Bicycling has become more popular throughout California over the past decade due to convenience, health concerns, and greater environmental awareness among the public. People all over California enjoy using bicycles for leisure, exercise, and as alternatives to driving to and from work. While bicycling is a healthy activity that has a positive effect on the environment, the reality is that bicycle accidents can and do happen.
The surge in bicycling’s popularity seen in recent years has led to increased bicycle accidents statewide. Drivers and bicyclists must recognize this risk and use reasonable care at all times on the road. Bicycle accidents have not only increased in frequency throughout the state but also in severity. It is not uncommon for bicycle accidents to cause serious or even fatal injuries.
At McLachlan Law, APC, we want our local clients to know the risks of bicycling and the ways in which bicycling accidents most commonly occur. If you experience any type of bicycle accident, find a Hermosa Beach bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible to assist you in pursuing recovery for your losses.
Most Common Causes of California Bicycle Accidents
No one can predict the actions of other drivers and bicyclists on the road, but knowing the most common causes of bicycle accidents may help some people avoid potentially dangerous situations.
- Bicycle lanes exist throughout California, situated on the right-hand side of vehicle lanes on roads large enough to accommodate them. Drivers must use care when driving alongside bicyclists in a bike lane; bicycle accidents often occur due to other vehicles drifting into bicycle lanes.
- Driver inattention can easily lead to bicycle accidents in many situations. For example, if a driver is not paying attention when pulling out of a parking space, they may hit a passing bicycle who does not have time or room to stop.
- Opening car doors can cause serious bicycle accidents. When a driver suddenly opens a door in a bicyclist’s path, the bicyclist may not have time to slow down and avoid hitting the door. If a door opens suddenly in front of a bicyclist in a bike lane, they may swerve into the adjacent traffic as a reflex to avoid hitting the door, which can be incredibly dangerous.
- Pedestrians may also knock over cyclists in some situations. Whenever a pedestrian and a bicyclist collide, it is not always the bicyclist who is entirely at fault. For example, if a pedestrian stepped into the road without looking and walked directly in the path of a bicyclist riding legally in the bike lane, the pedestrian would likely absorb liability for the incident.
- Crosswalks are common areas of concern for bicyclists. While nearby drivers will notice and pay attention to other cars in the intersection, they may fail to pay adequate attention to nearby bicyclists as well.
- Many bicyclists participate in cycling teams, which can be a great way to turn a physical activity like bicycling into an enjoyable social experience. However, when cyclists travel together in close proximity, they risk experiencing a chain reaction accident should a bicyclist in the lead crash or collide with an obstacle.
- Unfortunately, many bicyclists are victimized in hit-and-run accidents that leave them severely injured. The police will need to investigate and determine who is responsible for the accident. Securing a recovery may be very difficult for the injured plaintiff.
- Drivers who commit moving violations like speeding, aggressive driving, and failing to use turn signals where appropriate can easily cause serious accidents with bicyclists.
In any of these situations, it is easy to see how liability for a bicycle accident may fall to a specific party, prompting civil action from the injured victim. If you or someone you love experienced a bicycle accident resulting in physical injuries and economic losses, contact our firm. It’s vital to meet with a reliable Hermosa Beach bicycle accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Protecting Your Rights Under California Bicycle Law
California state law provides bicyclists with many of the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers. As such, liability may not be entirely clear in a bicycle accident case, and an injured cyclist could face complicated legal challenges involving comparative negligence and disputed evidence.
The best thing to do if you find yourself in this kind of situation is to meet with a reputable and experienced Hermosa Beach bicycle accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can review the evidence available in your case, help you determine liability for your losses, and let you know what to expect from a successful personal injury case.
Contact McLachlan Law, APC today to arrange a consultation with a compassionate Hermosa Beach bicycle accident lawyer with the skills and resources necessary to guide you through your case with confidence.