helmet, gloves, and elbow and knee pads. To appear visible to other drivers, you should:

  • Wear bright or reflective clothing,
  • Install a front white light and rear red light, and
  • Put reflectors on your bike.

Before you go out for a ride, have your shoelaces tied or tucked in. This will prevent it from getting stuck in your bike chain. You should also map out your route. This will give you some time to check for areas with less traffic or low speed limits.

Remain Focused on the Road

You should be alert of your surroundings at all times. By doing this, you will be able to have a faster response rate to any potential hazards nearby. We encourage bicycle riders to specifically do the actions listed below:

  • Ride in the same direction as traffic,
  • Follow the city’s street signs, signals, and road markings,
  • Check ahead for poor road conditions, and
  • Do not allow distractions, like your cell phone or music, to take your eyes and ears off of the road.

Reduce Sidewalk Riding

Try to limit yourself from riding on the sidewalk. Drivers are primarily keeping an eye on the road. If you suddenly pop out from the walkway, it could catch them by surprise. If you absolutely have to use the sidewalk to travel on your bike, you should:

  • Check the bicycle laws in San Bernardino County to know whether you are permitted to ride in certain areas,
  • Be cautious when near pedestrians,
  • Use a bell to notify others of your presence,
  • Check for traffic when crossing a street from a sidewalk, and
  • Ride in the same flow as traffic.

Who Is Liable for a Bicycle Accident in San Bernardino?

There are several aspects that will be considered when determining who is the at fault party in a bicycle accident in San Bernardino. First and foremost, you will need to collect evidence at the scene and present it to a bicycle accident attorney. From there, they will evaluate your case to learn which party:

  • Owed you a duty of care,
  • Breached their duty of care, and
  • Caused you to sustain injuries and damages as a result of their reckless behavior.

Since California follows the pure comparative negligence system, each party’s actions will be analyzed. After a decision has been made, the plaintiff and the defendant will be required to provide a certain amount of compensation to one another based on the percentage of negligence committed.

In a bicycle accident, the following parties are likely to face serious consequences:

  • Bicyclist,
  • Driver,
  • Government entity, or
  • Manufacturing company or others involved in the chain of distribution.

How Long Do You Have to File a Bicycle Accident Claim?

A bicycle accident victim is given two years from the date of when the incident occurred to file a personal injury claim. Although you are given an adequate amount of time to pursue legal action against the liable party, you should act quickly to ensure you have enough evidence to use and the right San Bernardino bicycle accident attorney to represent you.

If you do not submit the claim prior to the deadline, you will lose the opportunity to sue unless you qualify for a toll. For instance, you are likely to be granted one if the defendant is:

  • A minor,
  • Out-of-state,
  • In prison, or
  • Legally insane.

Once the reason for the tolling has finished, the statute of limitations will start again. You should speak with your legal representative to learn whether this applies in your case.

Types of Damages Available in a San Bernardino Bicycle Accident Claim

Personal injury victims involved in a bicycle accident in San Bernardino may acquire certain types of damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are tangible losses you sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligence. This typically includes:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Future lost income, and
  • Repair costs.

Non Economic Damages

Non economic damages are intangible losses you endured that cannot be measured in a dollar amount, such as:

  • Emotional distress,
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, and
  • Pain and suffering.

We would like to note that each bicycle accident claim involves different circumstances, meaning that the amount of compensation you receive will not be similar to what others have gotten.

Were you involved in a bicycle accident, and are interested in filing a bicycle accident lawsuit against the at fault party? At West Coast Trial Lawyers, our San Bernardino bicycle accident lawyers are available 24/7 to assess your situation and guide you through the legal process to ensure you get the financial compensation you deserve.

To schedule a free consultation, you may reach out to us by calling (213) 927-3700 or completing our easy contact form.

More Resources for Bicycle Accidents

2022 California Bicycle Accident Statistics

California Bicycle Accident Insurance

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