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Taft Bicycle Accident Lawyers

Riding a bicycle is a cost-effective and healthy alternative to driving in California. Especially in areas with dense traffic and difficult parking situations, more and more residents are turning to bikes for transportation. Many cities, such as Taft, are accommodating bikers with dedicated lanes.  

Still, the California Office of Traffic Safety reports that over 130 bicyclists were killed in 2019 on California roads. Many of these deaths were likely the result of accidents that could have been avoided.

The Taft bicycle accident attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark are ready to represent you in your injury or wrongful death lawsuit. We serve the residents of Taft with dedication and strong attention to detail. Negligence will not get a free pass from our law firm. If you or a loved one have been injured in a biking accident, reach out to us today. We are here to help you in any way possible. 

Should I Contact a Bicycle Accident Attorney?

Many people believe that bicycle accidents are straightforward and compensation is easily attainable. Believe it or not, these crashes are rarely that easy and oftentimes require an experienced lawyer to recover damages. 

Insurance companies do not like paying money. They will often try to pay you less than you deserve, if anything at all. Even if you were following the rules of the road, some insurance companies will attempt to exonerate the defendant through different tactics that may seem legitimate to a traumatized victim.  

You might even be eligible for benefits that you don’t know about. A comprehensive accident investigation led by a Chain | Cohn | Clark attorney may reveal that more than one liable party was responsible for your bicycle crash. If, for example, your bike was poorly manufactured, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer as well. 

The economic, non-economic, and sometimes punitive damages awarded in our bicycle accident cases help you recover from life-altering accidents. Additionally, we won’t get paid unless you win your case. 

Free Consultation Attorneys in Taft, CA

Your consultation with Chain | Cohn | Clark will be free, private, and commitment-free. If a lawyer pressures you to pay or work with them after your first meeting, we recommend looking for a new attorney. 

Common Taft Bicycle Accident Causes

Bicycle accidents usually involve a collision between a bicycle and a car. Sometimes, the choices of a driver can cause the cyclist to crash even if there is no actual collision.

Listed below are some common causes of bicycle accidents:

  • Aggressive driving
  • Failing to signal 
  • Opening doors in the bicyclist’s direction
  • Drivers passing a bicyclist without looking
  • Drunk or high driving
  • Tired driving 
  • Drivers ignoring a bicyclist’s right-of-way 
  • Distracted drivers
  • Drivers who don’t know (or don’t follow) the rules of the road

Bicycle accidents can also be caused by factors such as:

  • Defective bike parts
  • Misaligned bike pathways
  • Bad road conditions and potholes
  • Broken or damaged traffic lights
  • Improper street lighting 

Types of Compensation for Bicycle Accidents

Compensation in bicycle accident cases is typically broken down into three categories.

Economic damages:

  • Medical bills and expenses
  • Lost income or wages
  • Inability to earn future wages 
  • Payment for property damage
  • Bicycle repair cost

Non-economic damages:

  • Pain and suffering (emotional or physical)
  • Lack of life enjoyment
  • Mental health problems
  • Loss of companionship (also called loss of consortium)

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are less common than the other two types of compensation because they are usually only awarded in cases of gross negligence. These damages are meant to punish the liable party for their ignorance and make sure they do not engage in the same behaviors in the future. 

Common Taft Bicycle Accidents 

Here are some examples of the different types of bike accidents that can occur in Taft, CA:

  • Head-on collisions: If a driver and biker collide going opposite directions, the accident can be tragic for the cyclist
  • Rear-end collisions: A car traveling the same direction as a bike might collide with the back, sending the biker flying forward through the air
  • Sideswipes: If a driver enters the bike lane they may come into contact with a cyclist
  • Intersection accidents: Busy intersections can be distracting; if a car does not see a biker when turning left or right, they may cut-off or collide with a cyclist
  • Drunk driving accidents: Alcohol inhibits your reaction time, making it harder to adjust to others on the road
  • Failure to yield: Cars may not recognize that a bike has the right-of-way and make a mistake
  • Distracted driving: A driver could be eating, texting, changing the music, or performing any other activity that causes them to make an error while driving

Injuries in a Taft, CA Bicycle Accident

Common injuries sustained in bicycle accidents include the following:

  • Paralysis and numbness
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Internal injuries
  • Neck injuries and sprains
  • Fractures
  • Muscle strains
  • Cuts or lacerations

If your family member tragically died in a bicycle crash, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. 

Bicycle Accident FAQs

What should I do if I’m involved in a bicycle accident?

The first thing you should always do after an accident is to seek medical attention. Sometimes people are unaware of the full extent of their injuries—internal bleeding, for example—after an accident. But remember, no dollar amount is more important than your health.

If you are injured in a bicycle accident, the next thing you should do is to contact your local law enforcement immediately to file a police report. Then, if possible, take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can. If there are any bystanders, get their contact information in case you need to dispute liability later down the road. 

It is also important to note that you shouldn’t further discuss the accident with anyone but your lawyer. It is especially important that you don’t post anything on social media. Anything you say or do can be used against you in a future case.

How long do I have to file a bicycle accident lawsuit?

The timing for filing a case—also known as the statute of limitations—depends on whether you are filing for yourself or for a loved one.

You have two years from the date of collision to file for personal injury and property damage. 

In the case of wrongful death, you have two years to file from the date of your family member’s death.

If I was partially at fault for the bicycle accident, can I still recover compensation?

In most states, if you had any amount of negligence, your reward will be reduced by a certain percentage. California law calls this “comparative fault.”

According to California Vehicle Code Section 21650.1, “A bicycle operated on a roadway, or the shoulder of a highway shall be operated in the same direction as vehicles are required to be driven upon the roadway.” 

Insurance companies will try to prove you were at least partially at fault if you violated this code. You still have a case, but we advise you to contact a lawyer at Chain | Cohn | Clark as soon as possible if this is your situation. 

Should I file a police report for a bicycle accident?

After ensuring your health is in order, filing a police report is the first thing you should do. A police report can help guide your case through later disputes and your insurance company will most likely request a copy. You will also need a copy if you or your property have been injured/damaged.

When speaking to the at-fault party, you should always try to obtain the following information:

  • Name, phone number, and address
  • Date of birth
  • Insurance company name and policy number
  • Vehicle license plate number

File Your Bicycle Accident Lawsuit With Chain | Cohn | Clark

The Chain | Cohn | Clark Taft bicycle accident lawyers are here to represent you if you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a bicycle accident. We have been representing clients in Taft and the state of California for more than eight decades. With our knowledge of bicycle law and our experience in personal injury, we know just how to help you in your bicycle accident lawsuit.

The Taft bicycle accident lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Clark will dedicate themselves to your personal service so you can focus on recovery.

If you would like help from an experienced Taft bicycle accident attorney, the lawyers at our firm can assist you in filing a claim! Call us at 661-616-9833 or fill out our online contact form for a consultation free of charge. Well get back to you about your case as soon as possible.

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