San Diego Bike Accident Lawyer
When motor vehicles collide with cyclists, the injuries that result are often devastating.
Have you been seriously injured in a bicycle accident? Are you wondering if there is anything you can do to hold the driver accountable? If these questions sound familiar, you need a committed San Diego bicycle accident attorney who can help you effectively prepare a case against the negligent driver. You need a professional law firm that will take your case as seriously as you do.
We are The Levinson Law Group, a respected San Diego bike accident law firm with extensive experience working with clients injured in cycling accidents with cars. Unlike many other law firms in the area, we only handle car accident claims, which gives us unparalleled knowledge and experience of what goes into these cases. To learn more about your options, give The Levinson Law Group a call. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs.
Bicycle Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2010 and 2019, nationally, there were 7,722 pedalcyclist fatalities. In 2019, out of 36,096 total fatalities, pedalcyclists accounted for 2.3 percent or 846 deaths. Between 2010 and 2019, 73 percent of pedalcyclist fatalities occurred in urban settings.
Between 2010 and 2019, in California, 1,355 pedalcyclists died in accidents, according to data from the NHTSA. In the same time period, 48 percent of fatalities occurred at night and 52 percent during the day. In 2017, 145 cyclists died, and 11,116 were injured. In 2018, 155 cyclists died in accidents.
In California, 3 percent of fatal bike accidents happened on Interstates and freeways. Sixty-three percent of bike riders died on other major roads, and 29 percent died on minor roads.
High-risk San Diego intersections and roadways for bike riders include University Avenue between 1st Avenue in Hillcrest and 30th Street in North Park. In downtown San Diego, Gaslamp and Little Italy have higher-than-average bike crash rates. Other fatal intersections include Midway Drive and Rosecrans Street, Rosecrans Street and Sports Arena Blvd, Nimitz Blvd and W Point Loma Blvd, and Saturn Blvd and Palm Avenue.
In 2017, 2,663 injured bike riders were wearing helmets at the time of their accident, and 8,485 were not wearing helmets. Seventy-six percent of California bike riders were not wearing any safety gear when involved in a crash.
Types of Bicycle Accidents
Bike accidents are avoidable and preventable, but motorists are not always paying attention to what is going on around them. Many bike crashes are the result of negligence on the part of the drivers. Common negligence factors cited in San Diego bike accidents include:
- Hit and run accidents
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Motorists blindly pulling out of parking spaces
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI/DUI)
- Distracted driving
- Vehicles traveling in the bike lane
- Cyclists being hit by open car doors
- Drivers merging or turning into the path of a bike
- Rear-ends accidents
- Left-hand turn crashes
- A motorist stops without warning, causing the cyclist to collide with the vehicle
Common Bicycle Accident Injuries
Bike accidents can change an individual’s life drastically. Because bicyclists have little to no protection while riding, any collision can result in catastrophic injuries or death. A bicyclist involved in a crash may face numerous surgeries, months or years of ongoing rehabilitation, and deal with months or years of medical care. Even with protective gear on, like a helmet, a bicyclist is at a much greater risk of injury or death than a vehicle occupant.
Below is a list of the most common bike accident injuries:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal organ damage
- Brain contusion
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Skull fractures
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Partial paralysis
- Total paralysis
What to Do After a Bicycle Accident
In the aftermath of a bicycle accident, it may be challenging and overwhelming to know what to do next. Below is an outline of what to do in the event of an accident:
- Move yourself to safety. If able, move to the side of the road.
- Call 911. Call the police immediately. When the police arrive, ask for an accident report. Keep a copy of the report with you.
- Exchange insurance information. Get insurance and contact information from all people involved in the accident.
- Document what happened. Take photos of the accident site, damages to your vehicle and other vehicles, and your injuries. Obtain contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
- Seek medical care immediately. See a doctor right away, even if your injuries seem minor. Keep all records of your doctor visits, medications and treatments.
- Contact an attorney. Do not face the insurance companies alone. Reach out to a San Diego bike accident attorney at The Levinson Law Group right away for assistance.
California Bicycle Laws
California’s bicycle laws are designed to improve the safety of cyclists and everybody else on the road. The California Vehicle Code contains laws that detail where and how bicycles must operate. For the most part, bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle drivers.
Below are some of California’s bicycle laws to be aware of:
- Cyclists must ride with traffic.
- If going slower than traffic, ride close to the curb. This will give vehicles space to go around you.
- If there are bike lanes, use them, especially when going slower than traffic.
- You must stop before the crosswalk, not in the crosswalk.
- Obey traffic signs.
All bicycles must follow the rules regarding equipping the bike. All bicycles must have:
- Bicycles must be equipped with brakes.
- Handlebars must not be higher than the rider’s shoulders.
- Bicycles must fit the rider so they can stop and start safely.
- At night, the bike or bicyclist needs to be equipped with a white headlight visible from the front.
- At night, bicycles must have the following reflectors:
- Visible from the back: red reflector.
- Visible from the front and back: white or yellow reflector on each pedal or the bicyclist’s shoes or ankles
- Visible from the side: 1) white or yellow reflector on the front half of the bicycle and 2) a red or white reflector on each side of the back half of the bike.
- All riders must have a permanent seat unless the bicycle is designed by the manufacturer to be ridden without a seat.
Most importantly, riders under age 18 must wear an approved helmet. Helmets save lives and dramatically reduce the risk of head injury.
Contact The Levinson Law Group Today
At The Levinson Law Group, our dedicated team of bike accident lawyers is ready to help. If you or a loved one were involved in a bicycle accident, reach out to The Levinson Law Group attorneys right away. If you have questions about the recovery process, we can answer them. If you are not sure you want to bring a case against the other driver, we will not pressure you. We only want to make sure that you are informed to make the best decision for yourself and your family.
When you decide to work with The Levinson Law Group, you can rest assured that you will have someone in your corner throughout the entire process. We accept cases on a contingent fee. That means that if there is no recovery in your case, you pay no fee. And in most cases, we even advance the costs. To learn more about your options, call The Levinson Law Group at 760-827-1700.